Casey-backed fentanyl crackdown bill signed into law - TAI News
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U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) speaking at a hearing of the Senate Aging Committee at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

The U.S. Senate passed a national security spending bill on April 23 by a vote of 79-18, days after it was approved by the House of Representatives. Included in the new law is a bipartisan plan to crack down on supply chains of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids that was co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

Casey has long championed the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, a bill designed to keep fentanyl and other illicit drugs out of the country. It contains provisions to require the federal government to impose economic sanctions against criminal organizations and drug cartels involved in trafficking, designate international fentanyl trafficking as a national emergency, and authorize a Treasury Department crackdown on fentanyl-related money launderers.

The Senate had previously passed the fentanyl provisions in its July 2023 defense authorization, but they were stripped out in negotiations with the House. Nine months later, Congress included them in H.R. 815, which also contained defense funding for Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine and humanitarian relief for people in Gaza. 

In a press release issued after the vote, Casey celebrated the law’s passage: “In passing the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, we are finally cracking down on the Chinese criminal organizations and Mexican cartels who manufacture and traffic fentanyl into the United States. As I travel across Pennsylvania, I’ve heard from far too many families who have lost a loved one to the fentanyl crisis, and I carry their stories with me to Washington as I’ve pushed to get this bill passed. While we’ll never be able to bring their loved ones back, I hope this brings a measure of justice to these families knowing that the transnational criminals responsible for the fentanyl crisis will finally be held accountable for their devastation.”

“This critical legislation will make our nation and world more secure,” President Joe Biden said in a statement, before signing the package into law April 24.

In addition to Casey, the FEND Off Fentanyl Act was co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. John Fetterman.

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