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Sean D. Reyes
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AG Reyes Pushes U.S. Senate to Pass the HALT Fentanyl Act

June 5, 2023

This week, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes co-signed a letter to U.S. Senate Leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, encouraging them to support and pass the HALT Fentanyl Act (HR 467 / SB 1141). The letter was led by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. 

As the letter highlights, the fentanyl issues across the United States of America have been exacerbated by the ongoing and heightened crisis at the southern border, where federal policies have allowed international cartels to smuggle countless loads of deadly drugs into our homeland. Those drugs, fentanyl, and other dangerous substances have spread into almost every community from coast to coast, wreaking havoc and destruction inside families and schools. The attorneys general write that “drug overdoses (in 2022) killed more than 100,000 Americans” and that “synthetic opioids like fentanyl caused 66% of those overdose deaths.” 

The HALT Fentanyl Act was recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives with significant bipartisan support, and it is now pending in the U.S. Senate. The proposal would permanently enshrine all current and future fentanyl analogues as Schedule I drugs, ensuring “that law enforcement can continue to prosecute the sale and use of illicit fentanyl analogues.” The House bill was sponsored by U.S. Representative H. Morgan Griffith from West Virginia, and the Senate bill by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy from Louisiana.  

General Reyes said: “The proliferation of fentanyl is one of the nation’s most serious issues, and governments across all jurisdictions must use every tool at their disposal to protect innocent Americans from this scourge. Passage of the HALT Fentanyl Act would give attorneys general greater abilities and resources to combat the rampant transmission of this drug and to defend our communities. I encourage all members of the U.S. Senate to consider this piece of legislation quickly.”  

In their letter, the attorneys general state, “The federal government’s response to this existential threat has been woefully deficient. As fentanyl has poured over the United States-Mexico border, the Department of Homeland Security chose to eliminate the very program designed to prevent transnational criminal organizations and gangs from exploiting migrants ‘to bring drugs, violence, and illicit goods into American communities.’ Indeed, the current Administration’s abject refusal to secure our border—one of the basic duties of any government—is a direct cause of this crisis.” 

Joining Miyares, Moody, and Reyes on the letter were the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

Read the letter here.