While lawmakers from both parties battle over politics, there is some movement on bipartisan efforts to fight the deadly drug fentanyl in Congress.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says his "Fentanyl Sanctions Act" will create sanctions on fentanyl and give federal officials the tools they need to crack down on opioid trafficking from other countries.
The legislation was included in a larger defense bill that President Trump signed into law at the end of the year. Brown says the law aims to target foreign drug trafficking and put pressure on the Chinese government to treat illicit fentanyl as illegal.
"It will give us the tools to more effectively keep fentanyl which is, fentanyl and carfentanyl are apparently the most toxic of the opioid addictive drugs, and it will helps us keep that supply out of the country," says Brown.
According to Brown's office, the act:
- "Gives U.S. officials new sanction tools to target foreign opioid traffickers in China, Mexico and other countries."
- "Better enables U.S. diplomats and law enforcement officials to maintain pressure on the Chinese government to implement and strictly enforce China’s commitment to treat all forms of illicit fentanyl as illegal."
- "Establishes a National Commission on Synthetic Opioid Trafficking to monitor U.S. efforts and report on how more effectively to combat the flow of illicit synthetic opioids into the U.S."
Brown and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have both been working on bills that address substance abuse.
Portman supported pieces of legislation that secured funding for different resources that address addiction education and treatment, that includes the Combating Meth & Cocaine Act and the for Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA).