RELEASE: Rep. Hill’s Bill to Disrupt and Dismantle Assad’s Narcotics Production and Trafficking Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2022

Today, the House of Representatives passed Rep. French Hill (AR-02) and Rep. Brendan Boyle’s (PA-02) bipartisan bill, H.R. 6265, the Countering Assad’s Proliferation Trafficking and Garnering of Narcotics (CAPTAGON) Act.

Rep. Hill’s bill requires the federal government to develop an interagency strategy to disrupt and dismantle narcotics production and trafficking and affiliated networks linked to the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

Ahead of House passage, Rep. Hill spoke on the House Floor in support of his bill.

Topline Quotes:

  • “In addition to regularly committing war crimes against his own people, the Assad-regime in Syria is now becoming a Narco-State.”
  • “The current epicenter of the drug trade is in territory controlled by the Assad regime.”
  • “Yet despite that, just last week the State Department and White House failed to include Syria in their required determinations of Major Drug Transit and Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries.”
  • “Captagon has already reached Europe and it is only a matter of time until it reaches our shores.”
  • “If we do not work with our like-minded partners to first hinder the narcotics trade and replace it with a working system of institutions that serve the Syrian people, then Assad will add the title “Drug Kingpin” to his recognized global status as a leading mass murderer.”

Further Background:

  • On November 16, 2021, Rep. Hill outlined his amendment to disrupt and dismantle Assad’s illicit production of captagon to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
    • This amendment passed in the House but was removed during the conference committee negotiations.
  • On December 15, 2021, Rep. Hill introduced the CAPTAGON Act.
  • On July 14, 2022, the CAPTAGON Act was included in the House-passed version of the FY 2023 NDAA.  
  • On July 19, 2022, Rep. Hill led a letter with Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA-02), to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting that the administration review if Syria meets the criteria of a “major illicit drug producing country” or “major drug-transit country” under the Foreign Assistance Act.
    • Unfortunately, the Biden Administration failed to act and left Syria off its list of major drug transit/major illicit drug producing countries.
  • On July 26, 2022, Rep. Hill delivered the keynote address at The Heritage Foundation’s event titled, “What’s Next in Syria: Captagon and Assad’s Booming Drug Empire.”
  • To watch Rep. Hill’s keynote remarks click HERE.
  • On July 29, 2022, the CAPTAGON Act passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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