At Banking Hearing, Tester Calls on Congress to Pass His Bipartisan Bill to Crack Down on Fentanyl Trafficking
Senator: “We need to categorize fentanyl as the national emergency that it is. We need to hold China accountable for its role in this crisis. And we need to give law enforcement and border agents the tools that they need to be successful.”
As part of his persistent efforts to secure America’s borders and stop the deadly flow of fentanyl into Montana and the United States, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today pressed officials during a Senate Banking Committee Hearing about tightening our financial systems to hold bad actors like China accountable and crack down on illicit fentanyl trafficking.
“We need to categorize fentanyl as the national emergency that it is. We do need to hold China accountable for its role in this crisis. And we need to give law enforcement and border agents the tools that they need to be successful,” said Tester during the hearing.
Tester specifically called on Congress to pass his bipartisan FEND Off Fentanyl Act, legislation that would impose economic sanctions on those engaged in the international trafficking of illicit fentanyl and declare international trafficking of fentanyl as a national emergency: “It is long past time that [my FEND Off Fentanyl Act] gets passed. I think that Ranking Member [Tim] Scott said it right: the shenanigans in the House need to stop and we need to get some stuff done. I had a bill on China buying farmland, they stopped that. It was the wrong thing to do, but for probably political reasons they did it. Why they would stop this makes no sense to me.”
Tester thanked Patrick Yoes, the National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, for his support for both the FEND Off Fentanyl Act and Tester’s ANTI Drugs Act and asked Mr. Yoes how both bills would help law enforcement on the ground: “Mr. Yoes, I want to thank you for your support of not only the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, but the ANTI Drugs Act that I have. You talked in your testimony about the impact it has on your fellow police officers handling this poison… From an on the street standpoint, talk to me about how the FEND Off Fentanyl Act will make a difference?”
At the conclusion of his remarks, Tester thanked country music star Jason “Jelly Roll” DeFord for his “incredibly powerful” testimony in support of Tester’s bipartisan legislation to tackle the fentanyl crisis and invited the artist to visit Montana.
Tester has led the charge to stop the deadly flow of fentanyl that is wreaking havoc on Montana.
Tester’s bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act would impose economic sanctions on those engaged in the international trafficking of illicit fentanyl, precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl, or other related opioids, and declare international trafficking of fentanyl as a national emergency. Tester successfully included his FEND Off Fentanyl Act as an amendment to the Senate’s bipartisan NDAA – but it was ultimately stripped out by House Republicans.
Additionally, Tester has introduced his bipartisan ANTI Drugs Act to increase funding for law enforcement to combat drug trafficking. As the Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Tester passed critical provisions in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. He was also the only member of the Montana delegation to help pass the 2023 government funding bill to fund law enforcement and stop fentanyl trafficking along the southern border.
In November, Tester sent a letter urging President Biden to push Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to stop the flow of illicit precursor chemicals that are exported from China. Tester also led a letter calling on President Biden to prioritize additional funding, resources, and innovative strategies to strengthen the security of our southern border and stop the flow of fentanyl.