Lexington, KY— U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) previewed the GOP agenda to tackle the fentanyl crisis during a press conference at the Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police building in Lexington on Wednesday.  Congressman Barr was joined by Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council, to highlight the surge of fentanyl at the southern border since President Biden took office.  In fiscal year 2022, over 14,000 pounds of deadly fentanyl was encountered at the southern border, a fiscal year record.

Also speaking at the press conference was Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue, Jacky Hunt, President of the Kentucky Narcotics Officers Association, and Debbie Rains, who lost her son to a fentanyl overdose in 2015. Last year, Kentucky overdose deaths rose by 15% and over 70% of overdoses involved fentanyl.

Congressman Barr outlined his support for reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy, reentering asylum agreements with Central American countries, and restarting border wall construction as ways to secure the border and stop fentanyl trafficking.

“Roughly 1,500 Kentucky families and 71,000 families nationwide lost their loved one to a fentanyl overdose last year. The Commitment to America agenda that I support will advance policies to secure our border and boost resources for law enforcement to stop fentanyl trafficking. God bless our border patrol, our local law enforcement, and advocates like Debbie Rains who are fighting every day to end the flood of fentanyl in our communities and save lives. I’ll always stand with them,” said Congressman Barr.

“Every single citizen of Kentucky should be upset at our failures to secure the border and protect your neighbors and family members. There is no way we can get this crisis under control with the polices we are seeing. I appreciate Congressman Barr for inviting me to Kentucky and for his leadership on this issue,” said Brandon Judd

“I’m grateful to Congressman Barr for his partnership over the years in combatting drug trafficking in Clark County and statewide,” said Sheriff Perdue. “He led the successful effort to designate Clark County a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) county in 2020 and I know he will continue to work with me to reduce opioid overdoses in Clark County going forward.”

“Narcotics Officers are on the frontlines of the fight to stop fentanyl dealers,” said Jacky Hunt. “We know that Congressman Barr will always have our back, and we are appreciative of the opportunity to highlight this important issue facing our Commonwealth and our country.”

“Fentanyl is continuing to break apart families in Kentucky and nationwide. I am grateful to Congressman Barr for highlighting this issue, Zac’s story, and trying to implement policy changes that will prevent these tragedies from effecting other families,” said Debbie Rains.