Faso takes lead on bill to combat fentanyl shipments

Rep. John Faso has become the primary sponsor of a bipartisan bill that aims to intercept shipments of deadly fentanyl from China and other countries by requiring the U.S. Postal Service to get information about foreign package senders relayed electronically so federal authorities can check it before the packages arrive.

The Kinderhook Republican was made a primary sponsor on Monday to replace former Rep. Pat Tiberi, an Ohio Republican who introduced the bill last year and recently resigned. The bill, the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act (STOP Act) of 2017, has 252 cosponsors altogether from both parties, more than half the House of Representatives.

“Synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil are hundreds of times more potent than heroin, which itself has been a catalyst of this epidemic,” Faso said in a press release. “A large portion of these dangerous synthetic drugs come into the country across our borders through mail packages. We should be doing all we can to stem this flow of drugs, and the STOP Act is a significant part the strategy to do so.”

By coincidence, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took a different step that day to go after a drug that has taken center stage in the nation’s opioid crisis and overdose deaths. He proposed legislation outlawing 11 newly developed fentanyl analogs, a step needed to catch up with illegal drug manufacturers.

“Make no mistake: Fentanyl is potent, dangerous and its abuse is increasingly fueling the misery of the opioid epidemic,” Cuomo said in announcing that proposal. “These actions will give law enforcement the tools they need to combat this drug, holding the death dealers who peddle it accountable and helping ensure that our laws are able to keep pace with this evolving public health crisis.”

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