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Kaine Statement on Republicans’ Refusal to Secure the Border, Tackle Fentanyl Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement after congressional Republicans torpedoed bipartisan legislation to secure the border, tackle the fentanyl crisis, and support America’s alliances:

“Today’s vote makes one thing crystal clear: Republicans in Congress would rather score political points than secure the border and address the fentanyl crisis, which kills tens of thousands of Americans and thousands of Virginians every year. Since I’ve been in the Senate, I’ve voted three times now to pass bipartisan legislation to secure the border. And each time, Republicans have killed the deals. My focus will always be to deliver results for Virginians, and I remain ready to work in a bipartisan way to finally fix our broken immigration system and secure the border.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 72,000 Americans died of a fentanyl overdose in 2022. According to the Virginia Department of Health, nearly 2,000 Virginians died of a fentanyl overdose in that same year—a deeply concerning increase from 50 fentanyl overdose deaths in Virginia in 2012. 2023 figures regarding fentanyl overdoses are not yet available.

Today’s legislation would have provided funding to deploy more inspection machines to detect fentanyl at ports of entry at the southern border and increase law enforcement personnel, immigration judge teams, and asylum officers. Kaine has long called for comprehensive immigration reform that would boost border security and more funding for resources to combat the fentanyl crisis. Kaine has introduced and passed the bipartisan Disrupt Fentanyl Trafficking Act to direct increased federal attention to fentanyl trafficking by declaring fentanyl trafficking a national security threat, utilizing Pentagon resources like counter-drug intelligence, and involving Mexico as an active partner to combat the crisis.