June 23, 2023

Momentum Builds for Fentanyl Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act continues to gain support following its unanimous passage out of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee this week which brings the bill one step closer to becoming law. The sanctions and anti-money laundering bill focused on addressing the fentanyl crisis has earned the support of over sixty cosponsors in the U.S. Senate and the backing of many law enforcement groups.

Originally introduced by Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Tim Scottand Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown, along with the leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the FEND Off Fentanyl Act is cosponsored by Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Chris Van Hollen, (D-Md.), Cynthia Lummis, (R-Wyo.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

The following organizations, including law enforcement and opioid advocacy groups, have voiced their support for the FEND Off Fentanyl Act and praised its unanimous passage out of the Senate Banking Committee:

“Fentanyl is killing Americans.  In 2021, more than 100,000 Americans died from a drug overdose—65% of which are attributable to fentanyl.  Ranking Member Scott and Chairman Brown of the Senate Banking Committee have considered and favorably reported a bill they wrote together, S. 1271, the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act.  The legislation declares the international trafficking in fentanyl and related opioids to be a national emergency.  It is a comprehensive, national strategy to reduce overdoses, disrupt trafficking operations, attack the traffickers with sanctions and prioritize anti-money laundering related to the illicit opioid trade.  Following the mark-up, the FOP urges its swift consideration on the Senate floor,” said Patrick Yoes, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police.

“On behalf of the National Tactical Officers Association and its over 40,000 members nationwide, I commend Sen. Scott and Sen. Brown for their tireless work and bipartisan leadership in ensuring that the ‘Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence Off Fentanyl Act’ is being brought up by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for consideration.  NTOA strongly supports this important legislation and once it is reported out of committee we urge Senate Leadership to move expeditiously to bring this vital, bipartisan bill before for the full Senate for consideration. The FEND OFF Fentanyl Act deserves the strong support of the full Senate so that these needed policies can quickly be signed by President Biden into law and thereby making our nation more safe and secure. Our nation’s law enforcement officers and first responders see every day the lives ended and families ruined by the promulgation of Fentanyl in this country. This bill serves as a significant step forward in helping to curtail the flow of illegal, deadly fentanyl into our nation’s communities by denying traffickers and those involved in trafficking the one thing they seek above all else, money,” said Thor Eells, Executive Director of the National Tactical Officers Association.

“Sheriffs across the country see the devastation that fentanyl is wreaking on our communities. We praise Senators Scott and Brown, Reed and Wicker for their leadership and for this legislation that would help stop the flow of this deadly drug. Further, it is our sincere wish that the full U.S. Senate take up the bill after the markup. Congress needs to take swift action and give our communities and law enforcement some relief,” said Sheriff Jim Skinner, Collin County, Texas.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs has approved the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, moving forward what will be a critical component in the fight against the spread of fentanyl in our communities.  This bill will target and sanction transnational organizations and cartels that traffic fentanyl and its precursors, helping to stop the flow of this deadly poison into our country.  We cannot act only after this drug enters our country; we must fight it before it crosses our borders.  NAPO thanks Senators Tim Scott and Brown for their leadership and we call on the Senate to take immediate action and pass this important bill,” said Bill Johnson, Executive Director of the National Association of Police Organizations.

“FLEOA is proud to support the ‘FEND Off Fentanyl Act’ and thanks Ranking Member Scott, Chairman Brown, and the Committee for advancing this important bipartisan legislation,” said Larry Cosme, President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. “For too long, foreign nations, transnational criminal organizations, and drug cartels have profited from the trafficking of this poison across our borders and into our communities. As long as fentanyl trafficking is a lucrative criminal enterprise, it will be hard to counter. Therefore, while our members work every day to stop the spread of fentanyl into communities, this legislation will ensure the federal government can more effectively target the fentanyl supply chains and penalize those responsible for endangering the lives of American citizens.”

Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse (MAPDA): “We applaud Senators Scott and Brown for introducing this critical legislation. Imposing sanctions on anyone who is trafficking deadly fentanyl is an important part of the larger solution so badly needed to stem this crisis that is devastating every community in America.”

The American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence: “The American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD), which represents more than 1,300 Opioid Treatment Programs in the United States, expresses its strong support for Senator Tim Scott and Sherrod Brown’s FEND Off Fentanyl Act. AATOD’s treatment provider members across the country are seeing greater challenges to effective treatment because of the prevalence of fentanyl. By giving law enforcement and regulators greater authority to sanction transnational criminal organizations involved in production of fentanyl precursors and trafficking fentanyl into the U.S., the FEND OFF Fentanyl Act would help treatment providers and individuals with Fentanyl Use Disorder by reducing overdose deaths so that evidence-based opioid treatment programs can help people stop drug use and return to work, family and their communities on their path to recovery.”

FDD Action: “The threat from fentanyl production and trafficking has significantly increased since Congress passed the Fentanyl Sanctions Act in 2019. The bipartisan effort to update and expand sanctions against transnational criminal organizations associated with the fentanyl trade is critical to effectively targeting, and ultimately degrading the networks, particularly those in China, that are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.”

The FEND Off Fentanyl Act is a sanctions and anti-money laundering bill would combat the fentanyl crisis by targeting the illicit fentanyl supply chain, from the chemical suppliers in China to the cartels that traffic the drugs in from Mexico.