Fentanyl is a threat to every community in America

April 19, 2023

Madame President,

Fentanyl: It’s cheap, it's highly addictive, and it's deadly. It's responsible for more overdose deaths in America than any other drug.110,000 Americans last year alone.

I recently joined a U.S. delegation to Mexico focused on stopping illicit drug trafficking, curbing illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, and addressing China's role in providing precursors for fentanyl production and laundering money for the cartels.

I can say that the drug crisis spilling into our country is apparent to anyone willing to travel to the border and witness it for themselves.

Yet, the Biden administration has utterly failed to stop the massive influx of fentanyl flowing across our southern border. In fact, fentanyl is one of the only commodities to decrease in price since Biden took office. Despite historic inflation, street prices for this deadly drug have fallen, indicating supply is meeting demand without significant impediment.

For example, in Arizona, users were paying $20 per pill in early 2021, but by early 2022, the price had plummeted to $5. In Ohio, the cost of fentanyl went from $75,000 per kilogram in 2017 to $50,000 in 2019 and then to $36,000 in 2021.

To put that in perspective, a single kilo of fentanyl contains half a million lethal doses. One kilo would wipe out the entire city of Atlanta. Two kilos would kill the entire state of Delaware.

The DEA recently announced the seizure of more than 50 million fentanyl-laced pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder in 2022 alone. These seizures represented a staggering 379 million lethal doses, enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the United States.

Madame President,

Fentanyl is a killer. It is more powerful than morphine and has a potency measured in micrograms. Even a tiny amount can be lethal, just two milligrams.

It's unconscionable for this administration to turn a blind eye to the problem of fentanyl trafficking across the border. In the face of such a lethal threat, we need bold and decisive action, not empty rhetoric.

Because the drug cartels don't care about party politics. They only care about making money. And that money is coming from the pockets of our fellow Americans suffering from addiction.

This isn't just a problem for border states like Texas and Arizona. It's a threat to every community in America. It's sold on street corners in small towns and big cities. It is killing our friends, our neighbors, and our loved ones.

We must secure our borders to disrupt the drug cartels. We cannot tacitly allow fentanyl and other deadly drugs to continue to flow into our communities and destroy the lives of our citizens.

Every pill of fentanyl is a potential killer, every shipment of fentanyl is a ticking time bomb, and every life lost to fentanyl is a tragedy. We owe it to ourselves, our families, and our communities to tackle this problem and to do everything in our power to stamp out the scourge of this drug in American communities.

As prepared for delivery.