McKinley Sponsors Bill to Crack Down on Fentanyl

Deadly Drug is Fueling Overdoses, Yet Democrats Fail to React

Washington, DC - David B. McKinley, P.E. (WV-01) announces his co-sponsorship of the HALT Fentanyl Act, which will equip law enforcement with the tools they need to go after drug traffickers pushing deadly fentanyl into communities across the U.S.

The emergency class-wide scheduling for fentanyl-related substances is set to expire on February 18, 2022. There are deadly consequences if Speaker Pelosi and Democrats allow this order to expire or continue to kick the can down the road with temporary extensions. This bill permanently adds fentanyl-related substances to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Food and Drug Administration’s drug schedule. This means that any variation of fentanyl will carry the same legal consequences as pure fentanyl.

“We are reminded of the tragic consequences of the opioid crisis with every overdose story we hear,” said McKinley.

“The Biden Administration and Democrats have failed to address the crisis at the southern border, which is allowing millions of illegal immigrants and drug cartels to traffic deadly Chinese-made Fentanyl in the U.S. The result is devastating to families in West Virginia and across the Country,” said McKinley.

“Ensuring that law enforcement can crack down on drug dealers is just one more common-sense step we can take to address the deadly opioid crisis,” said McKinley.

Behind every overdose is a story of a life cut short. One such story was shared with us by behavioral health treatment center in West Virginia:

"Those who met her would agree that she had a bubbly personality and was the type of person you remember after meeting only once. A sweet and bright young girl, she became addicted to opioids and heroin after sustaining a High School sports injury. She struggled with her addiction for years, spending time in and out of treatment centers but struggled to fully commit. During a period of sobriety in her recovery journey, she became pregnant. She had always dreamed of becoming a mom and she glowed talking about her child and sharing her ultrasound images. She was happy. Yet, sadly, during her third trimester, she was found unresponsive. She had relapsed. But this time, the heroin she thought she was taking was laced with deadly fentanyl. She and her baby died. Her life was taken too soon and her unborn baby never had the chance to live."

See more stories of The Faces of the Opioid Crisis 

Background:

Under the Controlled Substances Act, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) schedules a drug based on its medical value and potential for abuse, as well as recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  On February 6, 2018, the Department of Justice issued a rule temporarily classifying fentanyl related substances as Schedule I. Congress extended the temporary scheduling order only to February 18, 2022 through its most recent continuing resolution (CR). The emergency temporary scheduling has strengthened law enforcement’s ability to prosecute fentanyl traffickers, and DEA reports that it has acted as an effective deterrent.

The Centers for Disease Control reported that in the United States in a 20-month period ending in April 2021, there were over 100,000 drug overdoses with two-thirds of these caused by synthetic opioids.

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