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IPFS News Link • Politics: Republican Campaigns

GOP Presidential Field Rallies Around One Idea: Declare Drug Cartels Terrorists

• By Philip Wegmann

The context for the latest partisan divide was Friday's kidnapping of four Americans in the Mexican border town of Matamoros. Two of them were murdered, the other two were rescued and are in a Texas hospital. The White House insisted this kind of designation is unnecessary while implying that their critics are grandstanding..

"Designating these cartels as [foreign terrorist organizations] would not grant us any additional authorities that we don't really have at this time," press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday, adding that the United States already has "powerful sanctions authorities" and "we have not been afraid to use them."

The steady flow of fentanyl across the southern border, and the violence that follows, have left Republicans unconvinced. The say the federal government must do more. Legislation reintroduced Wednesday by Sens. Roger Marshall of Kansas and Rick Scott of Florida would designate the cartels as terrorist organizations, providing what they describe as "additional power" for law enforcement to combat drug trafficking.