WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Mike Braun (R-IN), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in introducing the 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 its 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 drug interdiction guidance has not been updated in 20 years.
“As New Hampshire continues to grapple with devastating consequences of the substance misuse crisis, we must do all that we can to prevent fentanyl from ever reaching our communities in the first place,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that Customs and Border Protection takes additional steps to help stop fentanyl from entering our country, and I will continue working with my colleagues to combat the substance misuse epidemic.”
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. The most recent annual defense bill included Senator Hassan’s bipartisan bill with Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) to hold accountable countries such as China that are facilitating America’s fentanyl-fueled opioid crisis. The Senator recently joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing legislation to implement new penalties for counterfeit pill production. 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 DEA 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.