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Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

Senators encourage bill giving CBP additional resources to stop flow of fentanyl

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Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would have more access to portable chemical screening devices to stem the flow of fentanyl across the nation’s borders under a bill that recently gained Senate approval.

The International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act would also ensure that CBP has access to scientists to interpret test results from the field during all operational hours.

With a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report finding that 43,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2016, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Edward Markey (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) applauded Senate approval of the bill.

“Fentanyl is a leading contributor to the opioid crisis that is destroying families and taking lives in Florida and across the country,” Rubio said. “I urge the president to quickly sign this bill into law so that we can further the progress in stopping fentanyl from entering our country from abroad, and ultimately curb the opioid epidemic.”

Markey said fentanyl poses an “immediate and grave threat to the American people,” and its flow across the borders must be stymied.

“Customs and Border Protection is a critical line of defense in the battle to stop fentanyl from flooding our communities, and the INTERDICT Act will help provide it with the latest technological tools to detect and intercept this deadly drug,” Markey said.

Recent data indicates that West Virginia continues to lead the country in overdose deaths, Capito said, but other states also face consequences from the opioid epidemic.

“Given the scope and the impact of this national crisis, it’s going to take a comprehensive, all-hands-on-deck approach to fight it, and enforcement is a big part of that strategy,” Capito said. “I was proud to introduce the INTERDICT Act with Sen. Markey and will continue working to make sure our law enforcement professionals have the tools and resources they need to keep illicit substances out of our country and off of our streets.”