Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), a senior member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement after the Joint Task Force to Combat Opioid Trafficking Act, legislation he introduced with Congressman Peter King (R-NY), passed the House of Representatives.
“Rhode Island has the ninth highest rate of opioid-related deaths in the country, and I have heard over and over from people whose lives have been devastated due to overdose. Stopping the opioid overdose epidemic requires a comprehensive approach, including efforts to prevent these substances from arriving in our communities in the first place. The establishment of a Joint Task Force on opioids with the Department of Homeland Security will help prevent fentanyl and other opioids from entering the United States from overseas. With this new authority, DHS will be able to ensure unity of effort across its component agencies and better coordinate with private sector partners to achieve a more effective response in halting the inflow of opioids. I thank Congressman King and Senator McCaskill for their support and leadership in moving this bill, and I look forward to its speedy consideration in the Senate.”