Sen. Johnson Leads Effort to Pass Legislation Combatting Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), along with U.S. Representative Scott Fitzgerald (R-Wis.) and three of their Republican Senate colleagues, introduced the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act. This bill codifies an effective regulation that is preventing new fentanyl-related substances from entering our communities by permanently classifying fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I under the Controlled Substance Act. Sen. Ron Johnson previously introduced SOFA in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

Archie Badura, a 19-year-old Wisconsinite, died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in May 2014. His mother, Lauri Badura, turned the tragedy into action by founding Saving Others For Archie to advocate for fentanyl overdose awareness and support other families facing overdose deaths. The SOFA acronym used in this legislation recognizes the Saving Others For Archie organization.

Sen. Johnson has worked closely with Lauri Badura to bring awareness to the deadly effects of unregulated fentanyl. In August 2022, he held a roundtable with Lauri and border security experts to discuss the negative impact open border policies have on the opioid epidemic. Later that month, Sen. Johnson recognized Lauri’s Fox News feature urging the Biden administration to take action to prevent the flood of fentanyl through our southern border. In September 2022, Sen. Johnson delivered remarks on the Senate floor on the SOFA Act and asked his colleagues to pass the legislation by unanimous consent.

“Passing the SOFA Act is more important than ever as Americans face the worst border crisis in our nation’s history. This bill helps law enforcement combat the opioid epidemic by deterring the manufacture of new fentanyl substances,” said Sen. Johnson. “Wisconsin families and American communities have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. I’m proud to work with Congressman Fitzgerald to re-introduce this lifesaving and common-sense legislation for the fourth time.”

“Fentanyl is more potent than morphine and heroin and the leading cause of overdose deaths in 2021,” said Rep. Fitzgerald. “While in the Wisconsin State Senate, I worked to unanimously pass fentanyl schedule legislation, and have been working alongside Senator Johnson to do the same at the federal level, since coming to Congress. Too many families are losing loved ones to drug overdoses fueled by fentanyl. This legislation is critical to ending the abuse of this powerful and dangerous substance.”

“I applaud the leadership of Senator Johnson in fighting to ensure analogues of the dangerous drug fentanyl are designated as Schedule I narcotics,” said Senate Republican Leader McConnell. “I was proud to join him as a cosponsor of the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act, which will give law enforcement every tool possible to combat this crisis. With the ability to quickly designate fentanyl-like substances as Schedule I narcotics, Kentucky law enforcement will be able to respond to new threats in real time and help keep our families and communities safe.”

Sen. Johnson and Rep. Fitzgerald are joined on the legislation by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

Read more about the SOFA Act in the Daily Caller.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.