On Thursday, the House passed the "Halt Fentanyl Act" with a 289 to 133 vote.
The legislation will permanently list fentanyl under Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act which prevents fentanyl-related substances from becoming street-legal and gives law enforcement authority to seize fentanyl, also outlawing other variations of the drug.
Local Republican Congressman Ken Calvert, who voted in favor of the bill, tweeted a statement after it passed.
Today, I voted to pass the bipartisan HALT Fentanyl Act, which will ensure our law enforcement agencies have every tool in their tool bag to attack the problem.— Ken Calvert (@KenCalvert) May 25, 2023
We cannot allow the Chinese Communist Party and Mexican drug cartels to continue to kill Americans. https://t.co/d8cYa6Ab89
Local Democrat Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz voted against the bill, he released a statement to News Channel 3:
“The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that has claimed over 1 million American lives and impacted communities all across the nation. This legislation fails to meet the moment that this crisis requires and does not take meaningful action to prevent overdose deaths, mitigate the harms of illicit fentanyl, or make our communities safer. Instead, it would allow opioids to continue to devastate our communities by pursuing incarceration over prevention, treatment, and recovery. As a physician, I am also concerned that the legislation may prohibit doctors’ use of certain medications that are much-needed for surgical and severe burn care procedures in the hospital. I am focused on commonsense bipartisan public health reforms that will help save lives, advance scientific research, prevent the use of illicit fentanyl, and maintain access to essential treatments and medicines.”
The bill now moves to the Senate where we will watch to see if it gets the same bipartisan support. Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage on the Fentanyl Crisis.