Trump presses Senate on opioid crisis: ‘No more delay!’

Getty Images

President Trump on Monday urged the Senate to pass a bill aimed at stopping the flow of synthetic opioids into the U.S. 

Trump called it “outrageous” that fentanyl — a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin — is “pouring into the U.S. postal system from China.” 

“We can, and must, END THIS NOW!” Trump tweeted. “The Senate should pass the STOP ACT — and firmly STOP this poison from killing our children and destroying our country. No more delay!” 

{mosads}The bipartisan bill passed the House in June, but has not been taken up in the Senate. 

The Senate hoped to vote on a package aimed at addressing the opioid crisis by Labor Day, but that is becoming unlikely as it deals with a Supreme Court nominee and other priorities.

“The leader had an event on opioids just last week. It’s a priority for the Leader and the relevant chairman are working on a time agreement to bring it to the floor,” said Don Stewart, the deputy chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), referring to the Senate’s opioids package.

He added that opioid legislation is among the priorities the Senate will consider in the weeks and months ahead.

The bill would require the Postal Service to obtain electronic data on international mail shipments that 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. 

A congressional report released in January found that those selling fentanyl online in China prefer to use the U.S. Postal Service rather than private shippers, because the sellers think there’s less of a risk that U.S. Customs and Border Protection will seize the package.

Trump’s comments come as the administration is expected to release a highly anticipated report on overhauling the Postal Service. 

Major manufacturers are urging the administration to end low-cost payments, known as terminal dues, that international shippers pay the Postal Service to deliver small packages to the U.S. They argue Chinese companies have taken advantage of the payments to undercut their American rivals who must pay higher rates and that foreign entities have used them to flood the U.S. market with fentanyl and other illegal drugs.
While the STOP Act would require the Postal Service to agree to stricter screenings to detect mail that contains fentanyl, it does not directly address the terminal dues payments.
Updated at 1:51 p.m.
Tags Donald Trump Mitch McConnell

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video