The American Trucking Associations’ Trucking Cares Foundation honored four Members of Congress who have taken a major role in addressing the fentanyl crisis that is plaguing cities and towns nationwide.

In a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, Representatives Darrell Issa (R-California) and Angie Craig (D-Minnesota) and Senators Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) were recognized for receiving TCF’s 2023 Congressional Hero Awards.

“The epidemic of deadly fentanyl is having a devastating effect on individuals, families, and communities. The Trucking Cares Foundation is determined to raise awareness about this growing crisis and recognize elected officials who are shaping our government’s response,” said TCF Chairman Phil Byrd. “Representatives Issa and Craig and Senators Reed and Capito are outstanding champions for this cause, and they have secured significant resources needed to support our hometowns and loved ones. We are grateful for their leadership that has made a difference in countless lives.”

“Nationwide drug-related fatalities claimed the lives of nearly 110,000 Americans last year, a tragic record. This staggering number of deaths demands action,” said ATA President & CEO Chris Spear. “When America faces crises, the trucking industry steps up to answer the call to service. We are proud to recognize these Members of Congress for their exceptional work to eliminate this scourge, and we will continue to stand with them in their fight to stop fentanyl trafficking and to provide support for those struggling with addiction.”

The honorees were recognized for sponsoring and passing legislation to block the flow of fentanyl and prevent overdose deaths. Additional details on their noteworthy contributions to this effort are below:

Rep. Darrell Issa is the founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Fentanyl Prevention Caucus. The Caucus was announced during the Congressman’s roundtable on the ongoing fentanyl crisis in 2022. Last Congress, Representative Issa cosponsored and championed the bipartisan Halt Act to classify fentanyl as a Schedule I drug, which the Drug Enforcement Agency has named its #1 legislative priority. Representative Issa also championed the bipartisan Protecting Kids from Fentanyl Act, a bill aimed at giving schools flexibility to use COVID relief dollars to purchase life-saving overdose reversal medication and provide related training to students and teachers.

Rep. Angie Craig serves as a member of the Bipartisan Fentanyl Prevention Caucus and is an original cosponsor of both the END FENTANYL Act and STOP Fentanyl Overdoses Act of 2023. These two bipartisan bills would dramatically aid in ending the fentanyl crisis by supporting more reporting between Customs and Border Protection and Congress, fund public health education efforts, and provide nationwide availability of overdose reversal medication.

Sen. Jack Reed has brought his national security background to the fight to combat fentanyl. The Senator is an original cosponsor of the bipartisan FEND Off Fentanyl Act and played a significant role in advancing the bill to the Senate floor. The legislation aims to stop the flow of illicit fentanyl supply chains from Chinese suppliers to cartels trafficking drugs into the U.S. The bill strengthens existing laws, while also directing the U.S. Treasury Department to target, sanction, and block transnational criminal organizations’ financial assets.

Sen. Shelly Moore Capito has been a consistent advocate in blocking fentanyl from entering the United States since her efforts shepherding the 2018 Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act into law. Building on these efforts, she helped introduce the bipartisan STOP Act 2.0, which requires advance electronic data to be included on all inbound international packages shipped through the U.S. Postal Service to prevent fentanyl from being smuggled through the U.S. by mail. The Senator also helped introduce the bipartisan PREVENT Fentanyl Act to increase investigation training for fentanyl cyber trafficking crimes. This legislation would allow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s HERO Child-Rescue corps members to assist in fentanyl trafficking investigations in addition to their human trafficking efforts.

The Trucking Cares Foundation is the trucking industry’s charitable arm, focusing on several core areas, including: humanitarian and disaster relief, eradicating human trafficking, leadership development, strengthening the industry’s relationships with law enforcement and military and veterans’ organizations, and safety and research opportunities.

In July, the Trucking Cares Foundation donated $25,000 to Voices for Awareness, a national organization devoted to raising awareness of the dangers of fentanyl and providing assistance to individuals suffering from addiction.