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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Need To Pass Bipartisan Border Security Legislation That Would Crack Down On Fentanyl

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the importance of passing the bipartisan Border Act that would crack down on fentanyl entering the United States. Senate Republicans voted against the bill in February and the Senate will vote on advancing the bipartisan border security legislation tomorrow.

First, I want to thank Senator Murphy for organizing this important floor block. I want to thank my colleagues who participated, I see Senator Blumenthal, of course, Senator Klobuchar, and others who participated. And what we’re talking about is the need to pass our bipartisan border bill, to crack down on fentanyl entering our country.

Every one of us in our states has talked to families who have lost loved ones because of fentanyl, particularly young people. It breaks your heart.

Some of these family members didn't even know that their loved ones had taken fentanyl and were dead within 24 hours. Just gone. I've experienced that with some families. So, now we have a chance to do something with it with this bill.

Tomorrow, Senators face an important decision: will both sides come together to advance a bipartisan border security bill, or will partisanship get in the way yet again?

Three months ago, Donald Trump told his Republican allies to block the strongest bipartisan border bill Congress has seen in a generation, something that would have done a great deal to stop the flow of vicious fentanyl into the United States.

So, we are trying again tomorrow because we hear about these families that Senator Klobuchar mentioned, that I mention, that others have mentioned. We have to. And I hope this time Republicans will join us to achieve a different outcome.

Unlike H.R. 2, a very partisan bill, this bipartisan bill was written with the goal of getting sixty votes in the Senate. It had input from both Republicans and Democrats. H.R. 2 can’t claim that. It was totally put together by Republicans, and got virtually no Democratic support. If anything is political, it's H.R. 2.

It has been used politically, but never seriously to get something done.

So, let’s be perfectly clear: our bipartisan border bill represents a real chance – in fact, the best chance in decades – to act on border security.

The bill would make huge strides towards cracking down on the scourge of fentanyl, delivering billions for DEA, for DHS, to hire officers to focus exclusively on drugs, and billions for state of the art equipment that can detect the flow of drugs at the border. Why the heck aren't we allocating the money to pay for it? Instead of playing political games, we should be doing that right now.

I thank my Democratic colleagues who today are here highlighting how this bill does more than anything we have done thus far to deal with the scourge of fentanyl.

If you told me a year ago that this was the kind of bill that we had before us, that really cracked down on fentanyl which we must fight, I would have thought we would have had a good chance. We thought Republicans would have leapt at the opportunity to enact this bill into law. By objective measure, it’s strong, it’s necessary. 

So tomorrow, we are laying out a clear choice.

Tomorrow, we’ll see who is serious about actually wanting to fix the border, who is serious about actually cracking down on fentanyl, and those who prefer to merely talk about it.