WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today joined Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI) and more than 100 other Republicans in writing a letter to President Biden urging the Administration to take immediate action to stem the fentanyl scourge coming from China and across the southern border, and support making fentanyl-related substances Schedule 1 classification permanent.
Drug overdoses have claimed more Americans lives each year than ever before. Fentanyl and fentanyl related substances are fueling the overdose epidemic, killing 64,178 Americans between May 2020 and April 2021 and making up 64% of total U.S. overdose deaths. This highly lethal synthetic opioid is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.
In part, the members wrote, “As you are aware, China has been the principal source of the precursor agents from which fentanyl is produced. Fentanyl is then manufactured in foreign underground labs and smuggled across our southern border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported a 1,066% increase in fentanyl seized at eight Southern Texas ports during Fiscal Year 2021. Your administration’s failure to properly secure our southern border and hold China accountable for fentanyl production directly contribute to the crisis in our communities.”
To read the full text of the letter click here.
Fentanyl related substances have been on a temporary scheduling for Schedule I classification. The Schedule I classification will expire February 18, 2022 when government funding expires. The letter seeks to make the Schedule I classification of fentanyl and fentanyl related substances permanent, meaning no medical benefit for this drug.