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NEWS ALERT! Sen. Rick Scott Is Fighting to Put an End to to Deadly Fentanyl Epidemic



Sen. Rick Scott Is Fighting to Put an End to to Deadly Fentanyl Epidemic 

Dear Floridian, 

Too many families across the state of Florida, and the nation, have been impacted by the deadly fentanyl crisis. 

As your U.S. Senator, I am fighting to secure our border and stop the illegal flow of fentanyl into our country. Protecting Florida's families and communities will always be my top priority and I am working to pass multiple pieces of legislation to fix this problem and hold bad actors accountable. These include bills to make the death resulting from the distribution of illegal fentanyl punishable by federal felony murder charges, and efforts to designate illicit fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction.

We need to crack down on America's fentanyl crisis. I'll keep working hard and bringing people together to solve this urgent problem and save lives. 

Read more HERE.
Rick Scott
United States Senator  
Sen. Rick Scott Hosts Roundtable on Fentanyl Crisis with Families, Border and Law Enforcement Leaders, Subject-Matter Experts
On Tuesday, February 28th, Senator Rick Scott hosted a roundtable discussion in Washington, DC on the fentanyl crisis plaguing American families. The discussion focused on personal stories from parents who have been personally impacted and suffered loss from this crisis, and featured input from leaders representing border patrol officers and law enforcement, as well as subject-matter experts.

Prior to his roundtable, Senator Scott announced his new bill to designate this week as National Fentanyl Awareness Week. Read more about his resolution 
HERE. Furthermore, as he fights for solutions and to bring needed attention to the negative impacts of the rise of fentanyl poisoning in the United States, Senator Scott announced 8 additional bills he is sponsoring to combat the fentanyl crisis, read more HERE.
Senator Rick Scott said, “The fentanyl crisis has taken so much from families and communities in Florida and all across America. They deserve a platform to share their stories to help find solutions and today was about bringing people together, highlighting the horrific impact fentanyl is having and putting a spotlight on this raging crisis. We have to keep telling these stories, saying the names of those we've lost and talking about why this is happening. This crisis is not going to go away until we all start working together. We have to secure the border, STOP communist China from supplying and pushing these deadly substances, and we have to pass legislation that will hold the thugs who distribute it accountable as the murderers they are. I promise I will never stop fighting to finally put an end to this crisis and standing with these families, our law enforcement, border patrol and all who are on the frontlines of this deadly battle.”
Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma, said “We must do all we can to serve as advocates to combat the overdose crisis caused by fentanyl poisoning. As we face this unprecedented crisis, we recognize that government has to join law enforcement, families, survivors, and nonprofit professionals to raise awareness about what is really going on in our communities, while at the same time holding those dealing deadly doses of narcotics accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Sitting idle and taking no action is no longer an option if we are going to solve this problem.”

Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council, said “The National Border Patrol Council and all the front line men and women we represent are grateful Senator Rick Scott is willing to tackle the fentanyl crisis head on. Too many of our children and loved ones are being poisoned by criminal cartels who only care about profit. We can stop the dangerous drugs from flowing into our country and we can save lives, but it takes political will, we see that will from Senator Scott.”

Lisa McElhaney, COO of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, said “The emergence of illicitly manufactured counterfeit drugs containing varied synthetic opioids, stimulants, and non-opioid chemicals is eviscerating our nation. Steps must be taken to eliminate the tools that drug predators are taking to attack our communities. Thank you to Senator Scott for his continued efforts to combat these crises.”

Suzy Pereira, The Blue Plaid Society and Parent of Child Lost to Fentanyl, said “The Blue Plaid Society is about educating the public and changing the national conversation from overdose to poisoning.  While we understand traditional drug overdoses are still happening, there is no safe dosage of illicit fentanyl, and death from one pill is not an overdose.”

Paul Steidler, The Lexington Institute, said “One way the U.S. government can reduce fentanyl deaths is to vigorously enforce a 2019 law that makes it harder for international drug traffickers to use the international postal system to ship fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances to America. The measure was enacted with broad bipartisan support, but implementation has been met with bureaucratic foot-dragging. Senator Rick Scott’s push for answers and accountability is quite important – and refreshing.”

Shabbir Safdar, Executive Director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, said, “Over the past few years, the Partnership for Safe Medicines has been tracking reported deaths from fake pills containing deadly amounts of fentanyl, bought and sold from drug traffickers dealing over social media platforms and, unfortunately, these tragedies have hit almost every state in the country. It’s time Congress addresses the deadly fentanyl epidemic by demanding more transparency and accountability from these platforms on what steps they’re taking to protect our children and families, and adequately equipping our law enforcement with the tools and resources needed to fight against this devastating epidemic.”

Read more HERE

Sen. Rick Scott Speaks at The Partnership for Safe Medicine’s 118th Congress Counterfeit Drug Briefing
Senator Rick Scott spoke at the Partnership for Safe Medicine’s 118th Congress Counterfeit Drug Briefing on the impact the deadly fentanyl crisis is having on our communities across the country. During his keynote address, Senator Scott emphasized the importance of those impacted by this deadly epidemic sharing their stories, highlighted his legislation to help stop the flow of fentanyl into American communities and discussed the impact that an open southern border is having on the safety and wellbeing of American families.
Senator Scott is fighting to pass the following bills to crack down on the deadly fentanyl crisis and protect American families. Senator Scott is also working with Senator Marco Rubio to pass the Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act. The bill makes the distribution of fentanyl, resulting in death, punishable by federal felony murder charges. Additionally, Senator Scott and his colleagues sent a letter to President Biden to urge him to pursue a comprehensive strategy to combat this epidemic by designating illicit fentanyl analogues and all precursor chemicals as weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of Life (END FENTANYL) Act

Requires the Commissioner of CBP to review and update the Office of Field Operations’ policies and handbooks, as necessary and at least once every three years in order to respond to illegal activity, such as the trafficking of drugs and humans, along the border. Also requires the Commissioner of CBP to submit a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives that summarizes the policy and manual changes every three years. 
Stopping Online Confusion for Investigative Agencies and Law-enforcement by Maintaining Evidence Determined Interparty Arrangements (SOCIAL MEDIA) Act

Soon to be introduced, this bill will:

Instruct social media platforms to designate and promote a clear point of contact to provide information to law enforcement agencies who are carrying out their investigations. The bill will also help collect better data on illicit activity happening on social media platforms.

Uniform Postal Data Acquisition for Transparency and Early Detection within the United States Postal Service (UPDATED USPS) Act

Soon to be introduced, this bill will:

Curb the flow of fentanyl through the mail. The bill strengthens electronic data requirements on shipments from foreign adversaries, which blocks packages that lack digital tracking data. With these improvements, the U.S. will be able to stop foreign cartels from circumventing border patrol agents.

Upholding the Law at Our Border Act

The bill requires the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the vetting and processing of migrants apprehended along the southwest border and to ensure that all laws are being upheld.

Opioid Response Action Data And Reforms (RADAR) Act

Soon to be introduced, this bill includes:
  • Liability Protection: The bill will provide professional and civil liability protections for healthcare providers, first responders, and lay administrators who take training on the proper administration of an opioid antagonist, if they administer such antagonist in good faith except in cases of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
  • Data Collection: The bill will allow the Secretary of HHS to issue grants to support improved data and surveillance on opioid-related overdoses, including activities to improve post-mortem toxicology testing, data linkage across data systems throughout the U.S., electronic death reporting, or the comprehensiveness of data on fatal and nonfatal opioid-related overdoses.
  • Office of National Drug Control Policy Changes: The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is an important agency that fights the drug crises we are seeing across the country and should be treated as such. This bill includes a Sense of Congress that the ONDCP Director should be a Cabinet-level position. This bill would also provide a series of other reforms, including working with DOJ and HHS to issue guidance on overdose deaths, codifying the Interagency Coordination Council, and applying the Congressional Review Act to final rules that are inconsistent with the National Drug Control Policy.
  • State Opioid Response Grants: This section would require the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse to include an assessment of challenges for grant recipients, accounting for variations in implementation in the annual report to Congress and would require best practices on how to address opioid-related overdoses to recipients.
Streamlining Text for Official Policy by Formulating Effective Needed Tools to Address Narcotics, Yearly Loss of Life and Protect Americans from Chemical Killers and Against Gangs Effectively Act (STOP FENTANYL PACKAGE)

This soon to be introduced bill includes:
  • Data Collection: The bill will allow the Attorney General to provide grants to improve data and surveillance related to opioid overdoses.
  • Law Enforcement Grants: The STOP FENTANYL PACKAGE allows the Attorney General to award grants to local law enforcement agencies in communities with high rates of overdoses to 1) provide training to help officers better identify overdoses, 2) upgrade essential systems for drug tracing and forensic laboratories, and 3) provide training to better trace criminals through the darknet. Additionally, this bill would allow COPS grants to go toward providing training and resources for containment devices to prevent secondary exposure for first responders.
  • Collaboration: This bill will direct the ONDCP to collaborate with the National Forensic Laboratory Information System and DOJ to create national standards for submission data into the system. The DEA will be directed to develop uniform reporting standards for purity, formulation, and weight, to allow for better comparison across jurisdictions. It also removes the automatic approval of reprogramming requests for funds that are specifically appropriated in line with the National Drug Control Strategy and Budget.
  • Fentanyl Profiling Program: This section will require the DEA to submit to Congress, as part of their annual report, the level of funding needed to effectively carry out this program.
Extending Limits of U.S. Customs Waters Act

This legislation extends the customs waters territory of the United States from 12 to 24 nautical miles from the baselines of the United States, allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and the U.S. Coast Guard the jurisdiction necessary to keep American families safe from drug and human traffickers.

Caribbean Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act

Requires ONDCP to produce an overall strategy focused on preventing the illegal trafficking of drugs from the Caribbean region into the U.S., specifically relating to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Read Senator Scott’s remarks as prepared for delivery below.

“I want to thank Tom for that kind introduction, and I also want to thank the Partnership for Safe Medicines for all your hard work. What you all do is so important to the safety of our communities in Florida and across the country.

“Nobody in this room needs to be told how bad or deadly America’s fentanyl crisis is. You are here because you know it’s evil. You’ve seen its destruction and you are fighting to stop it.

“I meet with law enforcement all across Florida and the #1 thing I hear about from them is what are we doing to stop fentanyl from coming into our country and ripping our communities apart. Recently, I held roundtables in West Palm Beach and Volusia with law enforcement, and, I received a briefing from the Coast Guard and Border Patrol in the Florida Keys.

“Earlier this month, I hosted Miami Shores Police Chief David Golt as my guest for the State of the Union. He lost his son, Zachary to this horrible crisis.

“Fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year, but until our border is secure, this battle will continue and we won’t win it.

“It’s not partisan to say that communities across this country are being inundated with dangerous drugs that are being smuggled across our borders. That’s a fact and that’s why I get so mad when bureaucrats up here refuse to acknowledge this border crisis. The two go hand in hand.

“Until this crisis at the border gets resolved, more families and more communities will face the devastating impacts of fentanyl.The amount of drugs border patrol is intercepting is unbelievable. TONS AND TONS OF ILLEGAL AND DEADLY DRUGS LIKE FENTANYL.

“So, I am fighting for solutions right now. When I was in business, I learned that the best way to get things done is to bring people together and start talking about how we solve problems. I’m doing that later today. Here are some of the things I am working on in the Senate right now. 

“Last Congress, I was proud to see my END FENTANYL Act pass the Senate.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection hasn’t updated its drug interdiction guidance and field manuals in more than 20 years. Think about that. The field manual was written in 1999 predating the Dept of Homeland Security and this lethal fentanyl crisis.

“My bill will require CBP to update its policies at least once every three years to ensure everything is up to date. Codifying CBP’s own internal policy which they have been ignoring. Unfortunately, this bill didn’t pass the House last Congress so we have to start again if we want it to become law.

“I’m also working on legislation that provides state, local and federal agencies, in partnership with health care providers and first responders, much-needed tools and resources to combat this crisis and save lives.

“I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to extend the United States’ customs waters territory, from 12 miles to 24 miles, to give federal law enforcement the jurisdiction and authority it needs to cut down on drug and human trafficking so families everywhere remain safe.

“I also joined my colleagues to demand felony murder charges for the distribution of fentanyl and sent a letter to President Biden requesting the designation of illicit fentanyl analogues and all precursor chemicals as weapons of mass destruction.

“When it comes to illicit fentanyl analogues, our adversaries cannot be trusted and must be held accountable for the damage it is doing to the fabric of our nation.

“By appropriately classifying fentanyl as a WMD, we see the opportunity to properly infiltrate drug trafficking rings with suitable penalties for the death and destruction they are creating throughout the United States.

“I’m working to hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable so it will do its job and enforce the law. I introduced the Upholding the Law at Our Border Act to do just that.

“But the big legislation I want to talk to you about today is legislation to push all the big social media companies to tell us exactly what they’re doing to stop the raging opioid crisis and how they are partnering with law enforcement to get drug dealers and dangerous criminals off our streets. 

“I did a survey of FL Sheriffs to get a sense of their interactions with social media companies. I talked to sheriffs and local law enforcement and they said they had difficulty trying to contact someone, anyone, in the social media companies to get information on ongoing criminal cases.

“My bill, The SOCIAL MEDIA Act, will require social media companies to publicly disclose their law enforcement point of contact, disclose what information is needed for information requests for active investigations, and have a staffed call center available to law enforcement. It will also require all the social media companies to disclose reporting metrics to the FTC.  We should know how well they police their networks and how fast they respond to law enforcement requests. 

“I sent a letter to all the social media companies in January 2022 asking them basic questions like: How many accounts are reported for counterfeit pills? How many accounts are you proactively reporting? What is your average response time to law enforcement requests? How many subpoenas do you receive related to the selling or distribution of drugs on their platform?

“Most platforms didn’t answer my questions, but I won’t stop fighting for accountability and hope the FTC can get better answers when they and their advisory committee made up of law enforcement and advocates can develop clear reporting metrics.

“You are all leaders on combatting the fentanyl crisis and I want to thank you for everything you do to help victims, survivors, family members and friends. The most important thing you can do is to keep fighting and keep sharing your stories. Together we can end this crisis and save lives.”

Read more HERE.

Sen. Rick Scott Announces Miami Shores Police Chief David Golt as State of the Union Guest
Senator Rick Scott announced that he will bring Miami Shores Police Department Police Chief David Golt as his guest to President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 7 at the U.S. Capitol.
Senator Rick Scott said, “I am honored to have Miami Shores Police Chief David Golt as my guest to the State of the Union address. I’ve had the chance to work closely with Chief Golt, who has tragically been forced to deal with this deadly crisis as both a leader in law enforcement and a parent. In December 2021, Chief Golt lost his son, Zachary, to fentanyl, and joined the hundreds of thousands of American families who have had their hearts broken and loved ones taken away by this deadly drug. While we cannot reverse the damage fentanyl has done, we can and must keep working to tell these stories, make sure families like Chief Golt’s know they are not alone and finally end this devastating epidemic. Fentanyl is a killer that does not discriminate by race, political party, age or background and the wide open southern border we have today is allowing it to pour into our communities like never before. The Golt family and every American who whose been hurt by this terrible drug deserve better and I won’t stop fighting until we end the lawlessness, death and suffering that fentanyl has caused across our nation.”

Miami Shores Police Department Police Chief David Golt said, “I cannot emphasize enough the importance of legislation to help stop the horrific plague that fentanyl has caused on our society and the many families that it affects. This includes my family as we lost our son Zachary on December 26, 2021 to the scourge of fentanyl; it can happen to any family. My family and I express heartfelt gratitude to Senator Scott for his efforts and concerns.”
Sen. Rick Scott Introduces Resolution Designating Week of Feb. 26th as National Fentanyl Awareness Week
Senator Rick Scott introduced a resolution to name this week, February 26th - March 4th, as National Fentanyl Awareness Week.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Every day that passes with a wide-open southern border, deadly drugs like fentanyl are pouring into our country and killing our fellow Americans. It is plaguing communities in Florida and all across our nation and it must be stopped. We have lost too many—mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends—and I will not allow the horrific consequences of failed policies in Washington, or the heartbreak of families hurt by this terrible drug, to be ignored. I will never stop fighting against fentanyl and am proud to introduce this resolution to bring much-needed awareness to this deadly epidemic and the border crisis that's fueling it. I urge all my colleagues to stand with victims of fentanyl, their families and everyone fighting this battle to join me and support this important resolution."
Read the full resolution HERE.

Senator Rick Scott Joined Senator Marco Rubio to Demand Felony Murder Charges for Distribution of Deadly Fentanyl
In the response to the surge of illicit fentanyl being trafficked across the southern border and into our communities, Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Marco Rubio and their colleagues to reintroduce their Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act. The bill makes the distribution of fentanyl, resulting in death, punishable by federal felony murder charges.
Senator Rick Scott said, “People who knowingly distribute lethal fentanyl deserve the strictest sentence possible. For too long, people have suffered addiction and death because of this evil drug that is pouring across Joe Biden’s open southern border. Fentanyl has skyrocketed to the number one killer of young people, and to put an end to this crisis, strong actions must be taken. I am proud to join Senator Rubio in standing up for victims of this crisis, and urge the immediate passage of this critically important bill.”

Read more

Sen. Rick Scott & Rep. Michael Guest Reintroduce Bipartisan END FENTANYL Act to Help Border Patrol Stop Drug Smuggling
Senator Rick Scott led a bipartisan group of his colleagues in reintroducing the Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of Life (END FENTANYL) Act. This legislation would require the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to update its policies at least once every three years to ensure drug interdiction guidance is up to date. This legislation builds off the 2019 GAO report, “Land Ports of Entry: CBP Should Update Policies and Enhance Analysis of Inspections,” that found drug interdiction guidance has not been updated in 20 years. The END FENTANYL Act, which passed the Senate unanimously last Congress, is cosponsored by Senators Mike Braun, Maggie Hassan, Jacky Rosen and Dianne Feinstein. Congressman Michael Guest (MS-03) is leading the legislation in the House of Representatives.
Senator Rick Scott said, “For too long, the crushing heartbreak felt from losing a loved one to a drug overdose, and the opioids that cause them, have plagued American families. This epidemic, fueled by the massive amounts of fentanyl flowing illegally over our southern border into our communities, has only grown worse under Joe Biden’s failed open border policies. Every life taken by an accidental drug overdose is a preventable tragedy and we must do everything in our power to stop them. That’s why I am once again leading a bipartisan group of my colleagues to introduce the END FENTANYL Act. We must continue to do everything possible to ensure our brave CBP agents, who are on the frontlines of this battle, have every tool needed to fight back, keep these dangerous drugs out of our country and save lives.”

Senator Mike Braun said, “We must do whatever it takes to stop the deadly fentanyl flow from the southern border into American communities. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that our CBP agents have up-to-date guidance as they face the opioid epidemic in the front lines”

Senator Maggie Hassan said, “As fentanyl overdoses continue to devastate families across New Hampshire, we must further support law enforcement’s efforts to curb the flow of illicit drugs into our communities. This bipartisan bill will ensure that Customs and Border Protection updates its drug interdiction guidance, a move that is long overdue. I will continue working with my colleagues on both side of the aisle to combat the substance misuse epidemic and help save lives.”

Senator Jacky Rosen said, “Fentanyl is a deadly drug that is killing people in Nevada and across our nation. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that law enforcement officers are better prepared by providing them with updated tools and training to prevent the spread of dangerous drugs and help save lives."

Congressman Michael Guest said, “The damage that has already been caused by fentanyl is irreparable. Overdoses are now the leading cause of death in Americans aged 18 to 45, and the fentanyl crisis is affecting families and communities across the country. However, we can act to mitigate the continued devastation that the drug is causing in communities across our nation. This bill is a strong step forward in our mission to save as many lives as possible from this deadly drug, and I applaud Senator Scott for his commitment to saving American lives through this legislation. I look forward to continuing to work with him, our colleagues in the House and Senate, and Customs and Border Protection to stop the flow of fentanyl into our communities.”

The END FENTANYL Act would:
  • Require the Commissioner of CBP to review and update the Office of Field Operations’ policies and handbooks, as necessary and at least once every three years in order to respond to illegal activity, such as the trafficking of drugs and humans, along the border.
  • Require the Commissioner of CBP to submit a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives that summarizes the policy and manual changes every three years.
Read more HERE

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