Lawmakers reach deal on bill to crack down on synthetic opioid imports

Lawmakers reach deal on bill to crack down on synthetic opioid imports
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Members of both parties and both chambers on Friday announced a deal on a bill aimed at cracking down on imports of powerful synthetic opioids from overseas.

The new version of the bill, known as the STOP Act, would require the Postal Service to obtain electronic data on international mail shipments, which can be used to target suspicious packages for inspection.

Shipments through private carriers are already required to submit this data, but lawmakers say the protections need to be extended to the U.S. Postal Service to close a loophole that is allowing synthetic opioids like fentanyl to enter the country. Fentanyl is a major cause of overdoses in the U.S.

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The deal was announced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyLawmakers beat lobbyists at charity hockey game Democrats step up work to get Trump tax returns Texas governor, top lawmakers tell Trump not to use hurricane relief funds to build border wall MORE (R-Texas), Rep. Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertYoder, Messer land on K Street Ex-GOP lawmaker from Washington joins lobbying firm Outgoing GOP rep says law enforcement, not Congress should conduct investigations MORE (R-Wash.), Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSteel lobby's PR blitz can't paper over damaging effects of tariffs Trade official warns senators of obstacles to quick China deal Lawmakers divided over how to end shutdowns for good MORE (R-Ohio) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharO’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation NBC, CNN to host first two Democratic presidential primary debates Barbara Lee endorses Kamala Harris's 2020 bid MORE (D-Minn.). Reps. John FasoJohn James FasoGOP House super PAC targets two freshman Dems with new ads Tax law failed to save GOP majority New York New Members 2019 MORE (R-N.Y.) and Mike Bishop (R-Mich.), who both face competitive reelection races, also were part of the deal.  

“I look forward to moving this bill to the floor quickly,” Brady said in a statement.

The announcement comes as both chambers are preparing to move forward with opioid legislation. The House will be voting next week and the week after on a slew of bills.

The Senate Finance Committee is also planning to advance opioid legislation next week, which could eventually be combined with measures from other Senate committees before heading to the floor.

The bill, Brady said, “will secure the international mail and protect Americans from opioids and other contraband entering this country by imposing tough new requirements on the U.S. Postal Service and Customs and Border Protection.”