A bipartisan bill to ban fentanyl analogues passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday ahead of it’s expiration on Feb. 6. Now, it heads to President Donald Trump’s desk. The bill unanimously passed the Senate earlier this month and moved through the House with a 320-88 vote.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) thanked the House for passing their legislation, called the Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act (S. 3201).
“I am pleased the House of Representatives passed this legislation and look forward to President Trump signing it into law,” said Sen. Graham. “It’s very important that we continue to keep fentanyl analogues listed as one of the most dangerous drugs in the world.”
Most of these fentanyl analogues come from countries like Mexico and China. Sara A. Carter produced a documentary titled “Not in Vein” highlighting the Mexican drug cartels’ trafficking of the highly-potent, synthetic narcotic in 2018. Click here to to watch the full documentary.
“I also appreciate China’s recent efforts to deal with the fentanyl supply coming from China, as fentanyl has been proven to be one of the dangerous drugs known to man,” said Graham. “There were over 30,000 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2018 alone. Fentanyl is 100 times more lethal than morphine, and 50 times more lethal than heroin.”
In a press release from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Feinstein noted the growing drug epidemic in her home state of California.
“We cannot sit idly by while 32,000 people a year die from fentanyl-related substances,” Feinstein said. “In California, statewide deaths due to fentanyl spiked by more than 600 percent over four years. This is a public health crisis and fentanyl is the leading culprit. While this extension isn’t permanent, I’m hopeful that DEA’s temporary order will allow us to find a bipartisan fix to this epidemic of overdoses. Fentanyl must be treated as the deadly hazard it is and I thank my House colleagues for passing our bill.”
In June, the committee heard testimony from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. At the hearing, Kemp Chester, Associate Director of the National Opioids Coordination Group, said the “simplest” solution was to codify the emergency scheduling order.