Halt All Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl Act

Floor Speech

Date: May 24, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. MILLER-MEEKS. Madam Chair, I thank my colleague for yielding time.

Madam Chair, I rise today in support of HALT Fentanyl Act introduced by my friends and colleagues, Morgan Griffith and Bob Latta.

The fentanyl crisis is ravaging our Nation, and there is no question this dangerous drug and its analogues should be scheduled. Fentanyl accounts for roughly 150 overdose deaths per day, and the number of deaths caused by fentanyl and other synthetic opioids is growing exponentially each year.

The HALT Fentanyl Act would permanently schedule fentanyl-related substances and provide law enforcement with the tools needed to keep these lethal drugs off our streets.

Should the temporary classwide scheduling expire, drug traffickers would be empowered to ramp up their operations without fear or repercussions. At our border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection would lose the authority to seize these substances, and the amount of drugs coming into our country would skyrocket.

It is hard to imagine the border crisis becoming worse than it already is, but should this scheduling expire, I am afraid the crisis would escalate even further.

As a physician and the former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health under whose purview substance use disorder and drug addiction failed, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle neglect to acknowledge a vast majority of people affected by this are not drug addicts. One pill can kill.

Furthermore, news flash: This bill doesn't hamper any legal medical use of fentanyl. Fentanyl is not only more deadly than cocaine or morphine or heroin, it is significantly easier to produce and can be sold for 100 times more than it costs to make. Bad actors will always take advantage of bad situations, and this is no exception.

Madam Chair, I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this bill to protect our most vulnerable populations and keep fentanyl and its analogues off the street.