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Last Updated:4/18/03
Speech by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), April 3, 2003

Mr. MICA. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate what the gentleman who has offered this amendment has intended, and that is to assist our first responders, and we want to make certain that those who are protecting our streets, those who are protecting and defending our communities against the threat of terrorism have the adequate resources to do that. But this is, unfortunately, an ill-conceived amendment. It would do a great deal of damage.

I have chaired the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Drug Policy, and I can tell my colleagues that we finally have the opportunity, the glimmer of hope of bringing under control some of the devastation that is being wrought by the illegal narcotics that are being produced in Colombia. Today, Colombia provides 90 percent of the cocaine and 60 percent of the heroin sold or seized on America's streets. To put this in perspective for my colleagues, drug-related deaths in the United States now exceed homicides. Fifty American lives are lost every day. Before this day ends, 50 Americans will die in the streets and communities across our Nation, most of them young people, and most of the deaths are a result of drugs and narcotics coming from Colombia.

So this is a bad amendment and bad timing, because we have a President now who is supportive of our efforts to curb terrorism, to curb narcoterrorism, and to curb the narcotics that are coming into our streets and communities and killing countless Americans.

So I ask for my colleagues' careful consideration and defeat of the McGovern amendment. I know it is well-intended, but it is inappropriate at this time.

As of April 18, 2003, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/B?r108:@FIELD(FLD003+h)+@FIELD(DDATE+20030403)

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