The congressmen said passage of their Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish a Joint Task Force to better coordinate the interdiction of illicit fentanyl and other opioids entering the United States.
DHS Joint Task Forces coordinate activities across the Department for border security, crisis response, and regional cooperation. Under the Langevin-King legislation, the Department would be authorized to create new task forces focused on opioid interdiction.
“The opioid crisis is devastating communities in Rhode Island and across the nation,” Langevin, a senior member of the committee, said. “We must stop the flow of overseas fentanyl into our communities, and that requires continued collaboration and integration across the Department of Homeland Security. A new Joint Task Force will provide important coordination among the DHS component agencies and between the Department and private sector partners.”
King said the action and support from the Homeland Security Committee is an important step and a recognition of Langevin’s efforts.
“I will continue to do all that I can to make sure the Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act becomes law, and we stop this epidemic from destroying our communities,” he said.
The congressman referenced a report from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, highlighting synthetic opioids like fentanyl are often transported in the mail or by private parcel delivery services from overseas. McCaskill has sponsored companion legislation in the Senate.
The bill now heads to the full House for further consideration.