With fentanyl continuing to claim American lives, Congress continues to find ways to fight back. In an interview with The Floridian, Representative Laurel Lee (R-FL) spoke with us about her OPIOIDS Act, designed to improve law enforcement's ability to track overdoses and protect officers from accidental exposure.
"This bill would allocate additional resources to help law enforcement track the incidence of fentanyl overdoses and also help prevent and protect law enforcement officers from accidental exposure to fentanyl," said Rep. Lee.
Additionally, Rep. Lee stated the OPIOIDS Act is bipartisan, with Democrats working on the bill with her, its most prominent cosponsor being Representative David Trone (D-MD). As a result, Lee expected the bill "will ultimately have very broad support in the House and Senate."
"We believe that it will ultimately have very broad support in the House and Senate, it is also a bipartisan bill. We have Democrats working with us on the bill, so it is in the Judiciary Committee, and we are hoping to get a second markup," Lee continued.
Lee's comments are not without merit, as Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), who will cosponsor the OPIOID Act's Senate companion, got his END FENTANYL Act unanimously passed in the Senate in late June.
Moreover, the lethality and prevalence of fentanyl overdoses have led to several Florida Representatives demanding the drug's classification as a weapon of mass destruction (WMD), with Representative Brian Mast (R-FL) calling the smuggling of fentanyl over the southern border "a chemical attack on our nation."
In February, Representative Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) quoted an op-ed by his predecessor, former Representative Ted Deutch, calling for bipartisan action against fentanyl.
"We cannot wait until it's all personalized to us. It's time to pass the many bipartisan bills introduced this Congress that will protect the health and well-being of the American people... It's time to rise above the polarization, the cheap shots, and the partisan fights to powerfully face the harsh realities of fentanyl," Rep. Moskowitz quoted.