KENTUCKY — On this week’s “In Focus Kentucky” program, Andy Barr, U.S. Representative for Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District weighs in on some Kentucky specific issues and topics that he has been addressing with his constituents during the August recess.

One item that Rep. Barr is hopeful to address in this current session of Congress is holding Chinese opioid manufacturers accountable. Barr filed the ‘The Stop Chinese Fentanyl Act,’ which would allow Chinese entities to be sanctioned as foreign opioid traffickers if they are involved in the production, sale, financing or transportation of synthetic opioids or their precursors but do not take sufficient actions to prevent opioid trafficking. This includes cooperating with U.S. counter-narcotics efforts and implementing know-your-customer procedures. This legislation also permits the imposition of sanctions on Chinese officials who have significant regulatory or law enforcement responsibilities over such entities if they cannot take credible steps to combat opioid trafficking.

“It’s a multi-dimensional problem. Of course, we continue to support addiction recovery grants and services through many of the wonderful not-for-profit agencies in the sixth district to deal with the demand for this, but the supply side is something we also have to focus on. And it’s not just the fact that we have an open border. Under this President’s policies, which have fought Customs and Border Protection, fought physical infrastructure and technology at the border and re-instituted this catch and release, which is inviting more of this narcotics trafficking cross border. It’s the fact that our customs and border patrol agents are now saying that they have in in the first eight months of fiscal year 2023, interdicted 20,000 pounds of deadly fentanyl,” said Rep. Barr.

Recently, the 2022 Overdose Fatality Report revealed that 2,135 Kentuckians lost their lives to a drug overdose last year. That is a decline of over 5% compared with the previous year and is the first decline since 2018.

You can watch the full In Focus Kentucky segment in the player above.