Hagerty, Cruz, Kaine, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Require State Department to Include Tranq in its Annual Drug Report

March 21, 2024

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), along with Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), in introducing the Strengthening Tracking Of Poisonous Tranq Requiring Analyzed National Quantification (STOP TRANQ) Act, bipartisan legislation to add a statutory requirement for the State Department to include reporting on xylazine, or “tranq,” in its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), a country-by-country report that tracks efforts to counter all aspects of the international drug trade. Currently, the report tracks fentanyl and other well-known illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin.

The legislation also covers the illicit trafficking of more common pharmaceuticals with abuse risk such as pseudoepinephrine (Sudafed). Requiring the State Department to actively report on this emerging threat would ensure that the United States is better prepared to counter and respond to trends in the international drug trade contributing to America’s drug crisis.

“The fentanyl crisis is claiming over 70,000 lives every year in the United States, and the trafficking of xylazine—known also as ‘tranq’—is making this crisis even more deadly,” said Senator Hagerty. “The United States must use all available means to counter these growing narcotic threats to our children, which is why I support this bipartisan bill to require the State Department to include reporting on tranq in its annual country-by-country International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.”

“Tranq is claiming Texan lives, and lives all across our great nation,” said Senator Cruz. “I was proud to collaborate with Senator Welch to pass the TRANQ Research Act into law last year to combat the threat of this deadly street drug, and I am grateful to Senator Kaine for joining me in committing our State Department resources to fighting the harrowing drug crisis plaguing our nation. The U.S. must use all its counternarcotics tools to combat the threat posed by tranq, especially given its alarming presence in America’s fentanyl drug crisis. This means mobilizing our resources at the State Department, like the INCSR report, to hold other countries accountable for their role in producing, selling, and moving tranq into the U.S.”

“I’m fully committed to addressing the fentanyl crisis, and we should use all tools at our disposal to do so,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m glad my bipartisan legislation to bolster DOD’s role in countering fentanyl trafficking was signed into law by President Biden last year. But there’s more work to do to keep Americans safe, including protecting our communities from xylazine, which is often mixed with fentanyl to create a more deadly drug. I’m glad to partner with Senator Cruz on this bipartisan bill. It is a commonsense step to address the threat posed by xylazine, and I urge my colleagues to join us in getting it across the finish line.”

Full text of the STOP TRANQ Act can be found here.