WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in introducing the Protecting Americans from Fentanyl Trafficking Act.
The legislation makes permanent the Drug Enforcement Agency’s emergency scheduling of fentanyl, which classifies it as a highly addictive drug with no medical value. It would also allow the DEA to permanently control the substance and automatically schedule new analogues.
“Fentanyl is stealing the lives of unsuspecting Louisianians and devastating our families. President Biden needs to secure the open border that’s allowing this poison to flow in America, and his Justice Department needs to permanently classify this drug as one of the biggest threats to American lives today,” said Kennedy.
“Illicit fentanyl is made with the intent to create addicts and to kill. Granting the DEA permanent control of this deadly drug and its analogues will provide law enforcement the tools needed take these dangerous drugs off the streets,” said Cotton.
“Ms. Rebecca Kiessling testified before Congress yesterday that when it comes to fentanyl we’re at war and we need to act like we’re at war. She tragically lost both her sons to fentanyl overdoses from a single pill laced with enough fentanyl to kill an individual four times over. Her sons bought what they thought to be Percocet, and it turned out to be pure fentanyl. They both died from the ingestion. Fentanyl is the leading cause of death among 18-45 year olds in America. More Americans die from fentanyl poisoning than car accidents and gun violence combined! Under President Biden, we’ve lost complete operational control of the border. Fentanyl is flooding into our country. We should be going after Mexican drug cartels and other transnational criminal organizations who deal this deadly drug by designating them as foreign terrorist organizations – giving us even more tools to combat this epidemic. I will be working with my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee to dramatically increase the punishment for fentanyl distribution, including charging the crime of murder if an overdose death occurs as a result. Bottom line: The Biden Administration response to the fentanyl epidemic has been lacking. I intend to do all I can to make them change course,” said Graham.
Full text of the bill is available here.