NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a co-sponsor of legislation criticized as checking federal power to stop companies from distributing opioids, is calling it "absurd" to suggest she return contributions from big drug companies that supported the new law.

Blackburn, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retirement of Republican Bob Corker next year, tells The Tennessean that her involvement in the bill came out of an effort to ensure people who needed the prescription drugs were able to get access to them while also cracking down on illicit opioid use.

Following a report by The Washington Post and CBS' "60 Minutes" about the law, the measure's chief sponsor, Republican Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, withdrew as President Donald Trump's nominee as drug czar.

Information from: The Tennessean,

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.