Bipartisan Heroin Task Force Agenda Legislation Passes House
(Washington, DC) - Today the leaders of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) applauded the passage of the INTERDICT Act in the House of Representatives. The Bipartisan Heroin Task Force has been working to advance the INTERDICT Act through the House, along with the other bills on its legislative agenda. The bill ensures that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel they need to detect and intercept fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. It was introduced by Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and cosponsored by Representatives Kuster, MacArthur, and Norcross.
“The opioid epidemic that is devastating communities around New Hampshire and across the country requires a comprehensive response that addresses all aspects of this crisis,” said Congresswoman Kuster, Founder and Democratic Chair of the Task Force. “The INTERDICT Act will help US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reduce the flow of fentanyl and synthetic opioids from outside the country by giving CBP the necessary tools to detect and intercept these dangerous substances. I am pleased that the agenda of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force is advancing and urge the Senate to take up this commonsense legislation that will help keep our country safe.”
“Across the United States, synthetic opioids are flowing into our neighborhoods and destroying the lives of so many loved ones,” said Republican Chair of the Task Force, Congressman Tom MacArthur. “Customs and Border Protection is our first line of defense in detecting and intercepting these illicit substances from getting into our county. This bipartisan bill ensures they have the resources needed to protect our streets from powerful drugs like fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. I’m grateful members of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force and other Representatives from both parties were able to work together and pass this critical legislation.”
“As communities across my district and across our nation continue to deal with the crisis of opioid abuse and addiction it’s hard to imagine a synthetic drug up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine,” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, Republican Vice- Chair of the Task Force. “The INTERDICT Act is bipartisan legislation that provides U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) access to the latest in chemical screening devices and scientific support to detect and intercept synthetic opioids before they can cause more harm. I am grateful for the leadership of Rep. Tsongas and the support of the House to pass this critical measure in a bipartisan fashion. I urge the Senate to act quickly and save lives.”
“The disease of addiction is a national emergency and we must act fast, remove barriers and help those suffering,” said Congressman Donald Norcross, Democrat Vice-Chair of the Task Force. “Those at the forefront of this fight need resources to protect our communities from powerful synthetic opioids and I am glad this bill passed the House to help keep our neighborhoods safe. This one piece of legislation is a step in the right direction, but we need to do more. We need Congress and the Administration to advance the whole suite of bills supported by our bipartisan task force.”