McCaul Introduces Bill to Stop the Flow of Illicit Opioids into the United States

May 16, 2019
Press Release

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Michael T. McCaul (R-TX), the Lead Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Chairman Emeritus on the House Homeland Security Committee (TX-10), 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.

Congressman McCaul: As a representative of a border state and the former Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I know well the many threats to the great state of Texas. Chief among these are the illicit drugs, including opioids, flowing across our southwest border and into our local communities.

“These drugs threaten the health and safety of our families and have created a public health crisis that spans from Texas’ tenth district to across the globe. Addressing the deadly opioid epidemic requires a holistic approach, including a clear-cut foreign policy strategy that goes beyond our borders and stops these dangerous drugs at the source.

“It is estimated that 130 Americans die from opioid overdoses each day; I will not accept that statistic. The only way to tackle this crisis is head-on. That is why I introduced the SAFE from Illicit Opioids Act. This bipartisan legislation builds on the Administration's whole-of-government approach, will enhance foreign policy engagement, and will improve the international legal framework for drug control.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to take another step forward in the fight against the local and global opioid epidemic.

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