Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pa. (WTAJ) — Senator Pat Toomey spent some time in Hollidaysburg on Friday to discuss a new, bipatrisan bill to combat fentanyl being brought into the country.
The proposed legislation would require countries receiving American foreign aid to cooperate with U.S. Drug Enforcement efforts in regards to the import of the substance.
Senator Toomey said in June of 2017, the U.S. Border Control seized 110 pounds of fentanyl at the port in Philadelphia, which is enough of the illegal substance to kill every man, woman and child in the Commonwealth, twice.
“Virtually all, if not all of the fentanyl that ends up on the streets in Central Pennsylvania, and everywhere else in our Commonwelath, originates overseas,” Senator Toomey said.
The Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act was introduced by Toomey and Senator Doug Jones, D-Al. It adds onto the Foreign Assistance Act, introduced back in 1983, which forbids certain types of foreign aid to countries that are not actively preventing the exports of a list of various drugs. The senators proposed adding fentanyl to that list.
“While I will acknowledge that this is not likely to end all fentanyl imports into the United States, it likely would make it much more difficult and therefore much more expensive and the hope is it would diminish the supply of this really, really, dangerous poison,” Toomey said.
And local officals from Blair County agreed with Senator Toomey that it’s time to get fentanyl off the streets of our communities.
“This will stop and hinder a major amount of fentanyl from coming into our country, from coming into South Central Pennsylvania, from coming into Blair County,” Congressman John Joyce, R-Blair County, said.
Sentaor Toomey said he hopes that this legislation will send a strong warning to any country that ignores the domestic production of fentanyl.