ASAP Urges the House Ways and Means Committee to Reject Weaker Alternatives to H.R. 1057, the STOP Act, to Prevent Opioids from Flooding Into the U.S. through International Mail
Washington, D.C. – The House Ways and Means Committee is preparing to mark up a weakened alternative bill to the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act. Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) calls on Committee leadership to reject this weakened alternative, and pass H.R. 1057, a bill with 271 bipartisan cosponsors.
In a letter sent to the Committee today, ASAP urges House Ways and Means members to pass the STOP Act, requiring foreign postal operators to provide critically important advance electronic data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for packages coming into the U.S. through the postal system. Because foreign postal operators are specifically exempt from this legal requirement, international drug traffickers and other bad actors have identified an easily-exploited vulnerability in our national security, helping fuel the nationwide opioid epidemic through the global postal system.
While well-intentioned, the House draft legislation falls short of fixing this critical problem. Vast improvements must be made to the House draft or, better still, the Ways & Means Committee should pass H.R. 1057 – which is a bipartisan bill that already has more than 270 sponsors.
Congress needs to act now to close this loophole. The provisions of the STOP Act will require transmission of advance electronic data on all packages entering the United States and it is critical that provision remain in the bill. Without this, law enforcement will be left without the tools they need to do their job. The alternative legislation does not appear to give our law enforcement community the tools it critically needs to interdict opioids and other dangerous materials from the postal stream.
“The STOP Act will make it much more difficult for bad actors to send deadly drugs directly into our country,” said Governor Tom Ridge, senior advisor to Americans for Securing All Packages. “But if steps are taken to strip our law enforcement of their authority to enforce this requirement, we will be failing the great people of our nation who are looking for a solution to stop toxic drugs from coming into our country.”
“Nearly every community across our nation has been touched by the opioid epidemic,” said Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor for Americans for Securing All Packages. “We must make sure customs officials have the data they need to stop synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil from ever reaching Americans’ doorsteps. That’s how we stop this crisis – by doing all that we possibly can to stand up for victims and their families.”