Lawmakers demand info on Trump administration’s efforts to curb flow of fentanyl into U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigation panel, is demanding answers from the Trump administration on its efforts to curb the illicit flow of fentanyl into the United States.
The request, signed by a half dozen members of Congress and sent to a half dozen agency heads, comes as the Energy and Commerce committee continues to investigate the increasing threat posed by the deadly synthetic opioid.
“As overdose deaths involving fentanyl continue to rise, we remain concerned about the impact of this epidemic on the public health,” DeGette and others wrote. “We are committed to identifying further solutions to stop the flow of deadly illicit fentanyl into our communities.”
According to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 47,000 drug overdose deaths involving opioids in 2017.
28,000 of those deaths, according to the agency, involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl – a 47 percent increase from the year before.
Congress approved legislation that was signed into law last year to give the Food and Drug Administration additional tools to intercept illicit drugs coming into the U.S. through international mail facilities, including shipments of fentanyl coming from China.
The letters DeGette and others sent today requesting an update on the administration’s efforts to stop the deadly drug from entering the U.S. were sent to the heads of the Dept. of Homeland Security, Department of State, Drug Enforcement Administration, Food and Drug Administration, Office of National Drug Control Policy and the U.S. Postal Service.
In addition to DeGette, the letters were signed by Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr (D-NJ), Greg Walden (R-OR), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY).
A copy of the letter to the Dept. of Homeland Security is available here.
A copy of the letter to the Dept. of State is available here.
A copy of the letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration is available here.
A copy of the letter to the Food and Drug Administration is available here.
A copy of the letter to the Office of National Drug Control Policy is available here.
A copy of the letter to the U.S. Postal Service is available here.