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Last Updated:3/31/00
Speech by Rep. John Olver (D-Massachusetts), March 29, 2000
Mr. OLVER. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, this has really been quite an interesting discussion we have had, and I want to thank the gentlewoman from California for being so creative and providing us a way for this discussion to go on.

Mr. Chairman, we have been dealing with a war on drugs all the years of this past decade that I have served in the Congress, and quite a few years before that. And I doubt that any single one of us, reading the evidence, could say that we are winning that war on drugs. Generally, I think we do understand that if the war on drugs is to be won, then it is going to have to be a combination of efforts, where demand reduction here at home is going to have to go hand-in-hand with the supply interdiction that occurs at the source. But surely it ought to be a balance that uses most of the most effective effort.

In fact, research by the Rand Corporation has shown that in order to get the same benefit that $1 spent on treatment in education-on-demand reduction here at home we would have to spend about $20 in interdiction at the source in order to get the same benefit.

Now, Mr. Chairman, because the full amendment that had been offered and debated in the full Committee on Appropriations, the full amendment that was to be proposed and had been proposed before the Committee on Rules by the gentlewoman from California, was not made in order, the gentlewoman had no choice, had no way of entering this debate except to make an amendment that would cut $50 million out of a program that has never been authorized by this Congress. It was her only way to focus on this utter folly of misexpenditure where that $50 million would do 20 times the benefit, at least 20 times the benefit, if that same $50 million that she has proposed to cut were to be used here at home on drug treatment and demand reduction here at home.

Mr. Chairman, it is more than an hour ago that the distinguished gentleman, also from California, who is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Defense of the Committee on Appropriations, said that he would be happy to join with the gentlewoman from California, as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs of the Committee on Appropriations, in doing an effective demand reduction program, expansion of a demand reduction program. Well, he had that opportunity within the full Committee on Appropriations; and if that amendment had been made in order today, he would have had that opportunity again today.

It is more than 2 hours ago that the distinguished gentleman from Alabama, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs of the Committee on Appropriations, had said, in justifying why the amendment that was offered by the gentlewoman from California was not made in order, to be debated in proper order, in general order here, he said that the President had not asked for dollars to fight domestic drugs; and if he had asked for money to fight the domestic drug program, that we would have appropriated it.

Well, I have never before noticed any reluctance by the majority to go beyond what this President has requested, if it was appropriate to do so. And I simply do not understand why we would not go after drug demand here at home, drug-demand reduction here at home when that is so clearly known, so clearly shown to be the most effective way to get about winning the war on drugs.

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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