Texas Republican Congressman Michael McCaul is seeking to convince his Republican colleagues to work with the Democrats in addressing the fentanyl crisis in the United States, Politico reported.
As Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, McCaul supports President Biden’s diplomatic efforts with Mexico and is also promoting legislation to give the administration more tools to fight the Mexican cartels who are the source of the fentanyl pouring into the US.
McCaul told Politico that he believes he can bring bipartisanship to the president’s efforts with Mexico, and plans to take a trip to meet with Mexican officials to discuss the importance of stopping the flow of fentanyl.
In late September, McCaul, along with Congressmen Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX), met in Washington with Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s new foreign affairs secretary to discuss the fentanyl crisis.
McCaul’s diplomatic approach is sharply different from the approach of his fellow Texan Dan Crenshaw. Crenshaw in April proposed a resolution to condemn Mexican President López Obrador for interfering with US elections by encouraging Mexican-American voters to oust Republicans from office for suggesting using force against the drug cartels in Mexico.
While early in his congressional career McCaul agreed with using force against the cartels, today, he believes diplomacy is better than threats.
He told Politico that authorizing the use of force against the drug cartels “is essentially declaring war against Mexico,” a country that is the United States’ “largest trading partner.”
McCaul added that such action would increase violence in Mexico, only further legitimizing asylum claims and leading to a sharp increase in the number of Mexican migrants seeking to cross the border.
The Texas Republican said the way to stop the flow of fentanyl is to prevent the raw chemicals used in its production from entering Mexico through the ports. Most of the chemicals used in making fentanyl are imported from China.
He suggested that Customs and Border Protection could work with Mexico’s Navy and Marines using technology to detect the chemicals and seize them at the ports.