Bipartisan Blitz on Fentanyl Traffickers: FREED Act Strikes Back!

Republican Representative John James of Michigan and Democrat Representative Brittany Pettersen of Colorado have jointly proposed legislation to tighten current sanctions against fentanyl traffickers in an effort to address the disturbing rise in fentanyl-related deaths. The goal of this legislation, which goes by the name FREED Act (Fentanyl Reduction Engrained by Economic Deterrence Act), is to extend the reach of sanctions to cover not just fentanyl traffickers but also their collaborators and facilitators.

This bipartisan effort is based on the recognition that American families have suffered greatly as a result of fentanyl consumption, with problems at the southern border bearing a large share of the blame. To strengthen the fight against this deadly substance, the FREED Act aims to expand and leverage the resources presently being used against Russia and Iran to target fentanyl traffickers operating in Mexico and throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The joint endeavor between James and Pettersen emphasizes how critical it is to confront the alarming increase in overdose deaths caused by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. The proposed law gives the Department of the Treasury the authority to investigate potential financial institution involvement in money laundering related to the illegal trafficking of fentanyl and other lethal substances into the United States.

If passed, the secretary of treasury would have to report to Congress on results within a year of the law's passage and suggest rulemaking to carry out the recommendations of the report. This strategy seeks to strengthen the country's ability to address the pervasive issue of fentanyl abuse and lessen its catastrophic effects on local communities.

In response to the spike in synthetic opioid use in the United States that led to a record-breaking 100,000 overdose deaths in 2021—of which 67,325 were avoidable—the Fentanyl Reduction Engrained by Economic Deterrence Act was passed in 2021. This emphasizes how urgently comprehensive action is needed to solve the situation and stop more deaths.

Bipartisan support for James and Pettersen's efforts is still evident, despite the Foundation For Defense of Democracies Action's endorsement of the legislation and praise for its prompt provision of additional tools to enforce the recent agreement between the Biden administration and the Chinese government to stop the flow of precursors to fentanyl.

In the midst of these efforts, the federal government has intensified cooperation with Mexico and imposed penalties on organizations in China and Canada in an effort to reduce the flow of fentanyl and precursor chemicals into the country. In an effort to highlight the administration's commitment to addressing the fentanyl issue, President Joe Biden has announced targeted penalties against people and organizations in China and Canada that are involved in the production and distribution of fentanyl and related compounds.

Due to the urgency of the situation, talks have begun between the United States, China, and Mexico to increase enforcement and share resources, demonstrating a concerted international effort to solve the complex issues raised by the fentanyl problem.

The partnership that James and Pettersen created is an example of bipartisan cooperation in a political environment that is frequently split along partisan lines. Both legislators are determined to address the opioid crisis head-on because they acknowledge its significant effects on their people.

In conclusion, the bipartisan effort to fortify penalties against fentanyl traffickers and their allies is exemplified by the introduction of the FREED Act. This legislative endeavor is a critical step in addressing the fentanyl crisis and protecting American families' welfare as the country continues to struggle with the problems brought on by synthetic opioids.


Written by Staff Reports

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