April 20, 2024

PASSED: Gallego Bill to Stop Fentanyl Money Laundering

Gallego’s Buck Stops Here Act passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support as part of the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act

WASHINGTON - Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) celebrated the House of Representatives’ passage of his bill, the Buck Stops Here Act. The bill, which will help keep Arizonans safe and combat the fentanyl epidemic plaguing our state, was included in the 21st Century Peace Through Strength Act which passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“Fentanyl poses one of the greatest threats to our national security – killing thousands of Arizonans each year. All the while, devious financial institutions are lining their pockets as they facilitate this deadly trade,” said Rep. Gallego. “Thanks to my bill, Treasury will finally have the authorities needed to crack down on fentanyl money launderers and hit traffickers where it hurts: their wallets. Now that it has passed the House, I look forward to its swift passage in the Senate.”

The Buck Stops Here Act seeks to reduce the impact of the fentanyl epidemic by authorizing the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to designate financial institutions, transaction classes, or accounts as primary money laundering concerns in connection to illicit fentanyl trafficking.

A similar authority, known as Section 9714 Authority, was implemented in Fiscal Year 2021 to combat Russian money laundering and has been successful in rooting out bad actors since its implementation. Rep. Gallego’s bill applies the same mechanism as Section 9714 to financial networks connected to illicit fentanyl trafficking.

Curbing the impact of the fentanyl epidemic will require a multi-pronged approach, and Rep. Gallego’s legislation disrupts the supply chain by specifically targeting the finances that fund this crisis.