(Washington, DC) – The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1734, the TRANQ Research Act, which directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to deepen its partnerships and strategically focus on the science needed to detect, identify, and better understand synthetic opioids.
This critical piece of legislation, led by Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Collins (R-GA) and Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo (D-CO) and sponsored by 24 Republican and Democrat Members, now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. H.R. 1734 was favorably reported out of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee by a vote of 36-0, passed out of the House once before 425-0, passed the Senate, as amended, by unanimous consent, and finally passed the House again this week.
"Fentanyl is plaguing our communities, and dangerous additives like Xylazine are making it even more deadly,” Chairman Collins said. “By funding research into detection methods for these dangerous substances, we are helping local law enforcement and Border Patrol protect themselves when they encounter dangerous narcotics like the Zombie Drug in the field. I am proud that my first bill to be signed into law will help our heroes in blue and green stay safe as they selflessly serve our communities.”
“New illicit drugs like tranq are fueling an epidemic that is devastating American communities, including families here in Colorado. We need to head off these alarming new threats before they spread,” said Congresswoman Caraveo. “My and Rep. Collins’ TRANQ Research Act will give law enforcement the data and information they need to combat the distribution of tranq and other deadly substances. I’m proud to pass this bipartisan, lifesaving bill – my first as a Member of Congress – and I look forward to it being signed into law.”
“It is only fitting that we utilize NIST’s world-class researchers to help us better identify, understand, and handle tranq, as well as the myriad of other harmful drugs plaguing our communities across the country,” Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) said. “These advancements will greatly assist our law enforcement and first responders battling the spread and aid in ending this devastating crisis. I want to thank Chairman Collins and Congresswoman Caraveo for their leadership in driving this crucial bill across the finish line.”“Synthetic opioids like fentanyl have taken a terrible toll on communities across this country, including in my own district,” said Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). “This bipartisan bill will save lives and strengthen the response of health authorities and law enforcement to the opioid epidemic. It will leverage NIST’s unique research capabilities to help develop technologies to characterize and safely handle street drugs quickly. This effort is a fantastic example of how we can activate the unique expertise in our government laboratories to improve Americans’ lives. I thank Representatives Caraveo and Collins for their work and leadership on this important legislation and congratulate them on advancing this bill through the House. Once the President signs this bill, it will be the first bill of the 118th Congress led by freshmen to become law.”