[Congressional Record Volume 167, Number 69 (Wednesday, April 21, 2021)]
[Pages H2025-H2029]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 2630) to amend the Temporary Reauthorization and Study of 
the Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act to extend until 
September 2021, a temporary order for fentanyl-related substances, as 
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 2630

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       This Act may be cited as the ``Extending Temporary 
     Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act''.


       Effective as if included in the enactment of the Temporary 
     Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of 
     Fentanyl Analogues Act (Public Law 116-114), section 2 of 
     such Act (Public Law 116-114) is amended by striking ``May 6, 
     2021'' and inserting ``October 22, 2021''.


       The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of 
     complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall 
     be determined by reference to the latest statement titled 
     ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation'' for this Act, 
     submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the 
     Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such 
     statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Pallone) and the gentlewoman from Washington (Mrs. Rodgers) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New Jersey.

                             General Leave

  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on H.R. 2630.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New Jersey?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Madam Speaker, I rise to seek support for the Extending Temporary 
Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act.
  As we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also facing a 
tragic, growing trend of overdose deaths across this country.
  We have lost nearly 1 million Americans since the beginning of the 
Nation's drug epidemic. These Americans are sons, daughters, mothers, 
fathers, neighbors, coworkers, and members of our communities. Now, 
data tells us that the COVID-19 pandemic, increased isolation, and 
related economic hardships over the past year may be hampering efforts 
to turn the tide.
  Last week, Madam Speaker, the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention released its most recent data finding that, from August 2019 
to August 2020, there were 88,000 overdose deaths reported. That is the 
highest ever recorded in a 12-month period.
  This most recent data represents a worsening crisis driven primarily 
by synthetic opioids, such as illicitly manufactured fentanyl. This 
drug is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than 
morphine. Although fentanyl itself is often used for medical purposes, 
use of illicitly manufactured fentanyl has increased in recent years, 
including co-use with cocaine and methamphetamines. As little as 2 
milligrams can cause a lethal overdose.
  Congress has recognized this unprecedented threat and acted in strong 
bipartisan fashion to combat it with resources to communities around 
the country. We passed major pieces of legislation like the 
Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, the 21st Century Cures Act, 
and the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act.
  At the end of last year, in the final omnibus bill, we included over 
$4 billion to increase mental health and substance use services and 
support. Recognizing the worsening trends early this year, we passed 
the American Rescue Plan last month that provided an additional $4 
billion in resources. This critical funding will be used to enhance 
mental health and substance use disorder services supported by the 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Health 
Resources and Services Administration, and the Indian Health Service.
  Madam Speaker, while this critical assistance is on the way, 
unfortunately, due to the disturbing rates of overdose and substance 
use, more work is clearly needed. The Biden administration is asking 
Congress to extend a temporary tool we provided last Congress so that 
agency experts can come together to examine the facts and come up with 
an effective, long-term solution. That tool is the authority to 
temporarily classify fentanyl-related substances as schedule I 
substances under the Controlled Substances Act.
  Ensuring fentanyl-related substances remain scheduled will maintain 
an important deterrent to traffickers, manufacturers, and those 
distributing this substance.
  During an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing last week, the White 
House Office of National Drug Control Policy's Acting Director Regina 
LaBelle testified on the importance of this extension. Acting Director 
LaBelle highlighted ongoing discussions with the Department of Health 
and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and the Drug Enforcement 
Administration. She testified that an extension of this temporary 
authority would allow executive branch agencies time to convene and 
present a long-term solution to this ever-changing drug environment 
that balances the risk of illicit fentanyl with the need to ensure 
appropriate enforcement.
  The Biden administration is taking this drug epidemic seriously and 
has delivered a thoughtful, thorough set of drug policy priorities. I 
ask my colleagues to join me in giving these agency experts time to 
produce a thoughtful, thorough solution to this scourge of overdose 
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this measure, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time 
as I may consume.
  I am disappointed that we are kicking the can down the road on a 
short-term extension of DEA's emergency scheduling order to keep 
dangerous fentanyl analogues in schedule I.
  While I will vote in favor of this bill today because allowing this 
lifesaving order to expire is unacceptable, this short-term extension 
from the Democratic majority fails to meet the gravity of the situation 
facing our communities, our border, and our country.
  They have had 2 years to come to the table and work with us on a 
permanent solution to combat fentanyl and fentanyl analogues and the 
dangers that they pose to Americans. If we don't act, these dangerous 
drugs being smuggled across our southern border would effectively 
become street legal.
  We need a permanent solution to save the lives of people in despair 
and to protect our communities, and we need Democrats in the House and 
the Senate to wake up and take it seriously. Nearly all States are 
seeing a spike in synthetic opioid deaths, with 10 Western States 
reporting a more than 98 percent increase. This pandemic has made it 
  In my home State of Washington, the fentanyl positivity rate has 
increased 236 percent, more than any other State in the country. My 
community lost two teenagers recently from a suspected fentanyl-related 
death. They had their whole lives in front of them.

  Just a few milligrams of fentanyl, what can fit on the ear of Abraham

[[Page H2026]]

Lincoln on our penny--that is a pretty small amount--is lethal.
  Fentanyl analogues are oftentimes more potent, and more than a 
thousand of them have been created over the years to mimic fentanyl's 
opioid effects and outsmart the law.
  With class-wide scheduling, any dangerous variant of fentanyl is 
controlled under schedule I. According to the DEA, right now, there are 
27 new fentanyl-related substances that have been encountered and 
immediately controlled under the class-wide scheduling order. All of 
those substances are many times more potent than heroin and pose 
serious health and safety risks. One recently encountered substance was 
approximately eight times more potent than fentanyl.
  In addition to the ongoing, unprecedented humanitarian crisis at the 
border, fentanyl and other dangerous opioids are also pouring across 
our border at an ever-increasing rate. The Border Patrol just reported 
a 233 percent increase in fentanyl seizures at the southern border just 
in the last year.
  If the class-wide scheduling of fentanyl-related substances is 
allowed to expire, drug traffickers will be further emboldened to 
smuggle this poison into our communities.
  The Trump administration also worked hard to make the Chinese 
Communist Party accountable for the fentanyl analogues that were being 
manufactured in China, forcing them to crack down on it. If we let this 
expire and do not make it permanent, we will be sending a clear message 
to the CCP that it is okay for them to ease up and let this illicit 
industry continue to grow.
  Moving forward, we must work with the DEA and other agencies to make 
this scheduling permanent, just like Mr. Latta's FIGHT Fentanyl Act, 
while making reforms to improve scientific research on these 
  I am glad that the majority is agreeing with us that we cannot let 
this expire. I am gravely disappointed that it is only a few months. 
This extension will buy us far less time than the 1-year extension 
Republican leader   Jim Jordan and I put forward and the 7-month 
extension that was requested by the Biden administration.
  If this 5-month extension is signed into law, I call on Democrats and 
Republicans to begin working immediately on a longer term solution. We 
stand ready to immediately begin the bipartisan work necessary to get a 
permanent fix signed into law. I am committed to working over the next 
5 months to solve this issue once and for all and not just settle on a 
short-term extension.
  Madam Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote on this temporary extension, and 
I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1515

  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to 
the gentleman from New Hampshire (Mr. Pappas), the sponsor of this 
  Mr. PAPPAS. Madam Speaker, I thank Chairman Pallone for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, I rise today and urge the swift passage of H.R. 2630. 
This legislation will save American lives by getting deadly chemical 
fentanyl analogues off our streets and allowing law enforcement to 
swiftly bring drug traffickers to justice.
  The CDC reports that there were more than 50,000 deaths involving 
synthetic opioids in the 12-month period ending in July 2020--50,000 
deaths in 12 months.
  The addiction crisis has worsened as a result of this pandemic, and 
this is not the time to let regulations lapse or to back away from our 
commitment to get people the help that they need.
  My State of New Hampshire, like so many, has been hit incredibly hard 
by fentanyl and its chemical analogues. Chemical versions of fentanyl 
are ever-changing, and we know that traffickers intentionally make 
small variations in substances, knowing that the scheduling process may 
take months in order to place these deadly drugs on schedule I where 
they belong. This means that traffickers are often one step ahead of 
law enforcement.
  Madam Speaker, this legislation helps prevent that by ensuring all 
fentanyl analogues are categorized as schedule I.
  The DEA first issued a temporary order in February of 2018, and 
Congress wisely passed legislation extending that order through May 6.
  Madam Speaker, my legislation, the Extending Temporary Emergency 
Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act, would extend that order and, 
again, ensure that constantly changing chemical versions of fentanyl, 
often smuggled in from Mexico and China, are labeled as schedule I.
  The bill would prevent our communities from being flooded with 
synthetic opioids and will ensure that those trafficking them will be 
held accountable without delay.
  People are in a fight for their lives right now. Our country 
continues to be ravished by addiction. To let down our guard at this 
moment would cause unmistakable harm to our families and our 
  I am hopeful that we will see swift bipartisan action in Congress to 
grant this extension.
  Madam Speaker, I urge passage of this bill.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie), the lead Republican on the 
Health Subcommittee.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Madam Speaker, I rise today very concerned about the 
deadly threat of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues.
  Last week, the Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on 
this exact issue.
  Here are the facts: More than 88,000 overdose deaths were reported by 
the CDC in a 12-month period ending in August of 2020. This is a record 
for the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a year.
  In 2018, synthetic opioids, which includes these dangerous fentanyl 
analogues, were involved in 744 deaths in just Kentucky. I learned from 
a substance use healthcare provider in my district that almost all 
their patients have some sort of fentanyl in their system. Many of the 
patients are not aware of it themselves. Just last month a 2-year-old 
in Kentucky died from exposure to fentanyl; therefore, I support a 
permanent solution of scheduling fentanyl analogues.
  Last week, some of my colleagues--and we had witnesses--tried to 
argue that a long-term solution for banning fentanyl is a social 
justice issue. In fact, one witness shared, ``it is being argued that 
fentanyl class scheduling is suddenly unnecessary because of the low 
number of prosecutions to date--eight. However, eight mandatory minimum 
sentences in 3 years, four of them being members of a cartel, proves 
that prosecutors are not going after low-level users.
  The witness also argued that this scheduling of fentanyl analogues--
the decrease of new fentanyl analogues coming to this country was 90 
  If someone is being unjustly prosecuted for fentanyl analogues, then 
that should be addressed.
  However, not scheduling fentanyl analogues, when we had a witness 
testify it drops 90 percent being imported, would be deadly for 
Americans since fentanyl and its analogues are responsible for 
thousands of deaths each year.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Tampa, Florida, (Mr. Bilirakis), a leader on the 
Committee on Energy and Commerce.
  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Madam Speaker, I thank the chairwoman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, the United States remains in the grip of an overdose 
pandemic, unfortunately. I rise today in support of the Extending 
Temporary Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act.
  Madam Speaker, 3 years ago, DEA temporarily scheduled fentanyl 
analogues as controlled substances to crack down on China and drug 
traffickers smuggling fentanyl across the southern border. Last year, 
Congress passed the temporary extension that continued to criminalize 
fentanyl analogues until May 6 of this year.
  Previously, drug traffickers could slightly change the molecules in 
the drug, so the formula was not technically considered fentanyl and 
was not prohibited, although it was still potent, leading to a lethal 
game of whack-a-mole.
  Madam Speaker, locally, we have seen that fentanyl has been a major 
problem, even with the scheduling in place. Pasco County, in my 

[[Page H2027]]

has already had 48 people die from overdoses since January of this 
year, and many communities throughout the country are experiencing the 
same overdose increases as the pandemic has only exacerbated the mental 
health and addiction crisis in our country.

  Madam Speaker, if this scheduling ban expires, we expect far more 
fentanyl to flood our streets and many more lives to be tragically 
lost. We cannot allow this to happen.
  I urge my colleagues to join us in extending this current ban and to 
work together in a bipartisan manner on a permanent solution--it must 
be a priority--a permanent solution to this scourge.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, I thank the chairman of the Committee 
on Energy and Commerce for the constant diligence that he has in the 
landscape of healthcare and energy, consumer issues. Certainly, as a 
member of the Committee on the Judiciary, we are looking forward to 
working with this committee on a very important matter.
  So I want to acknowledge the work of the Committee on Energy and 
Commerce and indicate that isn't it sad that we have not been able to 
find common ground to work on this issue. I am very concerned that what 
we are now doing, we probably would need more time for our committees 
to work together. I am concerned that we might be extending the Trump 
administration's temporary class-wide emergency scheduling of fentanyl, 
a substance that all of us vigorously opposed.
  Madam Speaker, I think the chairman is well-aware of my longstanding 
concern on criminalizing substance abuse instead of preventing and 
treating it. I know that our two committees have a common perspective 
and agreement on that, but I have seen failed policies in my own 
neighborhood that have disproportionately impacted communities of 
  For instance, in the 1980s, Congress adopted harsh mandatory minimum 
sentences for crack cocaine offenses and putting many in unjust and 
lengthy terms of imprisonment.
  Madam Speaker, I simply want to indicate an acknowledgment of 
fentanyl and its impact that it has had, and I want to acknowledge the 
importance of us working together. But I also want to put on the record 
my concern with the DEA's temporary order that would group all 
fentanyl-related substances under a class-wide ban.
  You see, what I know we can document is that the recipient, the 
taker, gets the short end of the criminal justice stick, and with that, 
I have concerns. But as we take more time to do this, I want to make 
sure the traffickers, the cartels, the gangs, are put in the eye of the 
storm where they belong.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from Texas.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, just to put on the record that the data shows that 
there are already significant racial disparities in some of the Federal 
cases and mandatory minimum sentences involving fentanyl analogues.
  I don't want to put words in the mouth of my chairman, Chairman 
Pallone, but I have heard him speak to these issues, and I am grateful 
for it. I am grateful for his sensitivity. So I wanted to come to the 
floor knowing the work that has been done, but also knowing your 
understanding. And I wanted to just make sure that these communities 
that cannot speak for themselves clearly are put on the record.
  I need not say that the trial that we just had with the George Floyd 
case and what was trying to be represented in that case, albeit was a 
very tiny or minute or nonexistent amount. So I want to make sure that 
we do this right and we get the time to do it.
  Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his leadership.

                                               Washington, DC,

                                                   April 19, 2021.
     President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.,
     The White House,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear President Biden: We write to express our serious 
     concerns with class-wide scheduling of fentanyl-related 
     substances, joining with our colleagues Senators Booker, 
     Hirono, Markey, Warren and Whitehouse, who wrote to you about 
     this issue on April 14. We too commend your commitment to end 
     mandatory minimums, to address racial disparities, and to 
     achieve criminal justice reform. We also agree with the 
     Administration's recognition of the pressing need to 
     ``eradicate racial, gender and economic inequities that 
     currently exist in the criminal justice system. We look 
     forward to working with your Domestic Policy Council and the 
     interagency working group that has been formed to develop 
     specific policy solutions for criminal justice reform. At the 
     same time, we also hope to collaborate with you and your 
     Administration to enact just and restorative policies that 
     will meaningfully transform our nation's response to 
     substance use disorders through the lens of public health and 
     racial equity.
       We agree with our Senate colleagues that fentanyl use is a 
     serious concern. Combatting substance use, including the 
     illicit use of fentanyl, is a top priority for all of us. 
     However, we ask that you reject the last Administration's 
     misguided approach to the opioid epidemic, especially 
     regarding class-wide scheduling of fentanyl analogues.
       As an initial matter, federal prosecutors may already 
     pursue charges concerning harmful fentanyl analogues, with or 
     without class-wide scheduling. In addition, classifying all 
     fentanyl analogues as Schedule I substances is unnecessary 
     for federal prosecutions of these cases. Independent from any 
     temporary scheduling order for certain substances, the 
     federal government has the authority to prosecute anyone who 
     possesses, imports, distributes, or manufactures any 
     unscheduled fentanyl analogue with a high potential for 
     abuse, no medical value, and the ability to cause overdose 
     deaths. In addition, the Department of Justice can continue 
     to prosecute any case involving the illicit manufacturing or 
     distribution of any fentanyl-related substances under a 
     separate statutory scheme established by the Federal Analogue 
     Act. The DEA can also continue to use its existing authority 
     to schedule specific fentanyl-related substances as 
     Controlled Substances under the well-established interagency 
       However, under the Trump Administration, the Drug 
     Enforcement Administration used its emergency scheduling 
     authority to place certain fentanyl analogues onto Schedule I 
     of the Controlled Substances Act. The Temporary Scheduling 
     Order (``the Order'') scheduled a general ``class'' of 
     ``fentanyl-related substances.'' In doing so, the Trump 
     Administration expanded the application of mandatory minimum 
     penalties to a broader range of federal cases, while also 
     creating additional barriers to medical research. The Order 
     also circumvented the standard procedures for the scheduling 
     of substances under the Controlled Substances Act, preventing 
     input from the Department of Health and Human Services and 
     other relevant interagency experts.
       The Trump Administration's Order also widened the net as 
     far as the application of mandatory minimum penalties. As you 
     know, people of color have been disproportionately subject to 
     mandatory minimum sentences, preventing judges from being 
     allowed to apply penalties that fit the facts and 
     circumstances of each case. Continuation of this Order will 
     further perpetuate current racial disparities that exist 
     throughout the criminal justice system. According to the most 
     recent statistics from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, there 
     are significant racial disparities in the prosecution of 
     fentanyl cases, with people of color comprising almost 75% of 
     those sentenced in 2019. This also holds true for federal 
     convictions in cases involving fentanyl analogues, for which 
     68% of those sentenced were people of color. To keep this 
     approach in place--even temporarily--will further exacerbate 
     existing racial disparities.
       In addition, mandatory minimum penalties continue to 
     disproportionately impact individuals with a minor role in 
     the offense. In 2019, more than half of all federal fentanyl-
     analogue prosecutions involved a street-level seller or other 
     minor role. During this challenging time, our most vulnerable 
     communities, especially communities of color, have been 
     disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving 
     forward, we must not exacerbate these health and justice 
     inequities. We need to reject approaches that expand criminal 
     penalties, rather than prioritize evidence-based approaches 
     to this public health crisis.
       Moreover, we need to work to reduce barriers to research in 
     order to expand opportunities to identify antidotes to 
     fentanyl-analogue overdoses and to improve treatment options. 
     By extending the Order, critical medical research will 
     continue to be limited during a time when the country is 
     facing even greater concerns regarding the opioid crisis and 
     the rising number of overdoses. For these reasons, we urge 
     you to discard this misguided approach.
       Drug addiction is a serious problem in communities across 
     the country, and we are profoundly concerned about fentanyl-
     related deaths. The current pandemic has furthered worsened 
     the tragic impact of overdoses as so many Americans continue 
     to struggle through this isolating and stressful crisis. We 
     must learn from the lessons of the past as we prioritize 
     evidence-based, public health approaches and pursue better 
     and more just means to address this problem, rather than

[[Page H2028]]

     the class-wide scheduling of fentanyl analogues.
       Jerrold Nadler, Henry C. ``Hank'' Johnson, Jr., Hakeem 
     Jeffries, Ted Lieu, Val B. Demings, Sheila Jackson Lee, 
     Theodore E. Deutch, David N. Cicilline, Pramila Jayapal, 
     Mondaire Jones, Deborah K. Ross, Tony Cardenas, Yvette D. 
     Clark, Cori Bush, and Bobby L. Rush, Members of Congress.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Carter), the only pharmacist on our 
committee, and a leader on this issue.
  Mr. CARTER of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for 
  Madam Speaker, I am here today to ask my colleagues across the aisle 
to set aside this weak bill and support permanently--permanently as in 
forever--scheduling fentanyl and its analogues.
  We just heard from the gentlewoman from Texas. We all agree: It is 
not good. Fentanyl is the problem.
  Here, we have an opportunity for us to work together to help stem the 
flow of deadly fentanyl and its analogues in our country. This is an 
issue that impacts every one of us--every one of us. Whether we are 
Republican, Democrat, Independent, it impacts every one of us in our 
  Just last week, in my home State of Georgia, the Georgia Attorney 
General announced that he is investigating fatal drug overdoses based 
on counterfeit medications laced with fentanyl and its analogues. These 
individuals bought illegal products they believed to be Xanax, 
Percocet, and oxycodone.
  Overdoses like this happen every day all over the country--all over 
the country. Yet, some of my colleagues want to go soft on fentanyl 
analogues and let these products become legal in just mere weeks, or 
temporarily schedule it for a few months until they can craft another 
weak plan.
  How can anyone seriously argue that a drug 50 times more potent than 
heroin and which almost always proves fatal when ingested, should ever 
be legal?
  These products are manufactured illegally, and they are largely 
brought into the U.S. through the southern border. Every year, U.S. 
agents intercept enough fentanyl and its analogues to kill every single 
American several times over. In fact, Customs and Border Patrol 
announced in 2019, they had enough seized fentanyl to kill 800 million 
people. And that is what they had seized; we don't know what else came 
  I visited the border last week to see the crisis firsthand. Border 
patrol agents are so overwhelmed with a 20-year record high number of 
illegal immigrants that smugglers and cartels are using this as an 
opportunity to traffic more fentanyl substances.
  If the President and Vice President would visit the border, they 
would be able to talk to the agents firsthand and see for themselves 
how serious the issue is.
  Instead, they have elected to leave our border wide open. We are 
inviting drug traffickers to bring fentanyl substances into the country 
and distribute it in our streets. This should not be a partisan issue. 
Fentanyl does not discriminate. It does not.
  The individuals manufacturing and distributing fentanyl and its 
analogues are criminals, and they are getting our neighbors killed. 
This is not an issue that is going away. It is only getting worse. The 
CDC reports that there were enough overdoses last year than any single 
year before.
  This is the time for us to crack down on fentanyl-related substances, 
and I hope that we will do that.

                              {time}  1530

  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlemen from Pennsylvania (Mr. Joyce), a great member and leader on 
the committee.
  Mr. JOYCE of Pennsylvania. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong 
support of H.R. 2630, to extend the temporary emergency scheduling of 
fentanyl analogues.
  In the rural Pennsylvania communities that I represent, the fentanyl 
crisis is anything but temporary. Every day, we experience the 
ramifications of the opioid epidemic, which has only been exacerbated 
by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  As the Franklin County coroner, Jeff Connor, told me just this week, 
``Fentanyl is easy to get and fast to kill.''
  This is true across our entire Commonwealth. In my home of Blair 
County, we suffered an 80 percent increase in overdose deaths in 2020. 
As I have heard directly from our county coroner, Patty Ross, there is 
no question that the widespread availability of illicit fentanyl is a 
substantial factor in our region's drug epidemic.
  Fentanyl already poses a deadly threat to our communities. If we 
don't act to extend the fentanyl import ban before it expires next 
month, we will invite massive vulnerabilities in our shared fight 
against the opioid crisis. In Pennsylvania and around the country, we 
need more accountability for those who bring illicit fentanyl into our 
  H.R. 2630 is lifesaving legislation that will give law enforcement 
and the justice system the tools that they need to keep this dangerous 
illicit drug off of our streets. This temporary fix needs to be the 
bridge to a permanent solution to protect the American people. We do 
not have time to waste. By passing this bipartisan legislation, we can 
protect families, equip those on the front line, and prevent tragedy.
  For the health and safety of our communities, I urge a ``yes'' vote.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Fitzgerald).
  Mr. FITZGERALD. Madam Speaker, I rise today to express my 
disappointment with H.R. 2630.
  What is happening down at our southern border is actually a crisis, 
and it is multiplying a crisis that has plagued this country for many 
years, and that is the opioid epidemic.
  Customs and Border Patrol agents have seized more than 4,900 pounds 
of fentanyl during the first 5 months of fiscal year 2021, already 
surpassing the total from last year.
  Mexican cartels are increasingly responsible for producing the supply 
of fentanyl into the U.S. market. China, we forget about China. China 
remains a key source of supply for the chemicals that the Mexican 
cartels are using to produce the fentanyl; all of this being smuggled 
into the U.S. through our western States.
  Madam Speaker, I introduced, along with Senator Johnson, the SOFA Act 
to permanently designate fentanyl as a schedule I drug, closing a 
loophole in current law that makes it difficult to prosecute crimes 
involving some synthetic opioids.
  The GAO report released last week on class-wide scheduling of 
fentanyl-related substances found fewer law enforcement encounters with 
fentanyl, and reduced incentives for cartels to circumvent the law 
through new and existing fentanyl substances.
  While I plan to support this bill--I think everybody will--a 5-month 
extension is not nearly long enough. I urge Democrats to come back to 
the table to find a solution that will permanently keep fentanyl as a 
schedule I drug.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Van Duyne).
  Ms. VAN DUYNE. Madam Speaker, this issue should already have been 
taken care of.
  Last week, my Republican colleagues and I offered an amendment to 
extend this ban until at least 2022, but it was blocked, only to see 
Democrats draft this much weaker bill. It is another game and example 
of why Americans are fed up with Congress.
  When House Democrats rejected the Republican-led amendment banning 
fentanyl last week, they knew that fentanyl causes a massive blight in 
our communities across the country. They knew that tens of thousands 
are left dead from overdoses every year, but refused to support it 
because of the names on the bill. And now they want to extend the ban 
of this highly addictive, highly dangerous, deadly drug by only 5 
  Last month, CBP agents seized 639 pounds of fentanyl, adding to the 
2,098 pounds seized this year alone. That represents a 233 percent 
increase of drugs being smuggled across the border

[[Page H2029]]

this year. It is a direct result of Biden's border crisis.
  Vice President Harris was appointed as the so-called immigration 
czar, but has spent more time in New Hampshire than at the border. And 
if she were to visit, she would see the toll that the influx of 
migrants is taking on our border. It is not just a humanitarian crisis, 
but it is leaving us vulnerable to increased drug smuggling that is 
ravaging our streets. She would hear directly from the DEA agents, just 
like my colleagues and I did, why it is so important to schedule 
fentanyl as a schedule I drug permanently, not just for 5 months.
  A 5-month extension is not long enough. Let's just stop playing 
politics. There is no excuse why we are not working toward a permanent 
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I have no further speakers, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mrs. RODGERS of Washington. Madam Speaker, I have no further 
speakers, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I would urge support for this bipartisan 
bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 2630, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  The title of the bill was amended so as to read: ``A bill to amend 
the Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of 
Fentanyl Analogues Act to extend until October 2021, a temporary order 
for fentanyl-related substances.''.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.