Representative Bradley Byrne

Representing the 1st District of Alabama

Byrne Introduces Bill To Fight Drug Cartels


Dec 13, 2019
Press Release

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), along with Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI), has introduced the Significant Transnational Criminal Organization Designation Act. This bill would create a new designation, “Significant Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs),” which has more stringent sanctions than the current transnational criminal organization designation. The penalties for Significant TCOs would mirror many of the penalties for entities designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), including sanctions on organization members and their families, travel restrictions, and increased penalties for US citizens who grant them material assistance. Click here for text of the bill.

Congressman Byrne said: “We should not have to tolerate transnational criminal organizations exporting drugs and violence into our country. This bill will enhance our ability to come after these groups and keep our communities and citizens safe at home and abroad. Congress should rally behind this effort and show these groups that there are severe consequences for their actions.”

Congressman Gallagher said: “Recent cartel-related violence in Mexico has demonstrated that whatever we’re doing to combat these thugs isn’t working. Enough is enough. This bill gives the administration the tools it needs to go after significant transnational criminal organizations and ensure they face maximum pressure under the law.”

The Significant Transnational Criminal Organization Designation Act: 

  • Enables the federal government to impose sanctions on designated Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs), including:
  • Barring organization members and their immediate families from admission into the United States,
  • Freezing assets, and
  • Seeking civil and criminal penalties against individuals providing material assistance or resources to the organization.
  • Requires the President to submit a report to Congress detailing the government’s findings from the November 4, 2019 attack on U.S. cities in northern Mexico, including whether the organization responsible should be designated as a Significant TCO

Co-sponsors of this bill include:

  • Mark Walker (R-NC)
  • Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
  • Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
  • Lance Gooden (R-TX)
  • Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
  • Randy Webber (R-TX)
  • Michael Cloud (R-TX)
  • Denver Riggleman (R-VA)
  • Ron Wright (R-TX)
  • John Rutherford (R-FL)
  • Rick Crawford (R-AR)
  • French Hill (R-AR)

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) has introduced the Senate version of this bill.