- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2017

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Friday Congress is ready to spend “billions” to combat the nation’s rising opioid epidemic.

“The commission held a meeting with members of Congress, and we invited anyone who wanted to come to meet with us,” Mr. Christie, a Republican, said on MSNBC. “This was a broad swath, Republicans, regardless of region, Democrats regardless of ideology. We had Maxine Waters sitting next to Rob Portman in that meeting.”

Mr. Christie, who leads President Trump’s commission on this issue, was referring to Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, and Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican, who are on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

The governor said the Republican health care plan proposed by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy allotted $45 billion for opioid treatment and efforts to curtail the crisis.

Mr. Christie praised Mr. Trump for his speech on the crisis Thursday and for declaring a national health emergency, which allows a wider range of options to try and deal with the situation.

“He knows that this is an area that we have to invest [in] — that we have to spend money in this area,” he said, adding that he believes both the president and Congress will follow through on their promise. “I don’t think this is a partisan issue,” he said.

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