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Voting To Protect Americans From Deadly Fentanyl

House Republicans are voting on H.R. 467, the HALT Fentanyl Act, to protect our nation from the illicit fentanyl pouring through our open borders. The HALT Fentanyl Act, would supply law enforcement with the tools needed to keep these dangerous drugs off our streets, make the class-wide scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances permanent, and support research efforts to understand the impact of fentanyl-related substances. 

Under current law, starting December January 1, 2025, fentanyl related substances will no longer be Schedule I and effectively legal unless the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) schedules each specific chemical formula one by one. H.R. 467 would permanently place the class in Schedule I to remove incentive for the creation of new fentanyl related substances.

LIVES ARE ON THE LINE (Courtesy of House Energy and Commerce Committee):  
  • In 2022, more than 109,000 people died of drug overdoses; roughly 75,000 of whom died from synthetic opioids—largely illicit fentanyl or fentanyl-related substances.  
  • Illicit fentanyl poisonings are now the number one cause of death among adults 18-49—more than COVID-19, cancer, heart disease, and car accidents.  
  • Fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances can be 50-100 times more potent than morphine—or worse. Just a few milligrams, which can fit in the ear of Lincoln on a penny, can be lethal.   
  • Fentanyl is easier to produce than cocaine or heroin – it only takes a few hours to make – and fentanyl can be sold for 100 times or more than what it costs to make. Since small doses of fentanyl are extremely potent, it’s easier to illegally smuggle small batches across the border.  
  • The Energy and Commerce Committee heard from expert testimony that in the five years fentanyl-related substances have been subject to the temporary scheduling order, the creation and distribution of new fentanyl-related substances has effectively “ground to a halt.”  

  • CBP’s Fentanyl seizures have increased more than 400% since FY19. 
  • CBP has seized over 17,000 pounds of fentanyl so far in FY23 – already more than the total amount of fentanyl seized in FY22. 
    • In April 2023, fentanyl seizures increased 14% compared to the month prior.