President Signs Into Law Spanberger’s Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen America’s Response to Illicit Fentanyl Trafficking Along the Southern Border as Part of Defense Authorization Bill
The “Securing America’s Borders Against Fentanyl Act” Requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to Focus on Developing New Technological Solutions to Target and Detect Illicit Fentanyl Along U.S. Borders
WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden signed into law U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s legislation — the Securing America’s Borders Against Fentanyl Act — to strengthen America’s response to fentanyl coming through the nation’s borders and ports of entry as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) 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 4.6 percent pay increase for U.S. servicemembers and civilian personnel. Additionally, the legislation includes a bipartisan, Spanberger-led bill to protect global access to uncensored information in response to efforts by authoritarian and repressive governments to restrict Internet access. The FY2023 NDAA also includes provisions Spanberger helped lead to strengthen oversight of U.S. assistance to Ukraine and help track U.S. defense equipment sold to Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific allies.
“A tough, smart national security strategy begins with making sure that the men and women who defend our national security receive the support they deserve. I was proud to join both Democrats and Republicans in voting to pass the much-deserved pay raise for our troops and their families that the President signed into law,” said Spanberger. “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. 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 bipartisan defense authorization bill includes several Spanberger-led provisions, including:
- Boosting America’s response to illicit fentanyl trafficking along the border and at ports of entry. The FY2023 NDAA includes a bipartisan bill — which Spanberger introduced earlier this year — to require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to focus on developing new technological solutions to target and detect illicit fentanyl at U.S. borders and ports of entry. Additionally, this provision requires DHS to collaborate with other agencies involved in fentanyl interdiction to collect data and develop metrics to measure the effectiveness of current technologies to detect, deter, or address fentanyl trafficking into the United States. The Spanberger-led bill also directs the Office of National Drug Control Policy to strengthen performance measures and targets for evaluating regional interdiction efforts at our borders. Spanberger co-led this legislation with U.S. Representative Andrew Garbarino (R-NY-02).
- Protecting global internet freedom. As part of this defense authorization, the President signed into law the bipartisan Internet Freedom and Operations (INFO) Act — which Spanberger introduced earlier this month — to help the United States government continue and aggressively support efforts to protect Internet freedom and circumvent censorship online through secure communication. The bill will authorize increased funding for various Internet Freedom programs through the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as for Internet censorship circumvention technologies vetted through the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM). Spanberger co-led this bill with U.S. Representatives Bill Keating (D-MA-09) and Chris Stewart (R-UT-02).
- Strengthening oversight of U.S. assistance to Ukraine. As the United States continues to support Ukraine against ongoing attacks by the Russian Federation, the FY2023 NDAA includes a provision Spanberger helped lead to requiring stronger oversight infrastructure with respect to U.S. assistance to Ukraine. Specifically, it would examine which federal agencies are overseeing assistance to Ukraine, how well these agencies are coordinating, whether there are gaps in oversight, and whether the U.S. federal government is positioned to adequately oversee U.S. expenditures — leading the way for stronger congressional oversight.
- Supporting America’s allies in the Pacific. The Spanberger-backed Arms Export Delivery Solutions Act — which the Congresswoman cosponsored earlier this year — was signed into law as part of this annual defense authorization. The bipartisan legislation will help make sure U.S. defense equipment sold to Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific allies is properly tracked and efficiently delivered.