(LibertySociety.com) – March 1st, 2023 was a busy day in which Congress inquired into how to curtail and combat the fentanyl crisis that is plaguing America. The House Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Surveillance, which is part of the House Judiciary Committee, held a hearing specifically about the fentanyl crisis, while the Senate Judiciary Committee held a DOJ oversight hearing, which involved questions to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding what the DOJ is doing about fentanyl. The crisis has prompted lawmakers to investigate and come up with solutions to stop the flow of fentanyl into the country. The CDC reported that drug overdoses killed over 107,000 Americans in 2021.
During a line of questioning from Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., AG Garland expressed the need for more cooperation from the Mexican government, stating that the fentanyl epidemic is horrible, but it’s something that’s been set loose “on purpose by the Sinaloa and the new generation Jalisco cartels.” Senator Graham said that deaths from car accidents and guns combined are smaller than deaths from fentanyl, asking the AG to help draft new legislation to crack down on traffickers of the drug. During the hearing, he also suggested designating the cartels as terrorist organizations.
Senator Graham also compared giving out candy laced with fentanyl to someone being charged with murder who gives a person ricin or arsenic, asking if the fentanyl distributor could be charged with murder as well. AG Garland stated that the charge for the fentanyl candy would be drug trafficking leading to death, to which Senator Graham responded by asking him to work with Senator Tom Cotton on his new legislation to dramatically increase penalties involving fentanyl.
The increase in the flow of fentanyl across the border coincides with the increase of undocumented migrants entering the US. Democrat lawmakers often tout the increase in seizures as a success for the Biden administration, claiming that most fentanyl comes through ports of entry. However, some Republicans have criticized these statements and argued that the higher number of seizures means that more fentanyl is entering the country.
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