December 10, 2020

Bipartisan Bill Cosponsored by Senator Hassan to Help Prevent Opioid Trafficking Passes Senate, Heads to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate and House have passed bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Maggie Hassan to help prevent opioid trafficking, and the bill is now on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The bipartisan DHS Opioid Detection Resilience Act will ensure that personnel at the Department of Homeland Security have the tools that they need to more easily detect synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which are contributing to the devastating substance misuse crisis in New Hampshire and across the country. Senator Hassan serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.


“We must do more to crack down on the trafficking of illegal opioids that are coming into our country and making their way to Granite State communities with deadly consequences,” said Senator Hassan. “I am pleased that Congress came together to pass this bipartisan legislation to ensure that Department of Homeland Security agents have the most up-to-date technology to detect synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and I will continue working across the aisle to combat the fentanyl, heroin, and opioid epidemic.”


The bipartisan DHS Opioid Detection Resilience Act, introduced by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and John Cornyn (R-TX), would require the Department of Homeland Security to implement a strategy to ensure its chemical screening equipment can detect synthetic opioids with purity levels of 10 percent or less. This bipartisan legislation would also require that the Department develop a database to track newly identified synthetic opioids crossing the country’s borders. 


Senators Hassan and Cornyn recently called for the Department of Justice and FBI to provide more details on efforts to combat illegal drug trafficking on the dark web and prioritize prosecution of individuals who access the dark web for the anonymous distribution of illegal drugs. Last year, Senator Hassan visited China where she met with government officials to discuss improving efforts to combat fentanyl trafficking from China into the United States. Senator Hassan also successfully worked to help pass the bipartisan International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act, that is now law, that helps prevent fentanyl from crossing the border by equipping border patrol agents with high-tech screening devices to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids. Additionally, the Senator cosponsored the bipartisan Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act that would establish a grant program to give state and local law enforcement access to similar cutting-edge screening technology.