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Washington D.C. – Today, House Foreign Affairs Lead Republican Michael McCaul introduced H.R. 2780, the Saving American Families Everywhere (SAFE) from Illicit Opioids Act. This bill will require the State Department, in conjunction with other federal agencies, to develop an international diplomatic and assistance strategy to stop the flow of illicit drugs into the United States. By identifying concrete benchmarks and clearly stated objectives, this bill will reduce global demand and production of opioids, prevent foreign market distribution, and strengthen country capacities to deter opioid threats. Additionally, H.R. 2780 protects vital funding for international anti-opioid efforts and law enforcement working to stop illicit drug flows into the U.S.
Lead Republican McCaul: “In the last two decades, overdose deaths from opioids have increased nearly six-fold killing a staggering 130 Americans each day. With the majority of illicit drugs originating overseas, including cartels in Mexico driving heroin production across our southwest border and fentanyl being shipped internationally from China, stopping these drug flows requires a coordinated strategy.
“I am proud to introduce the SAFE from Illicit Opioids Act to help stop these dangerous drugs before they can even cross our border and hurt our communities. This bipartisan legislation builds upon the Administration’s whole-of-government approach to combatting the opioid epidemic by enhancing foreign policy engagement and improving the international legal framework for drug control. This legislation will ensure that our efforts to stop the flows of deadly opioids into the United States are reviewed annually against clearly stated objectives and benchmarks. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to better fight this global epidemic and ensure a safer America.”
The SAFE from Illicit Opioids Act works to develop and maintain an international diplomatic and assistance strategy to:
- Reduce the production and global demand of illicit opioids;
- Strengthen country capacities to detect and stop opioid threats;
- Increase foreign government targeting of online sales, related financial flows, and the use of postal and shipping services;
- Improve the international legal framework for drug control, to keep pace with evolving synthetic drugs
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Author: Caroline Campbell