House Passes Bishop Legislation to Stop the Flow of Synthetic Opioids Through the International Mail System
Now that we know how these poisons are entering our communities, we have a moral obligation to close this loophole. I’m glad today the House passed the STOP Act to do just that, and I urge the Senate to expeditiously take up this important bill.
WASHINGTON – Today, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Synthetic Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act of 2018 (H.R. 5788), sponsored by Congressmen Mike Bishop (MI-08) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), to prevent the shipment of synthetic opioids into the United States through the international mail system. Specifically, this bill would require the U.S. Postal Service to transmit advance electronic data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for at least 70 percent of international shipments coming into the U.S. by the end of 2018, and 100 percent of inbound international shipments by 2020. The STOP Act passed by a bipartisan vote of 353 to 52, and Reps. Bishop and Pascrell, along with Chairman Kevin Brady (TX-08) released the following statements:
“Countless lives have been cut short in Michigan as a result of this devastating epidemic. In 2016 alone, opioids claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Michiganders,” said Rep. Bishop. “I was astounded to learn that current law treats packages coming in through private carriers like FedEx and UPS differently than it does shipments through the United States Postal Service (USPS), and as a result, drug traffickers can readily ship synthetic opioids into our country through the USPS. Making matters worse, these synthetic opioids can be 50 to 500 times more potent than the typical street dose of heroin. Now that we know how these poisons are entering our communities, we have a moral obligation to close this loophole. I’m glad today the House passed the STOP Act to do just that, and I urge the Senate to expeditiously take up this important bill.”
“We must stop synthetic opioids—like fentanyl—from reaching our communities,” said Chairman Brady. “Today’s passage of the STOP Act puts us one step closer to making it impossible for international criminals to ship this contraband into the United States through the mail. Under the strong leadership in the House by Rep. Bishop, Rep. Faso, and Chairman Reichert, the STOP Act is part of Congress’ unprecedented efforts to fight the opioid epidemic in America and keep our families, friends, and neighbors safe. Led by Senator Portman and Senator Klobuchar, I look forward to swift passage in the Senate.”
“In 2016, 2,056 people lost their lives to the opioid scourge in my home state. That number may surpass 3,000 this year. Many synthetic opioids reach our homes through the mail, making them difficult to detect. Given the astronomical volume of international shipments the Postal Service processes, more data is needed to catch synthetic opioids at ports of entry before they enter our country,” said Rep. Pascrell. “This legislation will plug gaping loopholes exploited by drug traffickers. The STOP Act will ensure the Postal Service and our law enforcement partners have the tools they need to stem the flood of opioids into our cities and towns. At the same time, this legislation has been carefully tailored to ensure that our USPS and Customs partners have adequate time and protections to bring this plan to fruition. They deserve no less.”