Reichert, Colleagues Applaud Passage of the STOP Act

Jun 14, 2018 Issues: Healthcare, Trade

Washington, DC - Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5788, the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, bipartisan legislation to prevent the shipment of synthetic opioids into the United States through the international mail system, by a vote of 353-52. Upon passage, House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA), Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI), Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), and Rep. John Faso (R-NY) released the following statements:

“With rising numbers of opioid-related deaths in Washington State and throughout the country, we must address this growing crisis that leaves devastation in its path," said Chairman Reichert. “Today, I am proud to stand up for the health and safety of our communities and families by supporting the STOP Act. This bipartisan legislation helps protect the American people by securing the international mail system and closing a loophole that has allowed illicit synthetic opioids to enter our country with alarming ease. I look forward to seeing this important legislation passed quickly in the Senate and signed into law, shielding families from the harm caused by the flow of illicit opioids into the U.S."

“We must stop synthetic opioids—like fentanyl—from reaching our communities,” said Chairman Brady. “Today’s passage of the STOP Act puts us a significant step closer to closing the border to international criminals trying to ship this contraband into the United States through the mail. Under the bipartisan leadership in the House by Rep. Bishop, Rep. Faso, Chairman Reichert, and Rep. Pascrell, 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.”

“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.”

“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.”

"This legislation is the result of input and compromise from members of both parties in the House and Senate," said Rep. Faso. "I'm encouraged that we came together to craft a real solution to this problem that is realistic, implementable, and effective. This is a big step in our fight to rid our communities of deadly synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl."

CLICK HERE to read the AINS.
CLICK HERE to read the perfecting amendment.
CLICK HERE to read the summary.
CLICK HERE to read the press release on the bipartisan, bicameral agreement reached on the STOP Act.