July 18, 2023

Scott’s Fentanyl Legislation Added to Senate Defense Bill

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.) announced that his landmark legislation, the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, was included in the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a critical step that brings it closer to becoming law. The Senate will begin voting on the NDAA this week.

“Mexican traffickers and Chinese drug suppliers are fueling America’s fentanyl crisis. My FEND Off Fentanyl Act targets the financial assets of these criminal groups, cutting off their income right at the source. By including this bill in the NDAA, we’re one step closer to ensuring our country can defend our communities from this deadly drug and protecting our national security.”

Ranking Member Scott’s standalone anti-fentanyl trafficking bill, which targets the financial assets of synthetic opioid traffickers and suppliers, was previously passed by the Senate Banking Committee with unanimous support. Since its introduction earlier this year, the legislation has amassed 62 Senate cosponsors.

The United States is facing the worst drug crisis in history. In 2021, nearly 107,000 Americans died from an overdose, and 65% of overdose deaths were caused by fentanyl. Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized over 379 million deadly doses of fentanyl - enough to supply a lethal dose to every American. Given the sharp increase in fentanyl-caused deaths, it is clear that a staggering amount of fentanyl is making its way into our country from the chemical suppliers in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and drug cartels in Mexico.

The FEND Off Fentanyl Act is a sanctions and anti-money laundering bill to help combat the country’s fentanyl crisis by targeting opioid traffickers devastating America’s communities. The bill will enhance current law so U.S. government agencies can more effectively disrupt illicit opioid supply chains and penalize those facilitating the trafficking of fentanyl. The bill also ensures that sanctions are imposed not only on the illicit drug trade, but also on the money laundering that makes it profitable.

Multiple national organizations have expressed support for the bill, including Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse (MAPDA), the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, and FDD Action.