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ICYMI: Houlahan Shares How Her Bill Fights Back Against China’s Efforts to Fuel U.S. Fentanyl Crisis in Fox News Op-Ed

Her bipartisan legislation was signed into law by President Joe Biden over the weekend

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), members of both the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Task Force to Combat Mexican Drug Cartels, published a Fox News op-ed about how their legislation, which is now law, will help law enforcement agents better understand how fentanyl is arriving to our ports and borders so they can stop the flow of this deadly opioid.


Houlahan and Crenshaw’s bipartisan bill, the Foreign Drug Traffickers Act of 2024, was signed into law by President Joe Biden over the weekend as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization.


Read the full op-ed in Fox News here and below:

We need to stop fentanyl from China...and this shocking move is how to make a difference

By Chrissy Houlahan and Dan Crenshaw


A recent report outlining China's direct involvement in fueling the fentanyl crisis in the United States has rightfully sent shockwaves through Congress and communities already reeling from the devastating impact of opioid addiction. The Select Committee on China’s findings uncovered China's subsidization of the production of illicit fentanyl precursors for export, shedding light on the complicity – and in some cases, outright support – of foreign actors in exacerbating this epidemic. 


Bill Barr, the former attorney general, discussed this very issue on Fox News, saying that China is 'knee deep' in the U.S. fentanyl epidemic. That’s true.   


When asked if he thinks there’s any way we will see improvement in the coming months, he said no. That’s not true, we acted. Here’s how:  


Our bill, the "Enhancing Intelligence Collection on Foreign Drug Traffickers Act of 2024," was passed in the House as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization package and would address this very issue and signed into law by President Joe Biden.  


Let’s break it down. 


Today, America’s intelligence agencies are allowed to collect emails, text messages and other digital communications of non-U.S. persons living outside the United States. The law governing this program, FISA, also mandates that this data is stored in a tightly controlled database that can only be searched for three reasons: opposing hostile actions from foreign governments, targeting the actions of terrorists and counter-proliferation efforts. 


Our bipartisan bill would amend FISA, and finally allow America’s intelligence agencies to search the database for evidence of production and distribution of illegal drugs, including fentanyl. It would also allow our intelligence community to get a FISA warrant on foreign narco-traffickers, which we are unable to do right now.  


The bipartisan bill represents a crucial step toward addressing the transnational nature of the fentanyl crisis by expanding Section 702 to include targeting international drug trafficking networks involved in fentanyl production, distribution and financing. Plus, it equips law enforcement with enhanced tools to disrupt criminal operations at their source.  


China's role as a major supplier of illicit fentanyl precursors highlights the interconnectedness of the global drug trade and the need for comprehensive strategies to combat it.


The congressional committee's findings reveal that China continues to provide subsidies to its companies engaged in the manufacture of fentanyl analogs and precursors, incentivizing the export of deadly chemicals that have no legal uses. Such practices not only contribute to the proliferation of fentanyl but also pose a significant threat to public health and safety here at home. 


Despite claims of cooperation in drug control efforts, China's words ring hollow. The subsidies provided to manufacturers of fentanyl precursors demonstrate a blatant disregard for the devastating consequences of their products reaching American communities. 


In light of these revelations, the "Enhancing Intelligence Collection on Foreign Drug Traffickers Act of 2024" takes on heightened significance. Ultimately, our bill acknowledges the evolving nature of the drug trade and the need for adaptive measures to counter emerging threats.  


As members of the task force to Combat Mexican Drug Cartels, we know the fentanyl crisis is a nonpartisan issue requiring unified action. In a political landscape often characterized by division, the passage of this legislation represents a rare moment of consensus in addressing a pressing public health crisis.  


Legislative efforts alone are not sufficient to stem the tide of the fentanyl crisis. We also encourage the report's findings to underscore the importance of international cooperation and diplomatic engagement in holding foreign actors accountable for their role in fueling the epidemic. 


The joint counter-narcotics working group established between the U.S. and China is a step in the right direction, but unless we take a more aggressive posture, tens of thousands of Americans will continue to suffer.   


We thank our colleagues in the Senate for passing our important counter-narcotics provision and the president for signing it into law to give our intelligence agencies the authorities they need to stop the deadly flow of fentanyl.  



Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator, and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She is the recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award which “recognizes members who demonstrate the bipartisan leadership and constructive governing necessary to move our country forward” and the Congressional Management Foundation’s 2022 Democracy Award for best Constituent Services in Congress.