Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today spoke on the House floor calling on Congress to pass H.R. 6184, the Halt All Lethal Trafficking of (HALT) Fentanyl Act, before February 18, 2022. Griffith and Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) are the lead sponsors of this legislation.
Griffith’s remarks can be viewed by clicking the image below or here.
The following is a transcript of Griffith’s remarks:
I rise to oppose the previous question so we can immediately consider my bill, H.R. 6184, the Halt All Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl Act.
Every Member of this body knows someone who’s been affected by the drug overdose epidemic plaguing our country.
We recently learned from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that between May 2020 and April 2021, more than 100,000 overdose deaths occurred in the United States—an increase of nearly 30 percent over the previous year.
These record numbers are due in large part to the increasing presence of fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, which are approximately 100 times more potent than morphine, and 50 times more potent than heroin.
Because fentanyl has a proven medical use, it is considered a Schedule II narcotic.
But illicit derivations of fentanyl, also called fentanyl analogs or fentanyl-related substances, do not tend to demonstrate medical value. Right now, they are considered Schedule I substances, but only because of a temporary scheduling order, which expires on February 18th of this year.
My bill aims to curb overdose deaths by permanently scheduling fentanyl analogs as Schedule I substances. This will strengthen law enforcement’s ability to prosecute fentanyl traffickers and act as a deterrent.
The HALT Fentanyl Act also promotes research by removing barriers to that research. In Committee we heard there are as many as 4,800 analogs. Our experts at NIH, FDA, and other agencies have studied roughly 30 – 30 – of those 4,800 analogs, less than one percent of the potential fentanyl analogs.
By encouraging research of Schedule I substances like fentanyl analogs, we can better understand how these substances work and how we can prevent potentially harmful impacts in the future.
Time is running out. The cartels in China and Mexico know how to play games with these fentanyl analogs. Congress must act to pass the HALT Fentanyl Act before February 18th of this year.
It must be done.
I thank you, and I yield back.