WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, cosponsored bipartisan legislation to ensure that personnel at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 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.
The bipartisan DHS Opioid Detection Resilience Act, introduced by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and John Cornyn (R-TX), would require the Department 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.
“The Department of Homeland Security is the first line of defense to prevent synthetic opioids like fentanyl from entering the United States,” Senator Hassan said. “This bipartisan bill will help ensure that agents at the Department are equipped with the most up-to-date technology to help them detect and track these harmful and illegal substances. I will continue working across the aisle to ensure that law enforcement agencies have the resources that they need to prevent fentanyl and other synthetic opioids from reaching our communities.”
Senator Hassan recently joined Senator Cornyn in calling 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.