by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pennsylvania), March 29, 2000
FATTAH. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
Mr. Chairman, we have proceeded
in this conversation as if it is an either/or proposition. I would argue
that it really is not.
The purpose for this complaint
and the protest is that we wanted an amendment made in order for the gentlewoman
from California so that we could put it into the supplemental appropriation
to increase resources for drug treatment.
Now, it is true that a large
amount of cocaine and heroin travels from Colombia to this country, but
it is also true that those are not the only drugs that are causing problems
for us here in America. There are domestically generated drugs, like methamphetamines.
There are all kinds of other drugs. We have a serious problem of marijuana
being grown here domestically. There are household inhalants that our
children are using and, in some cases, killing themselves and destroying
So it is not just a matter
of cocaine or heroin, number one, when we talk about drugs.
The question of treatment
is a question of common sense and cost-effectiveness. We know that treatment
works. We know that there are millions of Americans, 3 million in the
latest study, that do not have access to treatment. We know that in most
cities and in rural areas, not only do families not have access to the
person in the family who needs help, but they do not have any opportunity
for the counseling and the support that they need.
We know that drug addiction
causes divorce, home foreclosures, lack of productivity in the workplace.
We know that this problem of drugs is a serious problem throughout our
society, and that we should not be here today talking about on the one
hand, we only want to deal with the problem in Colombia, and on the other
hand, we will wait for another day to deal with the questions and the
challenges of drug treatment here in this country.
Mr. Chairman, all of our law
enforcement officials tell us that even those people incarcerated do not
have access in the majority to treatment programs for drug and alcohol
abuse. We know that the National Institute of Justice did a study that
shows that in our major cities more than 80 percent of the crime is drug
So the question for us has
to be, as a Congress why can we not in a supplemental appropriation that
is wide ranging, it is not just dealing with the question of Colombia,
it is dealing with emergencies in North Carolina, it is dealing with a
whole range of questions, why was it not fitting in the sense of the majority
to make an amendment made in order so that we could talk about increased
resources in an area in which so many people on both sides of the aisle
see the need.
If it was someone in our family,
someone in our community, someone that we have come in contact with that
needed treatment, we want to make sure that they have access to it. We
should feel the same for those 3 million Americans out there today, and
make sure that they have access to real treatment opportunities.
As of March 30, 2000, this
document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H29MR0-173: