President Joe Biden has signed the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which includes language concerning fentanyl trafficking along the southern border of the United States.
Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7th) sponsored the Securing America’s Borders Against Fentanyl Act.
According to a release, this legislation aims to strengthen the country’s response to this illicit drug coming through the borders and ports of entry by increasing the Department of Homeland Security’s research and development of technologies and strategies to deter and interdict shipments of it.
It also requires federal agencies to generate metrics on the effectiveness of current technologies to detect, deter and address drug trafficking, specifically fentanyl.
“As a former federal agent and CIA case officer who worked narcotics trafficking cases, I know that illicit fentanyl trafficking poses a grave threat to our communities,” said Spanberger. “I am proud that this bill includes legislation I led to protect American lives by improving law enforcement’s ability to deter, detect, and interdict fentanyl shipments, because not doing so endangers the safety and security of Virginians. This annual defense bill also includes my bipartisan bill to help the United States combat efforts by repressive regimes to cut their citizens off from an unfiltered view of the outside world. These reforms will help keep Americans safe at home and further our national security priorities abroad.”
The NDAA also includes a 4.6 percent pay increase for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and civilian personnel as well as legislation to protect global access to uncensored information in response to efforts by authoritarian and repressive governments to restrict access to the Internet.
Additionally, there are provisions in the legislation that aims to strengthen oversight of U.S. assistance to Ukraine in its ongoing fight against Russia and to help track U.S. defense equipment sold to Taiwan and other allies in the Indo-Pacific region.