The introduction of fentanyl to America, primarily through drug trafficking via the southern border and one of the greatest crises the nation is facing today. The synthetic opioid has dangerously woven itself within the social fabric of our society.
On Wednesday, Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) bill, the Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of Life (END FENTANYL) ACT, unanimously passed in the Senate, and will make its way to the House of Representatives.
It seems as though everyone has heard a horror story in which the extremely addictive, fatal substance has crept into their community one way or another.
The bill calls for the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to improve and reform its approach every three years to “ensure drug interdiction guidance is up to date.” According to a 2019 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the last time the interdiction guidance was updated was 2 decades ago.
“This epidemic, fueled by the massive amounts of fentanyl flowing illegally over our southern border into our communities, has only grown worse. Every life taken by an accidental drug poisoning is a preventable tragedy and we must do everything in our power to stop them. We must continue our work to support our brave CBP agents, and all who are on the frontlines of this battle, ensuring they have every tool needed to fight back, keep these dangerous drugs out of our country and save lives,” stated Sen. Scott.
In addition to the updated policies every 3 years, the bill also requires a report from the Commissioner of CBP to send a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Homeland Security Committee in the House of Representatives.
“This is a big win in our fight against the lethal opioid epidemic, but it is not the end. I am thankful for my colleagues in the Senate voting for its passage, in addition to Congressmen Guest and Trone for leading this bipartisan charge in the House. I look forward to working together to get this important bill to the president’s desk and signed into law,” Scott concluded.
Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) and Rep. David Trone (D-MD) introduced the companion bill in the lower chamber. The bill was cosponsored by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).