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                                                       Calendar No. 460

  
116th Congress  }                                            {   Report
                                SENATE                          
2d Session      }                                            {  116-229
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       


         SYNTHETIC OPIOID EXPOSURE PREVENTION AND TRAINING ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                               H.R. 4739

             TO AMEND THE HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002 TO
          PROTECT U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION OFFICERS,
AGENTS, OTHER PERSONNEL, AND CANINES AGAINST POTENTIAL SYNTHETIC OPIOID 
                    EXPOSURE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
                    
                    
                    
                    

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]




            June 1, 2020.--Ordered to be printed
                  
                            ______            


             U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 
99-010                WASHINGTON : 2020 
                   
                  
                  
                  
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             MAGGIE HASSAN, New Hampshire
MITT ROMNEY, Utah                    KAMALA D. HARRIS, California
RICK SCOTT, Florida                  KYRSTEN SINEMA, Arizona
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             JACKY ROSEN, Nevada
JOSH HAWLEY, Missouri

                Gabrielle D'Adamo Singer, Staff Director
                   Joseph C. Folio III, Chief Counsel
           Brian P. Kennedy, Senior Professional Staff Member
                 Caroline K. Bender, Research Assistant
               David M. Weinberg, Minority Staff Director
               Zachary I. Schram, Minority Chief Counsel
                    Roy S. Awabdeh, Minority Counsel
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                     
                     

                                                       Calendar No. 460
                                                       
                                                       
116th Congress  }                                             {    Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session     }                                             {   116-229

======================================================================



 
         SYNTHETIC OPIOID EXPOSURE PREVENTION AND TRAINING ACT

                                _______
                                

                  June 1, 2020.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4739]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (H.R. 4739) to amend 
the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to protect U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection officers, agents, other personnel, and 
canines against potential synthetic opioid exposure, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment in the nature of a substitute and 
recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................4
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported.............5

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 4739, the Synthetic Opioid Exposure 
Prevention and Training Act, is to require the Commissioner of 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to develop a policy 
that specifies effective protocols and procedures for the safe 
handling of, and exposure to, synthetic opioids such as 
fentanyl by CBP officers, agents, other personnel, and canines. 
It also requires mandatory and recurring training on the 
handling of synthetic opioids and how to access and administer 
opioid receptor antagonists. The Act requires the Commissioner 
to regularly monitor the implementation of the policy, and as 
necessary, revise the protocols and procedures. Finally, the 
Act requires the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office 
of Inspector General (OIG) to conduct a compliance audit within 
three years following the enactment of this Act.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury-related 
death in the United States, exceeding fatalities resulting from 
gun homicides or motor vehicle accidents.\1\ According to the 
National Center for Health Statistics, in 2018, 67,367 
Americans died from an accidental drug overdose.\2\ Opioids 
were responsible for 46,802 fatalities, representing two-thirds 
of all overdoses.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs Permanent 
Subcomm. on Investigations, Majority & Minority Staff Report: 
Combatting the Opioid Crisis: Exploiting Vulnerabilities in 
International Mail (Jan. 2018), available at https://
www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/
Combatting%20the%20Opioid%20Crisis%20%20Exploiting%20Vulnerabilities%20i
n%20 International%20Mail1.pdf.
    \2\NCHS Data Brief, National Center for Health Statistics, Drug 
Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999-2018 (Jan. 2020), available 
at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db356-h.pdf.
    \3\Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention, Drug and Opioid-Involved Deaths in the United 
States 2017-2018 (Mar. 2020), available at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/
volumes/69/wr/mm6911a4.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As the nation grapples with the opioid epidemic, CBP 
officers and agents are on the frontlines of drug interdiction 
efforts.\4\ According to CBP, ``CBP's seizures of fentanyl have 
significantly increased from two pounds seized during fiscal 
year (FY) 2013 to 3,404 pounds seized during FY 2018.''\5\ CBP 
reported having approximately 3,500 pounds of fentanyl in its 
seizure vaults as of April 2019.\6\ The dramatic increase in 
the seizure of synthetic opioids like fentanyl exacerbates the 
potential risk of exposure to CBP personnel tasked with 
preventing illicit drugs from reaching U.S. communities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\The U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP Strategy to Combat 
Opioids 3 (2019), available at https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/
assets/documents/2019-Mar/CBP-Opioid-Strategy-508.pdf.
    \5\Dep't of Homeland Sec., Off. of Inspector Gen., Management 
Alert--CBP Did Not Adequately Protect Employees from Possible Fentanyl 
Exposure 6 (July 2019), available at https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/
default/files/assets/2019-07/OIG-19-53-Jul19.pdf.
    \6\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Given the extreme potency of synthetic opioids, even 
minimal exposure can be fatal.\7\ Protecting CBP personnel and 
canines tasked with handling synthetic opioids is of the utmost 
importance. A July 2019 Management Alert issued by the DHS OIG 
found that CBP currently lacks a policy requiring the 
establishment of precautionary measures to protect its 
personnel.\8\ Specifically, the alert noted that, ``CBP does 
not require mandatory training for its staff to demonstrate an 
understanding of the risks of fentanyl and methods for 
combating accidental exposure.''\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Id. at 1.
    \8\Id. at 2-3.
    \9\Id. at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 4739 requires the CBP Commissioner to develop a policy 
that offers guidance on the proper handling of synthetic 
opioids. In addition, the Act requires training for CBP 
officers, agents and other personnel, including instruction on 
the proper administering of naloxone--a treatment for narcotic 
overdose in an emergency--and mandates that personal protective 
equipment is made readily available. Further, the Commissioner 
is required to regularly assess the efficiency of the policies 
established following enactment of this legislation.

                        III. Legislative History

    Representative Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY-9), along with 
Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-MS-2), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-
4), Max Rose (D-NY-11), Peter King (R-NY-2), John Katko (R-NY-
24), Clay Higgins (R-LA-3), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-8), and Mike 
Rogers (R-AL-3), introduced H.R. 4739 on October 18, 2019. 
Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) joined as a cosponsor 
on October 23, 2019. The House of Representatives passed the 
Act under suspension of the rules by voice vote on December 9, 
2019, and it was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security 
and Governmental Affairs.
    The Committee considered H.R. 4739 at a business meeting on 
March 11, 2020. Chairman Ron Johnson and Ranking Member Gary 
Peters offered a substitute amendment that reduced the required 
number of DHS OIG reports. The Committee adopted the amendment 
en bloc by voice vote and the Act, as amended, was reported 
favorably en bloc. Senators Johnson, Portman, Lankford, Romney, 
Scott, Enzi, Hawley, Peters, Carper, Hassan, Harris, Sinema, 
and Rosen were present for the votes.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Act, as Reported


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the Act's short title, the 
``Synthetic Opioid Exposure Prevention and Training Act.''

Section 2. Protection against potential synthetic opioid exposure 
        within U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    Subsection (a) requires the CBP Commissioner to develop a 
policy specifying the proper protocols and procedures for the 
safe handling of synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, by CBP 
officers, agents, other personnel, and canines to minimize the 
risk of injury or death.
    Subsection (b) specifies that the policy required in 
subsection (a) must be accompanied by mandatory and recurring 
training for CBP personnel on the potential risk posed by the 
exposure to synthetic opioids, and ensuring familiarity with 
personal protective equipment and other precautionary measures. 
The mandatory training is also to include instruction on the 
appropriate administration of naloxone, and other opioid 
receptor antagonists. Further, this section provides that any 
new training may be integrated into an existing training 
framework.
    Subsection (c) requires CBP to ensure field personnel with 
the potential risk of exposure to synthetic opioids are 
provided with personal protective equipment and access to 
opioid antidotes.
    Subsection (d) requires the Commissioner of CBP to assess 
the implementation and efficacy of the policy and make 
adjustments, if necessary. To ensure compliance with the 
policy, the DHS OIG is to conduct no less than one audit in the 
three years following enactment of this Act.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this Act and determined 
that the Act will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the Act contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, April 8, 2020.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4739, the 
Synthetic Opioid Exposure Prevention and Training Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Madeleine 
Fox.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    H.R. 4739 would require Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 
to issue a strategy to protect border agents from synthetic 
opioids. Protection measures would include training, 
establishing safe handling procedures, and ensuring the 
availability of personal protective equipment to agents at risk 
of opioid exposure.
    CBP is currently carrying out activities similar to those 
required by H.R. 4739. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing 
the act would not have a significant cost; any spending would 
be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
    On January 15, 2020, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 4739, the Synthetic Opioid Exposure Prevention and 
Training Act, as passed by the House of Representatives on 
December 9, 2019. The two versions of the legislation are 
similar, and CBOs estimates of their budgetary effects are the 
same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Madeleine Fox. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Director of Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
H.R. 4739 as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Homeland 
Security Act of 2002''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act 
is as follows:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


         TITLE IV--BORDER, MARITIME, AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

     * * * * * * *

             Subtitle B--U.S. Customs and Border Protection

     * * * * * * *
Sec. 416. Protection against potential synthetic opioid exposure.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE IV--BORDER, MARITIME, AND TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle B--U.S. Customs and Border Protection

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 416. PROTECTION AGAINST POTENTIAL SYNTHETIC OPIOID EXPOSURE.

    (a) In General.--The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection shall issue a policy that specifies effective 
protocols and procedures for the safe handling of potential 
synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, by U.S. Customs and 
Border Protection officers, agents, other personnel, and 
canines, and to reduce the risk of injury or death resulting 
from accidental exposure and enhance post-exposure management.
    (b) Training.--
          (1) In General.--Together with the issuance of the 
        policy described in subsection (a), the Commissioner of 
        U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall require 
        mandatory and recurrent training on the following:
                  (A) The potential risk of opioid exposure and 
                safe handling procedures for potential 
                synthetic opioids, including precautionary 
                measures such as the use of personal protective 
                equipment during such handling.
                  (B) How to access and administer opioid 
                receptor antagonists, including naloxone, post-
                exposure to potential synthetic opioids.
          (2) Integration.--The training described in paragraph 
        (1) may be integrated into existing training under 
        section 411(l) for U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
        officers, agents, and other personnel.
    (c) Personal Protective Equipment and Opioid Receptor 
Antagonists.--Together with the issuance of the policy 
described in subsection (a), the Commissioner of U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection shall ensure the availability of personal 
protective equipment and opioid receptor antagonists, including 
naloxone, to all U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, 
agents, other personnel, and canines at risk of accidental 
exposure to synthetic opioids.
    (d) Oversight.--To ensure effectiveness of the policy 
described in subsection (a)--
          (1) the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
        Protection shall regularly monitor the efficacy of the 
        implementation of such policy and adjust protocols and 
        procedures, as necessary; and
          (2) the Inspector General of the Department shall 
        audit compliance with the requirements of this section 
        not less than once during the 3-year period after the 
        date of the enactment of this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *