Shaheen’s Bipartisan Legislation to Crack Down on Fentanyl Coming from China & Mexico Successfully Added to Annual Defense Bill

June 27, 2019

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, successfully added her targeted fentanyl sanctions bill – the Fentanyl Sanctions Act – as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the Senate. The bipartisan sanctions legislation applies pressure on the Chinese government to strictly enforce their commitment to make all fentanyl illegal and provides the United States with more tools and resources to target illicit traffickers in China, Mexico and other nations. Shaheen’s legislation was originally introduced with Democratic Leader Schumer and Senators Cotton (R-AR), Brown (D-OH), Rubio (R-FL), Menendez (D-NJ) and Toomey (R-PA).

“More than 80 percent of the total drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire in 2018 were due to fentanyl or fentanyl combined with other drugs. This crisis should have Congress’ undivided attention,” said Shaheen. “As our law enforcement and other first responders tackle this crisis from the front lines, it’s critical that Congress back them up with the resources they need, and that the U.S. government take meaningful action to hold traffickers and their sponsors to account by imposing sanctions and increasing enforcement. Passing this legislation in the defense bill is a big step forward. This is a first-of-its kind legislation that has full-throated bipartisan support, and I’ll keep working to push this effort through Congress and deliver it to the President’s desk.”

Shaheen met with New Hampshire law enforcement officials earlier this week to discuss the Fentanyl Sanctions Act, as well as continued efforts to help stem the opioid crisis in New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen is a leader in the Senate on tackling the opioid epidemic. As a senior member on the Senate Appropriations Committee, she helped negotiate the bipartisan agreement in 2018 that outlined two years of opioid response spending – totaling $6 billion to address the opioid crisis. This included the set-aside funding for states with the highest mortality rates, like New Hampshire. This critical additional funding, which Shaheen helped broker, has been included by Congress over the last two fiscal years. As a result of the Congressional Delegation’s efforts, New Hampshire received a more than seven-fold increase in annual grant award funding provided through the State Opioid Response Grant program.