Congress passes an extension to an emergency order on fentanyl

Published: Jan. 29, 2020 at 10:29 PM CST
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The United States House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that avoids a potential national crisis regarding the dangerous opioid, fentanyl.

In 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, issued an emergency order making fentanyl and all fentanyl-related substances illegal. However, that order is set to expire a week from Thursday.

The House voted 320-88 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, to extend that order. The bill had previously passed the U.S. Senate.

Without the extension, prosecutors said it would have made it difficult to bring cases involving fentanyl to the courts.

“Any impediments that you put into investing in these cases, or proving them up in court, it presents a problem,” Peter Deegan, U.S. Attorney for the North District of Iowa, said. “If the cases were to be lost, like a person who sold a deadly dose of fentanyl-like substance and was allowed to go free, it would be a public safety issue.”

The bill extending the emergency order on fentanyl now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.