Healthcare

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 Brady (R-Texas), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). Reps. John Faso (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.”

Tags Amy Klobuchar Dave Reichert Fentanyl House John Faso Kevin Brady Opioid epidemic Rob Portman Senate Synthetic opioids

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