President Biden Signs Pappas’s Bipartisan Fentanyl Scheduling Bill Into Law

May 4, 2021
Press Release

Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) applauded President Biden for signing his bipartisan legislation, the Extending Temporary Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act, into law. This bill, which Pappas introduced in the House, extends the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) temporary order to keep fentanyl-related substances in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The legislation passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.

The DEA issued a temporary order in February 2018 to categorize fentanyl and fentanyl analogues as Schedule I drugs. Congress passed legislation extending that order through May 6, 2021 in February 2020. The legislation extends that order again through October 22, 2021. 

“Granite Staters and people across the country are in a fight for their lives against deadly drugs like fentanyl and its chemical analogues,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “I’m grateful to President Biden for acting swiftly to sign this commonsense, bipartisan legislation into law to extend the scheduling of fentanyl analogues as Schedule 1, which will prevent more of these drugs from flooding our communities and will help bring traffickers to justice. I remain committed to working across the aisle in Congress, with the Administration, and with health and public safety efforts to continue to address this issue and find a long term solution that keeps communities safe and holds international traffickers accountable.”

Chemical versions of fentanyl are ever-changing and traffickers, often originating in China and Mexico, intentionally make small variations in substances, knowing that the scheduling process can take months in order to place these deadly drugs in Schedule 1. This legislation ensures that all deadly fentanyl analogues are automatically categorized as Schedule 1, a designation used for substances with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. 

Background:

On Friday, April 16th, Congressman Pappas introduced legislation to extend the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) temporary order to keep fentanyl-related substances in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act to ensure law enforcement can keep them off the streets. This is a designation used for substances with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

The House unanimously passed this legislation on April 21. The Senate unanimously passed the legislation this Thursday.

Last year, Rep. Pappas voted to pass, H.R. 7990, the Fighting Emerging Narcotics Through Additional Nations to Yield Lasting Results Act, or FENTANYL Results Act, which would prioritize efforts of the Department of State to combat international trafficking via increased collaboration with the international community through shared anti-trafficking initiatives and capacity-building measures.