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In Midst of Fentanyl Crisis, Vulnerable Democrats Voted Down Opioid Detection Funding

Added 12-02-21 03:20:02pm EST - “As a record number of Americans died of drug overdoses in early 2021, Senate Democrats unanimously blocked an amendment that would have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in "opioid detection activities" at the southern border.” - Freebeacon.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Freebeacon.com: “In Midst of Fentanyl Crisis, Vulnerable Democrats Voted Down Opioid Detection Funding - Washington Free Beacon”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

As a record number of Americans died of drug overdoses in early 2021, Senate Democrats unanimously blocked an amendment that would have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in "opioid detection activities" at the southern border.

From April 2020 to April 2021, more than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. An overwhelming majority of those deaths came from opioids, and fentanyl smuggling has surged at the southern border since the start of Joe Biden's presidency. In March, however, Senate Democrats blocked a Republican motion that would have provided "$300 million for U.S. Customs and Border Protection narcotic and opioid detection activities."

That vote came as border crossings that month reached the highest level in 15 years. Law enforcement experts have long warned that Mexican cartels ramp up their drug smuggling operations during periods when Border Patrol faces strained resources, a reflection of how the opioid and border crises are intertwined. Without more dedicated funding for policing, critics of Democratic immigration policies say, gangs south of the border will keep taking advantage of overwhelmed Border Patrol agents.

"In Del Rio, [Customs and Border Protection] went four months without apprehending any hard drugs at a time when we know fentanyl deaths are up, drug deaths are up, so the drugs have to be there," said Andrew Arthur, a former immigration judge and a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies. "The obvious conclusion to draw is the agents are so overwhelmed in Del Rio they just don't have the opportunity to stop any drugs."

With little evidence that drug activity will recede barring a dramatic change in priorities from the Biden administration, swing-state Democrats will likely face a barrage of attacks on the issue in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections. Those who voted against the GOP opioid provision include Democratic senators from Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Arizona up for reelection next year. Those four states, much like the rest of the country, have seen opioid overdoses spike in the last several years.

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