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 BradyRepublicans focus tax hike opposition on capital gains change GOP, business groups snipe at Biden restaurant remarks Top Democrat offers bill to overhaul tax break for business owners MORE (R-Texas), Rep. Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertRep. Kim Schrier defends Washington House seat from GOP challenger Washington Rep. Kim Schrier wins primary Mail ballot surge places Postal Service under spotlight MORE (R-Wash.), Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris Senate starts infrastructure debate amid 11th-hour drama MORE (R-Ohio) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation | Amazon fined 6M by EU regulators Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation Bill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol MORE (D-Minn.). Reps. John FasoJohn James FasoDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Kyle Van De Water wins New York GOP primary to challenge Rep. Antonio Delgado The most expensive congressional races of the last decade 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.”