January 29, 2020

Graham, Feinstein Bipartisan Bill to Keep Dangerous Drugs Off the Streets Passes Congress

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-California) today applauded the House of Representatives for passing their legislation, the Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act (S. 3201), to keep dangerous drugs off the streets. It now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

The measure is also cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey).

“I am pleased the House of Representatives passed this legislation and look forward to President Trump signing it into law. It’s very important that we continue to keep fentanyl analogues listed as one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. I am very pleased to have reached an agreement with Senators Feinstein, Durbin and Johnson on this legislation that will prevent fentanyl analogues from being removed from the Schedule I dangerous drug list for 15 months. I hope in the coming days we can reach an agreement that will allow fentanyl analogues to be listed as a Schedule I drug permanently,” said Graham. “I also appreciate China’s recent efforts to deal with the fentanyl supply coming from China, as fentanyl has been proven to be one of the dangerous drugs known to man. There were over 30,000 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2018 alone. Fentanyl is 100 times more lethal than morphine, and 50 times more lethal than heroin.”

“We cannot sit idly by while 32,000 people a year die from fentanyl-related substances. In California, statewide deaths due to fentanyl spiked by more than 600 percent over four years. This is a public health crisis and fentanyl is the leading culprit. While this extension isn’t permanent, I’m hopeful that DEA’s temporary order will allow us to find a bipartisan fix to this epidemic of overdoses. Fentanyl must be treated as the deadly hazard it is and I thank my House colleagues for passing our bill,” said Feinstein.

Background:

  • The bill unanimously passed the Senate earlier this month.
  • The current temporary scheduling order is set to expire February 6, 2020.
  • Working with Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), lead sponsor of the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act, Graham, Feinstein and Durbin reached an agreement to temporarily extend the emergency scheduling order for fentanyl analogues for 15 months.
  • In June, officials testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the simplest solution to this crisis would be to codify the emergency scheduling order.