US President Donald Trump signed the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology, orINTERDICT Act [text, PDF], on Wednesday, with the purpose of affording border protection agents enhanced opioid screening technology.
The act authorizes appropriation of up to $9 million to enhance the ability of US Customs and Border Patrol [official website] to “prevent, detect, and interdict the unlawful importation of fentanyl, other synthetic opioids, and other narcotics and psychoactive substances,” including the acquisition of new chemical screening devices capable of detecting illicit substances at postal facilities and other points of contact.
At the Oval Office signing ceremony, Trump called [remarks] fentanyl “our new big scourge” and underscored CBP’s role in preventing its importation:
The supply of these deadly drugs come from places outside the United States — Mexico, China, other countries. Drugs are entering our country across our borders and even through our own postal system. They’re using our postal system and they’re killing our people.
Joining Trump at the signing ceremony, Vice President Mike Pence commended “members of Congress for acting swiftly and in a bipartisan way[.]”
The INTERDICT Act, sponsored by Niki Tsongas (D-MA) [official website], passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. The House passed with a vote of 412-3 and the Senate voted unanimously.