Tuesday, September 27, 2022

House GOP Shines Light on Fentanyl Crisis, Blames Open Border for Mounting Overdose Deaths; Republicans Push Harsher Penalties for Fentanyl Dealing — Including Death, and related stories

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File
House GOP shines light on fentanyl crisis, blames open border for mounting overdose deaths:
House Republicans are shining a spotlight on the fentanyl crisis, which they said has been exacerbated by President Biden’s loose border policies.
At a Capitol conference, the conservative Republican Study Committee turned over the stage to parents whose children died of fentanyl overdoses and had come to Washington to share their stories and help lawmakers craft legislation to combat the epidemic.
“I don’t want to hear that anybody else I know and love has died over this. I don’t want any more moms to go to bed at night crying because they’ve lost their kid,” said Lori Ashenfelder, a North Carolina mother whose son died of fentanyl poisoning last year.
More than a dozen parents whose children died in connection with the opioid epidemic attended the event.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 times stronger than heroin. Illicit manufacturing makes it widely accessible and affordable. Drug dealers often mix it with other substances leading to surprise overdoses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded more than 56,000 deaths in 2020 involving synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. The trend is on the rise.
Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, introduced legislation that would enhance penalties for distribution of a Schedule I or II controlled substance in candy packaging that could be targeted toward children.
The Drug Enforcement Administration last month warned of the spread of “rainbow fentanyl” or colorful pills that resemble candy. Law enforcement has seized such pills in at least 18 states. --->READ MORE HERE
Republicans push harsher penalties for fentanyl dealing — including death:
Members of the GOP are pushing for new legislation to enforce tougher penalties to crack down on the fentanyl crisis, such as life sentences for anyone convicted of trafficking fentanyl or the death penalty for those convicted of selling or distributing the drug.
The GOP is hoping to take a hard line on the issue by claiming that Democrats have allowed the crisis to worsen under their watch, citing President Joe Biden's "open border policies," according to a memo sent out to the largest conservative coalition in the House.
"House Republicans need to fight the drug epidemic at its source — the U.S. Mexico border — and increase penalties for the criminals flooding our communities with deadly drugs," the memo from Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) to members said.
To respond to the fentanyl crisis, the Republican Study Committee proposed several bills.
Death Penalty for Dealing Fentanyl Act of 2022
The Death Penalty for Dealing Fentanyl Act of 2022, introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) in July, would punish those convicted of selling or distributing fentanyl with the death penalty or life in prison.
"Instead of reducing prison sentences for drug offenders, it is long past time that those responsible for manufacturing or knowingly distributing fentanyl pay a heavy price," Gosar said . "We must get tough on those criminals that are contributing to this drug crisis." --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories:

Matt Gaetz Has Had Enough of Deadly Fentanyl Crisis, Officially Calls for Bombing Mexico

CBP arrests 7 gang members, intercepts 825 lbs. of fentanyl, meth at border

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