Declare fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction, urges top Republican on House Foreign Affairs

Move would free up additional federal funding to counter the spread of the deadly drug and send a signal to China that the U.S. is serious about the problem, explained Rep. Michael McCaul. 

Updated: September 27, 2022 - 8:19am

China's government isn't doing enough to stop the spread of fentanyl coming into the U.S. because they probably think it's a "great foreign policy" that brings in money and kills Americans at the same time, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told Just the News. 

Both McCaul, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) argue that declaring fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) would free up additional federal resources to handle the spread of the deadly substance and send a signal to China, particularly, that the U.S. is serious about the problem. 

"It is a very serious problem," Wenstrup told Just the News after House Republicans unveiled their  Commitment to America agenda near Pittsburgh. "You would think if something is killing that many Americans, it would be one of the first things that comes out of the mouth of the president of the United States. We're not seeing that. So we're going to elevate the level of recognition."

McCaul said there are funding accounts within the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and Defense Department that could be dedicated to the fight against fentanyl by declaring it a WMD.

"It's the number one killer of our children today," he said. "Enough has come across [the border] to kill the entire population seven times over. This is an epidemic of huge proportions. It's just out of control. And what inflames me is that it's coming from China, the precursors, into Mexico, coming across into our border, not to mention the human trafficking elements and the drug cartels having operational control of our border."

McCaul said the spread of fentanyl is worse under the Biden administration after it reversed most of the Trump administration policies that were enforced to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and the federal government lost operational control as a result.

"I secured it when I chaired [the House Committee on Homeland Security], under the prior administration, with 'Remain in Mexico,'" said McCaul, referring to the Trump policy under which migrants remained in Mexico to await adjudication of their asylum cases in the U.S. "First day in office, Biden rescinds it, and it's total chaos in my home state of Texas, and you heard it here as well.

"It's impacting every state. I know my governor, Abbott, has taken that proposition of fentanyl to designate the cartels as a terrorist organization." 

McCaul said the number of border patrol encounters with illegal immigrants is on its way to hitting 5 million since President Biden took office. Encounters have already set a record by passing 2 million in the current fiscal year, compared to 458,000 in the last fiscal year of Trump's presidency. 

"I mean, between the wall, the technology, the Remain in Mexico, the cartels knew they couldn't, you know, it was harder to get across," McCaul said. "But once it was opened up under this administration, not only are they getting all of the women and children and young males across and making money off of them, they're making an extraordinary amount of money off the drugs, particularly the fentanyl, and China probably thinks it's a great foreign policy. They make money off it, and they kill Americans."