WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate passed Senator Maggie Hassan and colleagues’ bipartisan Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of Life (END FENTANYL) Act. This legislation would require the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to update agency policies at least once every three years to ensure drug interdiction guidance is up to date. This legislation builds off the 2019 nonpartisan Government Accountability Office report, “Land Ports of Entry: CBP Should Update Policies and Enhance Analysis of Inspections,” that found that drug interdiction guidance has not been updated in 20 years.
“Illegal fentanyl is continuing to make its way to New Hampshire with heartbreaking impacts for Granite Staters,” said Senator Hassan. “We need to be doing all that we can to address this crisis, and this bipartisan legislation would ensure that Customs and Border Protection takes additional steps to prevent fentanyl from entering our country and reaching our communities. Senate passage of this bill is an important step forward, and I urge the House of Representatives to pass it as soon as possible.”
The bipartisan END FENTANYL Act would require the Commissioner of CBP to review and update the Office of Field Operations’ policies and handbooks as necessary and at least once every three years in order to respond to illegal activity, such as the trafficking of drugs and humans, along the border. It would also require the Commissioner of CBP to submit a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives that summarizes the policy and manual changes every three years.
This legislation builds on Senator Hassan’s bipartisan work to strengthen border security and combat substance misuse. Since 2017, Senator Hassan has successfully worked to secure a nine-fold increase in funding to New Hampshire to address the substance use disorder epidemic. Senator Hassan has led the bipartisan push in Congress to make it easier for those seeking recovery to access buprenorphine, which she also pressed the Health and Human Services Secretary about in a hearing this year. In March, the Senator chaired a field hearing in Manchester to discuss ways to crack down on international drug trafficking and provide more resources to law enforcement to help stop the flow of illegal drugs into communities. Last October, Senator Hassan pressed the Drug Enforcement Agency to further combat the rise of dangerous drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamine disguised as prescription drugs. Senator Hassan also worked with her colleagues to pass into law the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which has provided critical tools to Customs and Border Protection to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids.