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Senator Baldwin Questions Biden Administration Officials on Efforts to Stop Fentanyl at the Border and Address the Child Care Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, questioned Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra on the Biden Administration’s requests for additional funding to address the child care crisis and to combat the opioid crisis by disrupting the flow of illegal drugs into the country. A full video of Senator Baldwin’s questions is available here.

In 2022, accidental drug overdoses were the largest cause of death for people under 40. More than 1,400 Wisconsinites died from overdoses in 2022, and between 2019 and 2021, fentanyl overdose deaths in Wisconsin grew by 97%. To address the opioid and fentanyl epidemics, the Biden Administration’s supplemental requests include:

  • Disrupting the Flow of Fentanyl: The national security supplemental request includes $1.2 billion to crack down on the trafficking of dangerous and lethal illicit drugs like fentanyl, including hiring an additional 1,300 border agents and deploying new cutting-edge detection equipment to disrupt the flow of fentanyl into the country.
  • Boosting State Opioid Response: The emergency domestic supplemental request includes $1.55 billion for HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration State Opioid Response (SOR) grants to provide treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services in all States and territories. Since 2018, the SOR grant program has provided treatment services to over 1.2 million people.

Senator Baldwin has long worked to both increase resources for individuals struggling with substance use disorder, disrupt the flow of fentanyl into the country, and keep dangerous and illicit drugs out of our communities. As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, Senator Baldwin also advanced funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2024 that includes $1.5 billion for the State Opioid Response (SOR) grants to help communities with prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.

In October, Senator Baldwin sent a letter pushing President Biden to prioritize additional resources to strengthen the security at the southwest border to stop the flow of illicit drugs like fentanyl through ports of entry along the border. Senator Baldwin also co-sponsors the FEND OFF Fentanyl Act to target the illicit fentanyl supply chain and transnational criminal organizations, which was included in the Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act of 2024.

Senator Baldwin also questioned the Biden Administration officials on their efforts to address the child care crisis, which is impacting Wisconsin child care providers, families, and employers. The President’s domestic supplemental funding request includes $16 billion for HHS to provide an additional year of child care stabilization funding to help keep child care providers afloat, mitigating the likelihood that providers will close or raise costs for families.

According to the Wisconsin Economic Development Institute, approximately 4 out of 5 Wisconsin employers say the state economy is impacted by parent’s access to affordable, high-quality childcare. In Wisconsin, Child Care Counts, which received funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, supported nearly 5,000 child care providers across the state. An analysis found that if Congress does not provide additional funding for the nation’s child care sector, more than 70,000 child care programs—one-third of those supported by ARPA stabilization funding—could close nationwide, causing approximately 3.2 million children to lose their child care spots.

A full video of Senator Baldwin’s questions is available here.