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Politics

Rubio, Buchanan Look to Crack Down on International Fentanyl Trade

April 11, 2019 - 7:00am

Two Florida Republicans are leading the charge on Capitol Hill to crack down on fentanyl being brought in to the U.S. from China, Mexico and other nations. 

Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined other senators--including Arkansas Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and New York Democrat U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer--to bring out the “Fentanyl Sanctions Act” which, they insist, will “provide the U.S. government with tools and resources to punish illicit fentanyl traffickers in China, Mexico, and other countries, and to hold accountable the Chinese government and other nations who fail to stop these trafficking networks.”

“The flow of illicit fentanyl largely from China into the U.S. poses serious threats to our families, public health, economic vitality, and national security,” Rubio said. “With Florida suffering thousands of opioid-related deaths per year, we must do all we can to stop the opioid crisis sweeping across America and devastating our communities. This bipartisan effort to impose targeted sanctions on foreign illicit fentanyl manufacturers and traffickers makes clear that the U.S. will hold the Communist Chinese Government and other nations fully accountable when they turn a blind eye to international fentanyl trafficking.”

“Combating the flow of illicit fentanyl into our country is imperative in the fight to save American lives from the opioid crisis.  We must hold China accountable for their role in the fentanyl trade. China’s new law to make all fentanyl categories illegal is an important step and the administration deserves praise for their efforts to secure this change. However, we have to demonstrate that we will demand China enforce these laws and take strong action against opioid traffickers,” Schumer said. “Our legislation would apply pressure on China to actually follow through and would equip the administration with tools to systematically go after the major manufacturers and traffickers of fentanyl before the killer drug gets to the U.S.”

Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio
The bill would hit Chinese drug manufacturers in China “who knowingly provide synthetic opioids to traffickers, transnational criminal organizations like those in Mexico who mix fentanyl with other drugs and traffic them into the U.S. and financial institutions that assist such entities" with sanctions. The proposal would also fund various federal agencies to crack down on  international opioid trafficking and create the Commission on Synthetic Opioid Trafficking to “monitor U.S. efforts and report on how to more effectively combat the flow of synthetic opioids from China, Mexico and elsewhere.”

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla,, paired up with U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., on Wednesday to bring out the House version of the bill. 

Vern Buchanan
Vern Buchanan
“Fentanyl and other opioids have ravaged Florida communities and torn apart many families and lives,” Buchanan said. “While I welcome China’s announcement that it will ban all forms of fentanyl, we must ensure that their words are followed through with meaningful action. I urge my colleagues to immediately approve this bipartisan bill to deliver another resource that could help combat the flow of opioids across our borders.”

"Fentanyl has become the leading illegal drug in the opioid crisis in our country, and it’s time we attack the source. While China’s ban on producing fentanyl is a promising start, Congress should hold China to its word. This bill will target the fentanyl producers worldwide who profit from the overdose deaths happening in communities across our country, including Massachusetts where fentanyl is the leading cause of opioid-overdose deaths. Congress must act quickly,” Moulton said. 

Comments

While stopping the influx of illegal drugs will help with the “overdose crisis”, you have been overlooking a VERY important byproduct of the crackdown. Chronic Pain Patients (CPP’s) who need legally prescribed Opioids in order to function are being forcibly reduced to the 90mme’s “recommended” by the CDC despite their saying it was never meant to be taken as law or for long term patients. Many people have been denied their pain meds, reduced to ridiculously low amounts and as a result the suicide rate has risen dramatically due to people being unable to get through another day of being in horrific pain, unable to do basic things for themselves and being treated like criminals. Dr’s are being threatened by the FDA/CDC, some close up practice with no notice rather than deal with it all leaving people with no pain mgmt and forced into withdrawal. Others give you 30 days and say bye yet it is just short of impossible to find a pain dr which puts you into horrible pain and withdrawal. There are a lot of articles out there refuting the info originally released and as a result CA has created a patient’s bill of rights and RI is working on one. NV passed a law protecting dr’s and patients. What I find reprehensible is that Veterans who gave so much, including sustaining horrific injuries so this country can be free, now have that country turning their backs on them by denying them ANY pain meds AT ALL! Why should anyone volunteer to protect a country that doesn’t have THEIR six? I sure wouldn’t. I have written you several times requesting a meeting in order to discuss this problem and provide you with the evidence backing it up with the hope that you would be willing to help your constituents but have only received ONE form letter about you’re fighting the crisis which showed me that my correspondence was not read or taken seriously. I pray that you will look into this, realize the seriousness of this problem and do something about it. As I said earlier I would LOVE to speak with you, provide the evidence to prove my statements and more and hopefully come up with a plan to protect CPP’s and their Dr’s. Thank you.

I understand what your trying to do to stop the use of Fentanyl into the country and people are dying from the usage. But there is another problem in the US with Hospitals using it in ICU freely and overdosing patients with it for donor recipients. My nephew died of an over dose of Fentanyl in ICU after the doctors assumed he was working in a half way house when in fact he was working in a group home with disabled residents. He was not a drug abuser but the autopsy stated he had fentanyl in his system but none in his blood testing when he arrived in the Emergency Room. Where did it come from? The ICU issued it and I was there when the doctor stated to stop the drip in the IV but it was never stopped. The next day I witnessed them replacing the medicine in the machine and asked what is in the bottle? Fentanyl was the answer. I stated the doctor told nurse yesterday to stop it. She never wrote the request so it was never stopped. It was 4 times the strength it was suppose to be. So it is not only in the streets but they are using it in the hospitals to keep patients that have one their licenses donor listed sedated with it. Until their brain shows no activity to get family to let them go and donate the organs that day. Four days later he was gone and I believe he was not brain dead as they showed. They need to check transplant and donor hospitals that claim they do 10K a year to see if the drug of their choice to make family believe they are gone and donation needs to take place. Florida is know and always known as the KILL STATE...…. this law is only in Florida and not anywhere in any other state. We need to stop this law and change it immediately. We are not against Donations of Organs but make sure they are deceased. You know that they have to be alive to transplant an organ and they patient is heavily sedated not dead to take the organs. Then they die.

There's definitely something to say for 'Isolationism' as a foreign and economic policy.

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