President signs bill into law co-sponsored by NH senators

January 10, 2018

President Donald Trump signed a new piece of legislation into law Wednesday night to combat the flow of illegal opioids.

While it was co-sponsored by New Hampshire’s senators, it is designed to have a life-saving impact across the entire country.

“It's going to help,” Trump told sponsors of the legislation. “Hopefully, it will help a lot.”

The International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH.

The law will put more high-tech tools at borders, ports of entry and even mail facilities to detect fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids. The legislation also authorizes more forensic work.

“This is a place where we can all agree that we've got to do more and we've got to work together,” Shaheen said to Trump.

Shaheen and Hassan stressed that New Hampshire has more fentanyl overdose deaths per capita than any other state.

“This will provide up-to-date equipment that can be used all along the border as their efforts to try and smuggle that drug into the United States,” Shaheen told News 9.

While the funding from this opioid-fighting act still needs to be appropriated, New Hampshire’s senators are also proposing an additional $25 billion to address the opioid epidemic as part of the budget agreement being negotiated by Congress.

“We have to stop it from coming into the country, but we also need many more federal dollars for treatment prevention and recovery programs,” Hassan told News 9.

The senators are also pushing for legislation that would prioritize funding for states hit hardest by the opioid crisis, including New Hampshire.

By:  Jean Mackin
Source: WMUR