Sens. Portman, Klobuchar urge Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act implementation

U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) recently forwarded correspondence to the Biden administration, encouraging the implementation of the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP Act) to address increased illegal opioids entering the country.

The senators spearheaded the legislation enacted in 2018. The letter to the Biden administration follows a letter from the lawmakers in December 2021 letter encouraging the full implementation of the STOP Act’s requirements while ensuring any exemptions issued to meet the requirements outlined in the bill.

“Congress passed the STOP Act to prevent illicit drugs, including fentanyl, from entering the United States through the United States Postal Service,” Portman, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “The bill requires the Postal Service to provide Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) advance electronic data (“AED”) on international mail. CBP then uses this data to stop fentanyl and other illegal opioids before they can make their way to communities.”

The lawmakers maintain the requirements help to save lives and note authorities must do everything possible to stop fentanyl and other illicit opioids from entering the United States.

“As CBP begins to re-evaluate waivers for 2023, we urge the Department to exercise restraint and ensure that any waivers issued meet the strict requirements outlined in the STOP Act,” the legislators concluded. “If waivers do not remain a temporary exception, we can expect illicit mail traffic to shift to waiver jurisdictions.”

Douglas Clark

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