In two near unanimous votes, the U.S. House on Tuesday adopted a pair of measures intended to disrupt the methamphetamine trade by blocking the global flow of pseudoephedrine to Mexican drug traffickers, reports the Oregonian. The two measures, adopted as amendments to the State Department’s annual authorization bill, were pushed forward by an array of Northwest Democrats and Midwest Republicans.
The first amendment, approved 423-2, would require the agency to estimate the legitimate demand for cold medicine by top importing countries. Foreign aid could be withheld from countries that allow the diversion of massive amounts of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine — the essential ingredients in methamphetamine. The other amendment, adopted 424-1, would require U.S. diplomats to work with Mexico to crack down on imports of pseudoephedrine into the country and smuggling of meth from Mexico into the United States. It would authorize the agency to spend $4 million for that purpose and require officials to report annually. The two measures follow an investigation by the Oregonian that showed an enormous influx of pseudoephedrine to Mexico is fueling meth production.