(KNSI) – The United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the HALT Fentanyl Act on Thursday.

Currently, the dangerous narcotic is part of the federal government’s Schedule 1 classification of drugs on a temporary basis. The bill would make that permanent, which gives law enforcement extra tools to try and get it off of the streets. The act also funds research to help doctors and nurses better understand what makes fentanyl-related substances so deadly.

The bill passed 289-133 and heads to the U.S. Senate. A majority of Democrats voted against the measure saying that it would disproportionately impact minorities like the original War on Drugs.

Minnesota 7th District Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach voted for it. She says, “Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 – 49. It affects every income level in every demographic in every corner of the country. Even in Minnesota’s rural and relatively safe 7th District, one of the top issues I hear from police officers is about the dire need to get a handle on fentanyl overdoses.”

The Halt All Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl Act will now advance to the United States Senate for debate.

Grant Dossetto, KNSI