ASAP Urges Senate to Bring STOP Act to the Floor and Close the Postal Opioid Pipeline

Bipartisan legislation overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives last month

Washington, D.C. (July 2, 2018) – After the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act with a bipartisan vote of 353-52, Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) is now calling on congressional leadership to quickly schedule a vote in the Senate due to the urgent public health crisis caused by deadly opioids flooding the country from abroad. The bill already has broad bipartisan support, counting over one third of the chamber among its co-sponsors. The Senate Finance Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), also recently committed to approving the STOP Act, and the White House has announced that the president will sign the bill should it reach his desk.

The STOP Act would close a loophole in the global postal system that is widely exploited by drug traffickers by requiring all foreign packages to include advance electronic data, or AED. This basic security information is necessary for Customs and Border Protection and other national security agencies to effectively screen the massive number of packages entering the U.S. each day for dangerous material, including synthetic drugs like fentanyl. Under current law, foreign shipments sent via private carriers must contain AED, but those sent via international posts and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service do not. As a result, drug dealers actually recommend using the postal system to avoid detection and interdiction.

“For too long, the men and women of Customs and Border Protection have lacked access to the comprehensive tools they need to keep Americans safe,” said Governor Tom Ridge, senior advisor to Americans for Securing All Packages. “With deadly foreign fentanyl fueling the opioid epidemic, communities across the country are seeing the tragic results. I am hopeful the Senate will continue the incredible bipartisan momentum behind the STOP Act and quickly send the bill to the president’s desk.”

“We know that drug traffickers exploit the postal loophole to send deadly opioids straight to American doorsteps. But with a commonsense solution that all sides can agree will help cut off this pipeline, there’s no excuse to delay,” said Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor to Americans for Securing All Packages. “Passing the STOP Act would help keep these poisons out of our country, protect first responders and save American lives.”

 In addition to the majority of Congress, the STOP Act is supported by groups nationwide that are invested in bringing an end to the opioid epidemic, including the American Medical Association, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, and the National Conference of State Legislatures.