US Senate News:
Source: United States Senator for Ohio Sherrod Brown
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation to help stop the flow of fentanyl into the country by providing much-needed resources to the southwest border. The Stop Fentanyl at the Border Act increases staffing and technology to detect illicit drugs and other contraband being smuggled through ports of entry or at illegal crossings along the border.
“This bill will help ensure that our border patrol agents and law enforcement have the tools they need to stop deadly drugs like fentanyl from coming into our country through our border with Mexico,” said Brown. “The fentanyl crisis has devastated too many families across Ohio – and we need to do everything we can to stop this deadly drug from entering our communities.”
The Stop Fentanyl at the Border Act would enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hire more Officers and Border Patrol Agents to increase capacity to stop illicit smuggling over the border. The bill also provides funding to purchase Non-Intrusive Inspection systems, which scan vehicles and cargo at the border to provide detailed images of their interiors, which leads to the detection of fentanyl and other illicit drugs. Additionally, the bill would create an inspection program to increase seizure of firearms, which Mexican cartels frequently purchase in the United States and smuggle into Mexico to support their fentanyl production operations and other violent criminal enterprises.
In addition to Brown, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Mark Warner (D-VA).
Brown has a long history of leadership in fighting to stop the flow of fentanyl into Ohio’s communities and pushing for more technology, personnel, and resources at the southern border. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Brown has worked with Ohio law enforcement to advance his bipartisan FEND Off Fentanyl Actwhich passed the Senate in the annual defense bill this summer. The legislation imposes new sanctions and anti-money laundering penalties targeting the illicit fentanyl supply chain, from the chemical suppliers in China to the cartels that transport the drugs in from Mexico.
Brown also is pushing to pass his bipartisan Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act would establish a new grant program through the U.S. Department of Justice to help state and local law enforcement organizations secure these high-tech, portable screening devices.
Brown helped pass the bipartisan Protecting First Responders from Secondary Exposure (PREVENT) Act which allows state and local governments to purchase containment devices to safely store dangerous drugs and preserve them for evidentiary use and provide first responders training to reduce their risk of secondary exposure to lethal substances. This legislation builds off Brown’s INTERDICT Act, which President Trump signed into law and which provides U.S. Customs and Border Protection with additional high-tech screening equipment and lab resources to detect fentanyl before it enters the U.S.