Congress Cannot Let Up on Dangerous Fentanyl Analogues
‘It’s not complicated. Americans are dying. Communities are drowning. Chinese drug traffickers are getting rich off our misery. Permanently scheduling these analogues is the very least that Congress can do.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding fentanyl:
“As I noted here on the floor last week, the unaccompanied children packed into overflowing facilities are not the only tragic consequence of our failure to secure our border.
“In addition to the U.S. mail, our southern border is a major source for the stream of lethal illegal drugs that continues to pour into our country.
“According to the CDC, more Americans died of overdoses last year than ever before.
“This health crisis predated COVID-19 and will outlast it. And Customs and Border Protection data tell us a major cause has been a spike in the flow of fentanyl and its analogues, produced by chemical companies in places like China.
“These drugs, which can be hundreds or thousands of times stronger than morphine, are rightly classified on the schedule of controlled substances. There are severe penalties for those caught trafficking them. It’s the least we can do to protect American lives, families, and communities.
“Clearly on its own this step hasn’t been sufficient.
“But in a few weeks, even this obvious step is set to expire. Fentanyl analogues would cease being controlled substances in federal law, making enforcement and deterrence even more difficult.
“So Congress is faced with what should be a crystal-clear choice.
“The right thing to do, of course, is to permanently schedule these substances.
“Only in Washington D.C. could this become some kind of intense debate.
“But, alas, some soft-on-crime corners of the political left have convinced some Democrats that this impending expiration is actually a political opportunity.
“They want the Democrats to only reschedule these analogues for a short period of time, punting this deadline just a few months into the future.
“So that Democrats could come back to the table with an unrelated soft-on-crime bill — say, reducing prison sentences for drug dealers — and make that bad idea the price of admission for keeping these deadly poisons illegal.
“We need to be clear-eyed. No amount of political spin or inside-the-Beltway horse trading can muddy this debate.
“It’s very clear.
“Congress should schedule these fentanyl analogues permanently.
“It’s not complicated. Americans are dying. Communities are drowning. Chinese drug traffickers are getting rich off our misery.
“Permanently scheduling these analogues is the very least that Congress can do.”