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Baldwin Delivers Resources to Combat Fentanyl Crisis, Support Opioid Prevention and Recovery Services, and Secure Border

Baldwin’s bill invests $4.6 billion to support substance use prevention and treatment efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, crafted and voted for legislation that has now been signed into law to help secure our border, combat the flow of fentanyl, and deliver resources to Wisconsin communities to help address the opioid epidemic.

“Too many Wisconsin families have lost a loved one to opioid overdose or fentanyl poisoning, and I’m committed to being part of the solution to reverse this trend and save lives. I’m proud to have worked with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to craft this legislation that will help disrupt the flow of fentanyl into our communities, support our border agents, invest in recovery resources across our state, and crack down on the dealers that traffic illicit drugs into our state,” said Senator Baldwin. “I am proud to be a partner to the Wisconsin law enforcement, community advocates, and health care providers that are on the front lines of this epidemic working to make a difference.”

Delivering Support for Treatment and Recovery Services

Substance Use Prevention and Treatment: Senator Baldwin, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, wrote the bill that addresses the rising toll of opioid overdoses fueled by fentanyl, improves access to substance use disorder treatment, and boosts prevention efforts by investing more than $4.6 billion to support substance use prevention and treatment efforts. The bill provides $2 billion for the Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant; $1.575 billion for State Opioid Response grants; and $145 million for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program.

Senator Baldwin also delivered direct support for the following community-driven projects:

UW-Madison: $2,000,000 to establish a regional center to combat the fentanyl crisis.

Columbia County Health and Human Services: $1,000,000 to support the construction of a mental health and substance abuse clinic.

Meta House: $3,000,000 to support the construction of a substance use disorder treatment facility for women.

Portage Recovery Center: $100,000 to expand access to family peer support, individual peer support, referral services, and programming for individuals in recovery and their families.

“We are deeply appreciative of Senator Baldwin’s support for the Harbor Recovery Center. Our community, like our state and nation, continues to be impacted by the drug crisis. This funding, combined with the generosity of our local donors and supporters, will help us to continue providing much needed resources to the individuals and families we are serving,” said Tom Drury, Co-founder of Harbor Recovery Center in Portage.

Combatting the Flow of Fentanyl

Stopping the Flow of Fentanyl: $400 million for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to improve the detection and seizure of fentanyl and other narcotics at ports of entry with high-tech equipment, forward operating labs, and personnel. This funding will increase the percentage of passenger vehicles scanned at ports of entry since passenger vehicles are the primary means by which fentanyl is brought into the U.S. This funding will also expand CBP’s outbound operations on the southwest border with dedicated outbound capabilities to stop the flow of currency, firearms, and other contraband resulting from the sale of fentanyl.

Disrupting and Dismantling Criminals Profiting from Fentanyl: $59.1 million in new resources, including $10 million for the new fentanyl task forces, $12.1 million to combat transnational crime overseas, $10 million for investigative efforts, and $10 million for technology used to detect contraband. The funding legislation also provides resources for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to expand its work disrupting the very organizations profiting off of the loss of human life—and dismantling sophisticated smuggling networks in the process.

Supporting Border Agents and Order at the Border

Investing in Border Security Agents: The legislation funds 22,000 U.S. Border Patrol Agents and 150 Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry to help secure our southern border. The bill provides $494 million to hire U.S. Border Patrol Agents, $19 million to hire CBP officers at ports of entry, and $125 million for overtime pay for USBP agents.

Supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s Workforce: $11.5 million at CBP for suicide prevention and wellness efforts, as well as employee onsite clinicians and child back-up care. The funding package provides over $32 million for the Office of Health Security, including $1.5 million for a pilot on telemental health and employee assistance. The bill also makes critical investments to support our Coast Guard service members, including by providing $25 million for the Coast Guard’s child care subsidy program.

Supporting Orderly Processing at and Management of the Border: $650 million to state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that partner with federal personnel at the border to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance. The package also includes up to an additional $2.2 billion to ensure that asylum seekers are processed quickly, ports and other border facilities are not overcrowded, and Border Patrol has the tools it needs to improve border security. The bill also provides $16 million for child well-being professionals, who are operating at CBP facilities to provide care for trafficked children. Additionally, the bill provides ICE and CBP additional resources to provide medical services to individuals in custody.