President Trump Signs McCaskill-Backed Bipartisan Bill to Help Stop Illegal Opioids from Entering the U.S.

President Trump has now signed 17 bills that McCaskill sponsored or helped shape

WASHINGTON – President Trump signed into law a McCaskill-backed bill to help stop the flow of the illicit synthetic opioid fentanyl across the borders. The bill arms Customs and Border Protection with additional chemical screening devices to help detect illegal opioid smuggling. In FY 2017, the agency seized approximately 1,485 pounds of fentanyl.

“The opioid epidemic has devastated far too many Missouri families—and we need to be using every tool at our disposal to fight this crisis,” McCaskill said. “Amidst all the partisan bickering in Washington, I’m glad to be working across the aisle to get results in tackling this problem. This new law will get Customs and Border Protection the equipment they need to help stop illegal opioids from getting into the country and to Missouri.”

The bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which has the support of Republican Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Rob Portman of Ohio, will provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection tools such as hi-tech chemical screening devices to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids. As McCaskill addressed during a Senate hearing last year, opioid ingredients are often shipped from China to Mexico for manufacture, only to be smuggled into the U.S. for sale on the black market.

McCaskill has been one of the top voices in Congress for combatting the opioid epidemic. McCaskill’s current investigation into opioid manufacturers and distributers is the most comprehensive Congressional investigation into the crisis to date. This past September, McCaskill announced the first round of findings, detailing systemic manipulation of the prior authorization process by Insys Therapeutics. After media reports indicated that the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 had dramatically restricted the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors suspected of wrongdoing, McCaskill introduced a bill to repeal the law. McCaskill has also targeted opioid and drug trafficking, for instance requesting documents from the Departments of State and Homeland Security and USPS about intercepting opioid shipments from foreign countries.

Visit www.mccaskill.senate.gov/opioid-investigation to learn more about McCaskill’s investigation. 

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