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Shaheen, Portman, Cornyn Applaud Inclusion of FENTANYL Results Act in FY 2023 Defense Bill

Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to increase global cooperation in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking. 

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) issued the following statements after they successfully included heir bipartisan legislation in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to increase global cooperation in the fight against synthetic drug trafficking. The NDAA is annual legislation that authorizes defense programming for the fiscal year. 

The Fighting Emerging Narcotics through Additional Nations to Yield Lasting (FENTANYL) Results Act authorizes two programs through the State Department that would build foreign law enforcement capacity to detect synthetic drugs and carry out an international exchange program for drug demand reduction experts.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated what was already a crisis in New Hampshire and across America – the substance use epidemic. The circulation of fentanyl has fueled this crisis, which is why I’m leading bipartisan efforts with Senators Portman and Cornyn to clamp down on drug trafficking and prevent drugs from reaching our borders. Inclusion of the FENTANYL Results Act in the annual defense package makes clear that combating drug trafficking is a top national security priority,” said Shaheen. “Once this legislation becomes law, we can ensure more effective cooperation with international partners to prevent synthetic drugs from infecting our communities and save lives.” 

“With drug overdoses at an all-time high, Congress must do everything it can to stop synthetic opioids like fentanyl from destroying lives in America and around the world. I’m pleased this bipartisan legislation, designed to help to reduce the devastating effects of these deadly substances, is included in the final FY 2023 NDAA conference report,” said Senator Portman. “This legislation will strengthen State Department data collection on synthetic drug production while increasing international law enforcement capacity. This important effort will help us save lives and mitigate the devastating effects of deadly synthetic opioids, which have impacted families and communities all across Ohio and our country.” 

“Drug overdose deaths caused by synthetic opioids have skyrocketed, and the fentanyl coming across our border from places like China is not only a public health crisis but also a threat to national security,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation, which includes my PANIC Act, will hold China accountable as the world’s largest exporter of illicit fentanyl, and I look forward to it becoming law soon.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data revealing that a record-breaking 107,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2021, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl and other synthetic opioids were behind a majority of the deaths.  

To read full bill text of the FENTANYL Results Act, click here.  

Senator Shaheen has led efforts to combat substance misuse through her role as Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds significant programming to address the substance use disorder epidemic. In government funding legislation signed into law last December, she successfully secured $50 million for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to construct a new drug laboratory in New England, which presently does not have one, to improve lab testing in the region. Currently, if a DEA sample may contain fentanyl, it must be transported separately by ground transportation to the laboratory in New York City due to laws prohibiting its transfer through the mail. This process has been incredibly difficult for the region because agents must physically transport any samples that might contain fentanyl, resulting in hours of travel to New York City and back. The New York Division is also one of the busiest for DEA and a lab in New England will help both Divisions meet drug testing demands.