McMorris Rodgers Continues to Push to Stop Fentanyl Overdoses in Eastern Washington

Washington, D.C. (April 21, 2021) – Earlier today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) continued her push to extend the emergency scheduling of fentanyl analogues. Speaking on the House floor, Cathy urged Democrats to work with Republicans for a permanent solution—not just a temporary extension—to stop the scourge of fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths in Eastern Washington. 

“I am disappointed we are kicking the can down the road with a very short term extension of the 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 life-saving 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.

“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 lives of people in despair and to protect our communities, and we need the Democrats in the House and Senate to wake up and take this seriously. 

“In my home state of Washington, the fentanyl positivity rate has increased by 236 percent – more than any other state in the nation. My community lost two teenagers recently from a suspected fentanyl-related death. They had their whole lives in front of them. 

“Moving forward we must work with the DEA and other agencies to make this scheduling permanent—while making important reforms to improve scientific research on these substances.   

“Republicans stand ready to immediately begin bipartisan work to find a permanent fix that can be signed into law.  I hope the Majority will commit to working with us over the next six months to solve this issue once and for all and not just settle for another short term extension once this expires.”

NOTE: Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and just a few milligrams can be lethal. Fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances have caused a massive scourge in communities across our country. Tens of thousands are left dead from overdoses every year. Between May 2019 and May 2020, over 44,000 people lost their lives due to illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances. In Spokane, the seizure of this deadly drug resulted in the hospitalization of three police officers who were exposed to it. 

CLICK HERE to watch Cathy’s remarks.

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