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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 BradyOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Some ObamaCare premiums to decrease next year | Sanders hits back at Trump over 'Medicare for all' | Panel to investigate rising maternal mortality rates House committee to investigate rising maternal mortality rates How the Trump tax law passed: The final stretch MORE (R-Texas), Rep. Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertHow the Trump tax law passed: GOP adds sweeteners House battlefield expands as ad wars hit new peak Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' MORE (R-Wash.), Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanElection Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms How Kavanaugh got the votes  Collins to support Kavanaugh, securing enough votes for confirmation MORE (R-Ohio) and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharIs there difference between good and bad online election targeting? Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas Clusters of polio-like illness in the US not a cause for panic MORE (D-Minn.). Reps. John FasoJohn James FasoElection Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms Limo crash victims included family, friends going to birthday party at brewery Dems announce third-quarter fundraising bonanza 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.”