ICYMI: President Signs Into Law Spanberger’s Bipartisan Legislation to Crack Down on Cartels & Fentanyl Trafficking as Part of Defense Authorization Bill

The Bipartisan “Transnational Fentanyl Prevention Act” Would Further Involve the Intelligence Community in Cracking Down on Dangerous Fentanyl Trafficking by Transnational Criminal Organizations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden last week signed into law U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s legislation — the Transnational Fentanyl Prevention Act — to crack down on synthetic drug trafficking by the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY2024) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Spanberger voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House to pass the legislation earlier this month.

The annual defense authorization includes a 5.2 percent pay increase for U.S. servicemembers and U.S. Department of Defense civilian workers — the largest raise in more than two decades. Additionally, the President signed into law Spanberger’s Sensible Classification Act to reform and modernize the security classification system to reduce overclassification, prevent mishandling of classified information, promote better use of intelligence, and strengthen public trust. The FY2024 NDAA also improves living conditions for enlisted servicemembers, supports more equitable housing rates by modifying the calculation of basic allowance for housing (BAH) rates, allows for additional financial support for servicemembers, and takes steps to address childcare gaps for military families.

“I was proud to join with Democrats and Republicans in voting to pass the largest pay raise for Americans in uniform in more than 20 years — and I’m glad to see the President sign this bipartisan defense authorization into law and deliver well-earned support for our servicemembers,” said Spanberger. “I’m also proud that this year’s NDAA includes my bipartisan legislation to combat dangerous transnational criminal organizations. Fentanyl is killing tens of thousands of Virginians and Americans across our country. We must do more to protect our fellow Americans — and my bill will get our intelligence community more involved in dismantling the two Mexico-based cartels responsible for moving the vast majority of fentanyl killing Americans. We must also do more to protect our nation’s classified information — and the President signed into law my bipartisan legislation to make commonsense fixes to our outdated classification system as part of this authorization. These sensible reforms will play a critical role in protecting our communities, prioritizing our national security, and supporting those who answer the call.”

Specifically, the Spanberger-led provisions signed into law as part of the bipartisan defense bill include:

  • Cracking down on the Sinaloa & Jalisco Cartels. The FY2024 NDAA includes the Transnational Fentanyl Prevention Act — bipartisan legislation which Spanberger introduced — requiring the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to prepare an intelligence assessment of the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels. The two Mexico-based transnational criminal organizations are responsible for producing and distributing the majority of synthetic drugs trafficked into the United States from Mexico. Specifically, the required assessment would examine the production methods, suppliers, cross-border trafficking routes, leadership, and additional operations of the two cartels.
  • Reform the Security Classification System. As part of this defense authorization, the President signed into law Spanberger’s bipartisan Sensible Classification Act — which Spanberger introduced earlier this year. Specifically, the legislation would codify classification authority, streamline the processes for declassification, direct training focused on sensible classification, invest in new technology to modernize the classification system, and direct a review regarding the necessity of existing security clearances to identify potential areas for additional reforms.

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