Portman, Shaheen Applaud Committee Passage of their Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Global Cooperation in Fight Against Fentanyl & Synthetic Drug Trafficking
Legislation was Introduced Following Record Number of Synthetic Overdose Deaths During COVID-19
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) applauded the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for passing their bipartisan legislation, Fighting Emerging Narcotics Through Additional Nations to Yield Lasting (FENTANYL) Results Act, to increase global cooperation in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking. The legislation was reported favorably out the Committee by voice vote earlier today.
The FENTANYL Results Act would authorize two programs through the State Department that would build foreign law enforcement capacity to detect synthetic drugs and carry out an international exchange program for drug demand reduction experts. When the legislation was introduced, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data revealing that a record breaking 87,000 Americans died from a drug overdose between September 2019 and September 2020 during the height of COVID-19. That number has continued to rise – recently released data from the CDC show that there were 107,622 drug overdose deaths that occurred in the U.S. last year, the largest number ever recorded in a calendar year. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl and other synthetic opioids were behind most of the deaths.
“This bipartisan legislation will help reduce the devastating effects of synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and I’m pleased it has passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” said Senator Portman. “This legislation will strengthen State Department data collection on synthetic drug production while increasing international law enforcement capacity. This important effort will help us save lives and mitigate the devastating effects of deadly synthetic opioids, which have impacted families and communities across Ohio and our country. With drug overdoses reaching an all-time high, it is more urgent than ever that we get this legislation passed in Congress. I will continue to do everything I can to stop these deadly substances from destroying lives both in America and around the world.”
“I appreciate the support lawmakers showed today to advance my bipartisan legislation, and I’m particularly glad to have a good-faith partner like Senator Portman on this effort. Our fentanyl trafficking legislation addresses a major source of the deadly substance use disorder epidemic that’s gripped New Hampshire and communities across the nation. Democrats and Republicans are united on action to defeat this scourge that has taken too many lives and threatens the next generation if we do not stop the flow of this illicit drug over our borders,” said Senator Shaheen. “I urge Senate leadership to bring our legislation to the floor for a vote so we can get this legislation through Congress and to the President’s desk.”
To read bill text, click here.