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Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a new campaign proposal Wednesday that would allot $100 billion over the next decade to fight the opioid crisis.

Why it matters: Warren's cash-heavy idea, which would be funded by her proposed wealth tax on America's top earning individuals and companies, aligns with what experts told Congress last year — no amount of money used to combat the opioid crisis is too much.

The big picture: In outlining her policy, Warren continues her long-held theme of fighting big business — this time aimed at pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma and members of Congress that have been "driven by greed."

  • She writes, "The opioid epidemic teaches us that too often in America today, if you have money and power, you can take advantage of everyone else without consequence. I think it’s time to change that."

Details: The proposal, which Warren calls the CARE Act, is mirrored after the Ryan White CARE Act that fought the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990s. Money will go toward first responders, public health departments and states for prevention and rehabilitation services. Warren's legislation, also co-authored by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), was introduced in the last session of Congress. During each year of the 10-year proposal:

  • $4 billion would go to states, territories and tribal governments.
  • $2.7 billion would be distributed to the hardest-hit counties and cities, including $1.4 billion to counties and cities with the highest levels of overdoses.
  • $1.7 billion would go toward public health surveillance, research and improved training for health professionals.
  • $1.1 billion would be earmarked for public and nonprofit entities.
  • $500 million would be used to expand access to naloxone.

The intrigue: An aide on Tuesday, per Politico, said Warren will donate the $4,500 she received for her 2012 and 2018 Senate reelection campaigns donated by Beverly Sackler, whose late husband Raymond managed Purdue Pharma — the manufacturer of OxyContin — alongside his brother. Warren has been vocal about the family's role in the opioid epidemic, and they presently face several lawsuits alleging their actions inflamed the crisis.

“Beverly Sackler is well into her 90s and denigrating her personal donation, made with the best intentions, can serve no proper political purpose. We would welcome a genuine dialogue with the senator that’s fact-based, as the facts clearly demonstrate that the company started by Beverly's family has for decades been the industry leader in combatting opioid abuse while providing products essential for the treatment of serious chronic pain."
— A spokeswoman for the Sackler family

Go deeper:

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House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

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Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.