By JONATHAN MATTISE
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Democratic ex-Gov. Phil Bredesen says his first U.S. Senate action would be introducing or co-sponsoring legislation to repeal a 2016 law criticized for weakening federal authority to curb opioid distribution. His opponent, Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, supported it.

Also Friday, Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa visited Tennessee for Blackburn. Ernst said Iowa farmers can tolerate President Donald Trump's tariffs in the short term, but trade deals need to be completed soon. Bredesen has loudly opposed tariffs. Blackburn says she also opposes them.

At a forum, Bredesen said the Blackburn-backed opioid law "defanged" the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Blackburn has called for addressing any "unintended consequences."

She told reporters Friday that Congress will act when DEA proposes changes.

At the forum, Blackburn backed a three-day federal opioid prescription limit, exempting cancer and hospice.

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