WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at the House Rules Committee hearing on the STOP Act.
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery:
“Chairman Sessions, Ranking Member McGovern, Members of the Rules Committee – good afternoon, and thank you for allowing me to testify before you today on this important piece of legislation.
“This bill addresses the opioid epidemic by securing international mail, which is all too often an easy route for smuggling dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl into the United States.
“While private carriers have been required to submit advanced data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection on all shipments for more than a decade, this is not the case for the U.S. Postal Service.
“This means that illegal shipments have an easier route into the U.S. through the mail.
“The STOP Act will close this loophole by requiring the Postal Service to transmit advanced data to CBP on all international shipments by the end of 2020.
“This data is desperately needed by CBP to fight the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.
“To ensure compliance, the STOP Act will establish civil penalties if the Postal Service accepts mail shipments without advance data after 2020.
“This bill gives the CBP Commissioner authority to modify penalties – as it can for penalties on private carriers – if he makes specific findings.
“The STOP Act will also direct the State Department to strengthen international postal agreements and to ensure that any future agreements preserve our ability to require advance data on all international mail shipments.
“In closing, I want to thank Congressman Bishop for his leadership, as well as Subcommittee Chairman Reichert, Ranking Member Pascrell, and Congressman John Faso for their work to deliver a hard-hitting solution to this very serious problem.
“I am confident that this bill will make a difference in the opioid crisis and help protect Americans. It’s time that we bring the Postal Service up to the same high standard we require of private carriers.
“By passing this bill, we can take meaningful action to help stop the flow of synthetic opioids from coming into this country.”