Photo courtesy of the White House
(Washington, DC) – Key opioid legislation cosponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to help ensure U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has tools to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids was signed into law this evening. The International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act was introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators, including Ed Markey (D-MA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
“New Hampshire has more fentanyl overdose deaths per capita than any other state in the nation, making interdiction of fentanyl at the border absolutely critical to saving lives in our state,” said Senator Shaheen. “It’s very encouraging to see bipartisan cooperation on this legislation, which gives Customs and Border Protection better means to snuff out fentanyl trafficking. I hope we can soon make similar progress across the aisle when it comes to securing treatment providers and law enforcement the resources they desperately need.”
“The spread of synthetic opioids like fentanyl is exacerbating the devastating opioid crisis that’s ravaging our communities in New Hampshire and taking a massive toll on our economy, killing people faster and with smaller amounts,” said Senator Hassan. “By giving Customs and Border Protection agents better tools to detect and disrupt the flow of fentanyl across our borders, the bipartisan INTERDICT Act is an important step forward in our comprehensive approach to combat this crisis and help save lives, and I am pleased that President Trump has signed the measure into law. It is critical that we continue working across party lines to strengthen prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement efforts to stem – and ultimately reverse – the deadly tide of this epidemic.”
As the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to combat the opioid epidemic. Just yesterday, Senator Shaheen joined with Senator Hassan to propose an additional $25 billion to address the growing crisis as part of the budget agreement that is currently being negotiated in Congress. Shaheen and Hassan also recently introduced bipartisan funding legislation to prioritize states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic, including New Hampshire.