Postal Updates

Trump expresses outrage over illegal drug shipments

Aug 28, 2018, 6 AM
United States Postal Service package mail automation and operations. Screen capture from U.S. Postal Service video.

Washington Postal Scene by Bill McAllister

President Donald Trump is discovering how difficult it is to get Congress to pass postal legislation.

On Aug. 20 the president was back on Twitter complaining that the Senate must quickly pass legislation that could slow the flow of illicit drugs into the United States through the U.S. Postal Service.

“It is outrageous that Poisonous Synthetic Heroin Fentanyl comes pouring into the U.S. Postal System from China,” the president declared in a tweet.

“We can, and must, END THIS NOW!” he added.

Until now, the postal issue that has fueled the president’s anger has been the discounted parcel rates the Postal Service has given online retail giant Amazon.

A panel he created to study the issue has not released its recommendations for improving the Postal Service’s finances.

What sparked Trump’s ire about the stalled legislation wasn’t immediately clear.

The chief Republican sponsor of the measure, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, was delighted by the president’s statement.

“This bipartisan legislation passed the House overwhelmingly in June, and it’s long past time for the Senate to pass this bill so it can become law and begin making a difference,” Portman said in a statement.

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Republican leaders of both the House and Senate had announced an agreement to move Portman’s Synthetics and Overdoes Act, called the STOP Act, in June.

The Washington Post noted that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has “focused on confirming federal judges and passing appropriations bills.”

The legislation would require the Postal Service to install electronic tracking systems to track incoming packages, as do FedEx and other private shippers.

A congressional report said the online sellers of drugs prefer to use the Postal Service to deliver their goods because they believe that mail parcels are less likely to be seized by customs officials.

This is not the first time Trump has complained about the drug shipments from China. At an August cabinet meeting he said China was “sending that garbage and killing our people.”

“It’s almost a form of warfare,” he said.

The president did not mention McConnell or his party in his tweet about the delay of Portman’s measure.

Republican officials said that GOP lawmakers in the Senate were planning a timetable for action on the legislation.