Baldwin-backed fentanyl crackdown bill signed into law - TAI News
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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) speaking at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol, June 2023. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

The U.S. Senate passed a national security spending bill on April 23 by a vote of 79-18, days after it was approved by the House of Representatives. Included in the new law is a bipartisan plan to crack down on supply chains of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids that was co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Baldwin has long championed the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, a bill designed to keep fentanyl and other illicit drugs out of the country. It contains provisions to require the federal government to impose economic sanctions against criminal organizations and drug cartels involved in trafficking, designate international fentanyl trafficking as a national emergency, and authorize a Treasury Department crackdown on fentanyl-related money launderers.

The Senate had previously passed the fentanyl provisions in its July 2023 defense authorization, but they were stripped out in negotiations with the House. Nine months later, Congress included them in H.R. 815, which also contained defense funding for Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine and humanitarian relief for people in Gaza. 

In a press release issued after the vote, Baldwin celebrated the law’s passage: “I also remain committed to protecting Americans from the threats we face at home. With fentanyl devastating community after community, I am proud to include our bipartisan FEND Off Fentanyl Act that will crack down on the cartels and traffickers bringing fentanyl into our communities.

“This critical legislation will make our nation and world more secure,” President Joe Biden said in a statement, before signing the package into law April 24.

Wisconsin’s other senator, Republican Ron Johnson, was not a co-sponsor of the FEND Off Fentanyl Act and was one of 18 senators to vote against the spending package that included it.

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