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Tipsheet

Democrat Suddenly Supports Fentanyl Crackdown After Blocking $300M for Border Screening

Twitter/Port Director Michael W. Humphries

A Montana Democrat who once blocked funding to stop the deadly flow of fentanyl from coming into his state is now attacking President Joe Biden for not stepping in and securing the southern border sooner. 

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As Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) faces re-election next year, he is suddenly interested in protecting his state’s residents from the fatal side effects fentanyl can impose. 

Previously, he shut down a proposal of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on chemical screening for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at the border’s Ports of Entry to more efficiently catch drug traffickers smuggling fentanyl into the U.S. He joined 50 other Senate Democrats in blocking $300 million to invest in technology that would help stem the flow of fentanyl, which would have been added to Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Now the tables have turned. Tester’s plea with the Biden Administration comes after White House officials say they need more money for better screening technology. 

In a letter he and other lawmakers sent to Biden, Tester urges the President to immediately take action, saying he is “sick and tired of Washington politicians lip service about securing our borders and keeping our communities safe.” 

“That’s why I just sent a letter to President Biden … urging this administration to invest in technology to help our brave men and women in law enforcement crackdown on illicit drug trafficking. Getting our Border Patrol agents the tools they need to scan vehicles and ships entering our Ports of Entry so they can seize contraband is just common sense,” Tester said. “Montana shouldn’t have to wait another minute to feel safe from the scourage of fentanyl, and I’ll hold the administration’s feet to the fire until this is done.” 

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In Montana, nearly 200 residents died from drug overdoses linked to fentanyl, a 70 percent increase in less than two decades.

The increased trafficking of fentanyl is taking a deadly toll on the U.S. Last year; the CBP seized more than 14,000 pounds of the drug from the border. In addition, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) pointed out that the country faced its highest number of drug overdoses in the history of the U.S., with over 100,000 drug overdoses. 


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