Press Releases

Rose Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Fentanyl Trafficking

Legislation establishes a new task force to stop the inflow of fentanyl and other opioids across the border

Washington, July 11, 2019

Congressman Max Rose introduced bipartisan legislation today with Representatives Jim Langevin of Rhode Island, Peter King of New York, and Mike McCaul of Texas, to establish a Joint Task Force at the Department of Homeland Security to stop the inflow of foreign fentanyl and other opioids into the United States.

“The opioid epidemic has been devastating families and communities across the country and especially in my district,” Rose said. “We’ve seen real progress towards beating back this epidemic on the local level thanks in large part to a comprehensive, all-hands-on-deck approach. However, in order to truly end the flow of fentanyl into our communities we need to take the same approach nationally, and the creation of a Joint Task Force to zero in on this threat is a critical step towards that goal.”

The Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act expands Joint Task Force authority at DHS to allow for the creation of a new task force for the purpose of interdicting and preventing narcotics, such as fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, from crossing the border into the United States. The bill encourages DHS to utilize private partnerships when carrying out this mission.

“Rhode Island continues to be among the states hardest hit by the opioid overdose epidemic,” Langevin said. “We need to take a multi-pronged approach to solve this ongoing public health crisis, and it must include increased efforts to keep fentanyl and other opioids out of the country and off of our streets. That’s why I'm proud to join Representative King to introduce this bipartisan bill that will help the Department of Homeland Security better prevent the trafficking of these addictive and deadly drugs. We must do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our communities.”

“It is imperative that we do all that we can to stop this epidemic,” King said. “I am proud to work with Rep. Langevin on this important legislation and will continue to do all that I can to make sure the Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act becomes law.”

“For far too long, the flow of illicit drugs across our borders has been fueling an epidemic of addiction in our local communities. It’s going to take a robust, coordinated effort to end this public health crisis. The Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act will do just that by empowering the Department of Homeland Security to launch a joint task force specifically aimed at stopping illicit narcotics, such as fentanyl and other deadly synthetic opioids, from entering the United States,” McCaul said. “I thank Congressmen Langevin and King for their dedication to this issue and for their steadfast work on the critical national security piece of this scourge.  I look forward to our continued work together as we fight to strengthen the safety of our homeland.”

Rose, a member of the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction, has made combating the opioid epidemic and raising awareness around the disease of addiction a top priority. In light of the dramatic rise in devastating fentanyl overdose deaths, Rose introduced the bipartisan Fentanyl Sanctions Act which would apply pressure on the Chinese government to honor their commitment to make all fentanyl illegal and provide the United States with more tools and resources to go after illicit traffickers in China, Mexico, and other countries.

Additionally, following a bipartisan push by Rose to increase funding for opioid prevention and treatment efforts, the House of Representatives passed legislation that increases funding to the agency responsible for supporting these efforts by $129 million.