WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) applauded inclusion of more than $65 million in the FY2018 omnibus to fund opioid detection devices and equipment called for in their INTERDICT Act. The bipartisan legislation that President Donald J. Trump signed into law in January will help stop the flow of the illicit opioid fentanyl across the U.S. border by equipping U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with high-tech scanning devices and other technologies to detect synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
“This omnibus includes many wins for West Virginia, including resources to tackle challenges like the opioid epidemic that is devastating so many across the country,” Senator Capito said. “I was glad to work with my colleagues to help secure funding in this bill that will enhance our enforcement efforts and ensure law enforcement professionals have the tools and resources they need to keep fentanyl and other dangerous drugs out of our country.”
“This funding will help provide badly needed resources to those on the front lines in Massachusetts, at our borders, and at international mail facilities, who are protecting our country from the scourge of fentanyl,” Senator Markey said. “Fentanyl presents a grave threat to all Americans. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to secure funding that will provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection the resources it needs to interdict this deadly drug.”
“Fentanyl is exacerbating the opioid crisis and destroying American families and lives,” Senator Rubio said. “This funding will give law enforcement more tools to keep this poisonous substance away from our communities, and I’m proud that we have secured funding for this important effort.”
“The opioid addiction epidemic takes far too many lives and destroys too many families across Ohio,” Senator Brown said. “This law is about giving law enforcement the tools they need to keep fentanyl out of our country and off Ohio streets. I’m grateful to my colleagues for working across the aisle secure this important victory in the fight against the opioid crisis.”
Specifically, the INTERDICT Act:

  • Ensures that CBP will have additional portable chemical screening devices available at ports of entry and mail and express consignment facilities and additional fixed chemical screening devices available in CBP laboratories.
  • Provides CBP with sufficient resources, personnel, and facilities—including scientists available during all operational hours—to interpret screening test results from the field.
  • Authorizes hundreds of new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel for support during all operational hours.

In total, the omnibus provides $4.6 billion to combat the opioid crisis, including much-needed resources for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and the Drug Free Communities programs. As chair of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Capito oversees funding for those programs.
More information on the INTERDICT Act is available here.
Senator Capito’s full statement on the FY2018 omnibus is available here.


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