ICYMI: Tester’s FEND Off Fentanyl Act Clears Senate, Bipartisan Bill Would Crack Down on Trafficking and Declare Fentanyl Crisis a National Emergency

Senator’s bipartisan bill would impose economic sanctions on China and criminal organizations that supply the precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl

As part of his continued efforts to secure America’s borders and combat the deadly flow of fentanyl into Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester last week successfully included his bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act as part of a critical national security package that passed the U.S. Senate. 

“We have a fentanyl crisis that is impacting communities all across our state, and Montana law enforcement have told me they need additional resources to get these deadly drugs off our streets,” said Tester. “My bipartisan bill will put more tools in the toolbox for our men and women in law enforcement by declaring the fentanyl crisis a national emergency, and it will hit China and the criminal organizations that traffic this filth in their wallets. It’s time for the House to take up this commonsense, bipartisan bill and get it to the President’s desk for his signature.”

Tester has led the charge to stop the deadly flow of fentanyl that is wreaking havoc on Montana. His bipartisan 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. 

This is the second time Tester’s bill to combat the fentanyl crisis has cleared the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, only to be held up for political reasons by the House. In July he 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. Tester recently sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Mike Johnson pressing both leaders to quit playing political games and pass bipartisan border security legislation, which would include additional resources to secure the border and stop the flow of fentanyl. 

Tester has also 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.