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Last Updated:3/31/00
Speech by Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-California), March 29, 2000
Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to address my colleagues on a personal note. Drugs have hurt many of us, our own families, including my own, including my own son.

I have two beautiful daughters. My youngest scored 1600 on her SATs. She is a National Merit Scholar. And my oldest one helped to start a club of some 35 high school kids that do not drink; they do not smoke; they do not do drugs, and it is a marvelous group to watch. But it is called family. I have a son who is 30 years old who got involved using drugs in his early years, and he went through drug treatment. On a lieutenant's pay, it was not easy to put him through that treatment, so I understand where the gentlewoman is coming from.

But then later on in life, when he was 30, he got caught selling marijuana that came across from Mexico. So we individually have a lot of pain with drugs. It has been devastating to our family having my son in the situation he is in, knowing that he could have had much better in life.

So to my colleague I would say, is there enough money in drug treatment? No. I do not disagree with the gentlewoman. But it is a series of a war. We have not really had a war on drugs in this country, with Republicans or Democrats, because if we did, we would stop them at the border. The Noriegas of the world, we would not only throw in jail but we would stand them up in exhibition to the world to let the world know we are not going to stand for those drugs coming in. Our border patrols would stop the money that is coming in from China on our cargo ships. And then on the streets, if someone gets caught selling drugs, that person needs to know they are going to go to jail, and they are going to go to jail for a long time, including my own son, who I love very much.

And then if someone does get hooked on drugs, and thousands of our children have, and we heard the Speaker say that 52,000 people die every year in our country from drugs, then, yes, we treat that. I think we do not have an adequate amount, but we do have it, and we need to spread out the money on all of these endeavors. I would rather have my son or my daughters, if I knew they were going to get the mumps or the measles, I would rather prevent them from getting the mumps or the measles in the first place, as I would like to stop our children from getting drugs. So we need to spread out the money across the gambit. I think it is difficult to do that when we say, well, we need more money here, we need more money there. I agree we need more money everywhere on this to really have a war on drugs.

The gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Obey) is not wrong. I had a very difficult time voting against his amendment. Actually, in the committee, I voted for it, because I do not know in my own mind, having not supported Haiti, and I know that we put $2.4 billion in there and I look at Haiti today, and I look at Somalia, so I do not know if Colombia has the infrastructure to handle the money that we give them or if it will end up in Las Vegas, and so I struggle with that very much.

But I would ask my colleagues not to berate saying, well, one side or the other does not want to give money for treatment. I think when we lay out the whole plan and the whole war, it is very, very important for us to come together on this.

As of March 30, 2000, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H29MR0-173:

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