WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security this week announced steps to fully implement the bipartisan STOP Act that Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) worked to pass into law in order to strengthen efforts to block illegal drug trafficking.
The bill, which Senator Hassan cosponsored, was signed into law in 2018 to curb the shipment of deadly fentanyl and other synthetic drugs that are being sent through the mail, often through China, to drug traffickers in the United States. During a December 2020 hearing, Senator Hassan pressed Department of Homeland Security officials over delays in its implementation. Senator Hassan also participated in a 2019 Congressional delegation to China, where she pressed Chinese officials to ensure that packages coming to the United States from China had the advance electronic data that is now required by law.
“Congress came together, working across the aisle to pass critical legislation to help prevent the illegal trafficking of opioids that are getting shipped to the United States, fueling addiction and overdose deaths. I am pleased that the Department of Homeland Security is now doing its part to fully implement our law. I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis and with the administration to hold China accountable and block illegal opioid shipments from coming into our country,” said Senator Hassan.
Senator Hassan has been leading bipartisan efforts to combat drug trafficking. In 2018, Senator Hassan attended the White House signing ceremony for the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which she cosponsored, to help ensure that U.S. Customs and Border Protection have the tools to help detect and intercept fentanyl being smuggled into the United States – much of which originated in China. Last year, bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan became law to help prevent opioid trafficking by ensuring that personnel at the Department of Homeland Security have the tools that they need to more easily detect synthetic opioids like fentanyl. 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.