House to consider bipartisan bill to crack down on Chinese opioid manufacturers

The House will consider several pieces of legislation as early as Tuesday under a suspension of the rules, including a bipartisan bill that could crack down on Chinese manufacturers of synthetic opioids. Republican Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky authored the bill – the “Stop Chinese Fentanyl Act of 2023” – which would impose sanctions on Chinese opioid producers and “opioid precursors,” as the fentanyl crisis continues to climb. Precursor chemicals are used for legal opioid medications but can be diverted for illicit fentanyl and heroin production. PERMISSION SLIP TO CARTELS’: FENTANYL OVERDOSES ARE SURGING, SO WHAT IS CONGRESS DOING TO HELP? “The Chinese Communist Party plays a prominent role in every step of the fentanyl crisis from producing precursor chemicals to transferring expertise to laundering cartel profits who illegally traffic it into the United States,” Barr told Fox News Digital Tuesday. Barr said he expects broad support for the bill on the House floor. “The Biden administration has abandoned control of the southern border and I am proud to lead this effort to defend our national security,” he said. According to the bill, first introduced in May, it updates the definition of a “foreign opioid trafficker” in the Fentanyl Sanctions Act to include specific Chinese entities and government officials who don’t take steps to prevent so-called “opioid trafficking.” MEXICAN CARTELS’ DRUG DEALINGS ‘TOP PRIORITY’ AS FENTANYL POURS ACROSS SOUTHERN BORDER, DEA SAYS The U.S. has previously called on both Mexico and China to link arms against the crisis. Fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, is often made by Mexican cartels in labs with precursors shipped from China. A small amount of fentanyl can lead to a deadly overdose, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has warned, with thousands of fentanyl-related deaths reported each year. Barr’s bill aims to “hold Chinese officials accountable for the spread of illicit fentanyl,” in line with other congressional members who have been calling for a similar crackdown on China’s role in black market opioid production. Last week, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., floated the idea of including an amendment to the much-anticipated military defense bill that would sanction China over its illicit fentanyl production. THE ‘NEW OPIUM WAR’: AMERICA’S DEADLY FENTANYL INVASION COULD BE CHINA’S REVENGE FOR ‘CENTURY OF HUMILIATION’ Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also made remarks last week that the Chinese Communist government “bears responsibility” for cleaning up fentanyl in the U.S. And the Department of Justice brought conspiracy charges against three Chinese chemical manufacturing companies suspected of manufacturing and distributing fentanyl in the U.S. in June. Democratic Reps. Chris Pappas, Pat Ryan and Morgan McGarvey are co-sponsoring the bill, alongside Republican Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Gregory Murphy, Mike Lawler, Beth Van Duyne, Anthony D’Esposito and Zach Nunn.
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