Opioid legislation praised

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Portman’s STOP Act included in passage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, praised the Senate for passing the final House-Senate opioid package last week, which his office described as landmark reforms which included his bipartisan STOP Act and Improving CARE Act, as well as his bipartisan CRIB Act and several key initiatives from his bipartisan CARA 2.0 Act.

“This bill is a major victory for Ohio and for the country because it will strengthen the federal government’s response to the opioid crisis,” Portman said in a news release. “Importantly, this bill will increase access to long-term treatment and recovery while also helping stop the flow of deadly synthetic drugs like fentanyl from being shipped into the United States through our own Postal Service.”

Portman’s office said the STOP Act will help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through U.S. borders to drug traffickers in the nation.

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The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations which Portman chairs, conducted an 18-month investigation into this issue and released a bipartisan report detailing how drug traffickers exploit vulnerabilities in the nation’s international mail system to ship synthetic drugs like fentanyl from China into the United States though the U.S. Postal Service.

Portman said The STOP Act will close the loophole that has allowed this to happen by holding the U.S. Postal Service to the same screening standard as private mail carriers and requiring them to provide advance electronic data on international packages entering the U.S.

The state’s senior senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, applauded final Senate passage of the act, which he cosponsored.

“The addiction epidemic has taken too many lives and caused too much devastation in Ohio to become a partisan issue,” Brown said. “I’m proud Sen. Portman and I are able to work together to get significant, bipartisan legislation signed into law to stop dangerous drugs at the border and keep them out of Ohio communities.”

Brown’s INTERDICT Act was signed into law by Trump in March. Portman’s STOP Act was included in part of a broader, final addiction legislative package, which has been agreed to by both the House and Senate.