During a recent Congressional hearing of a subcommittee on the House Oversight panel, ranking member Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) criticized any distracting political ploys from Republican leaders as authorities seek to address the crisis of opioid addiction and death across the United States.
“This administration has the task of undoing the tension with China just enough to get China to work jointly on this problem,” Porter said in opening statements. “However difficult, this task could not be more important.” In that portion of her remarks, Porter also discussed the role of increasing support for treatment related to drug use and addiction in ultimately lowering the impacts from the crisis for everyday Americans. Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, also recently referenced the need for action on the demand side in testimony elsewhere in Congress, which would presumably connect to the kind of initiatives Porter — who is also running for Senate — referenced.
“With that challenging road ahead, we simply can’t afford distractions,” the Congresswoman added. “Unfortunately, at the same time that Republicans announced this very important hearing, they also tossed in a big distraction that they like to call the ‘Biden border crisis.’ As badly as we need immigration reform and have for years, this issue is not about immigration. At the end of the day, cracking down on an illegal drug market is primarily an economic issue… Believe me, I’ll be at the front of the line any time we need to tell our government to do more on an issue. But let’s not misidentify the problem. This issue has been decades in the making.”
In other words, the crisis of expanding dangers from opioids funneled into the United States and killing residents is not some kind of easily isolated danger simply attributable to supposedly destructive border policies that Republicans struggle to even represent with any accuracy. (The southern border isn’t “open”! Additionally, it’s not as though there’s been some kind of “invasion” unfolding at that border.) Some Republicans, though, have gone far off into the metaphorical deep end with their proposals. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has discussed sending military firepower into Mexico. See some of Porter’s comments from recent House proceedings below:
House Republicans want to paint fentanyl as a Biden problem—one went so far as to interrupt my questioning. But, the fact is that overdose deaths have spiked in the past decade, including under President Trump's immigration crackdown. Partisan games distract from real solutions. pic.twitter.com/R6Yll4PHof
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) April 27, 2023