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Last Updated:5/19/00
Speech by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), May 16, 2000

ILLEGAL NARCOTICS (House of Representatives - May 16, 2000)

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The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 6, 1999, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica) is recognized for half of the remaining time before midnight, or approximately 32 minutes.

Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to come before the House again on a Tuesday night to talk about a subject that I usually discuss with my colleagues in the House of Representatives, and that is the problem we face in our Nation and across our communities in America of illegal narcotics.

We also have an incredibly serious problem with drug abuse that is affecting almost every family in our Nation. If we look at the root of the real problems in our society, criminal problems, disruption in families, serious crimes committed, we need look no further than the problem of illegal narcotics.

I know much of the attention of Washington and some of the Nation was focused here on the events Sunday, on Mothers Day. I think that every American abhors violence. I think it is rightful that mothers would come to this city and plead for an end to violence.

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I think that everyone who is a rational human being would be against gun violence, gun violence against another human being, using a weapon to destroy life, to harm an individual. So I think we all abhor that. But what we fail to address really is the core problem.

This past Monday, I had the opportunity to attend the National Memorial and Recognition Service for police officers who had been slain. Some 139 police officers across our Nation were slain this past year. Talking to police officers who were visiting from my community and from around the Nation and speaking to police officers and law enforcement officials as I go about my responsibilities as a Member of Congress, they all tell me the same thing; and that is, that illegal narcotics are at the core and again the source of so many of our crime problems, so many of our felonies committed. So many of the people behind a weapon whether it is a gun, a knife, some other instrument of death and destruction are motivated by illegal narcotics.

In fact, in hearings that I have conducted as chair of the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, hearing after hearing, we have heard individuals testify that illegal narcotics contribute to crime, disruption of our social life. That is 60 to 70 percent of those behind bars, and we now have some 2 million Americans behind bars, are there because of a drug-related offense.

Most of these offenses are not mere possession of small amounts of marijuana. They are not small drug offenses, in some localities misdemeanors. These are multiple felonies. One really has to try hard, according to a New York State judicial survey of those surveying in that State taken last spring. That survey indicated most of the people in New York State prisons are there because of multiple felonies. One really has to try hard to get in prison in some of our jurisdictions, and it takes multiple and very serious offenses to be there.

There are exceptions to that, and we have heard testimony of tough minimum mandatory sentencing. But for the most part, illegal narcotics drives crime in this country. Not only does it drive murders, but it drives drug-related deaths.

In the last recorded year, 1998, we do not have the 1999 figures yet, 15,973 Americans lost their life as a direct result of illegal narcotics, consuming illegal narcotics. These are not the flashy news reports that one sees that are publicized, say, with the action of a young child shooting a young child with a handgun. These are silent, nonetheless deadly incidents of overdose, of young people in the numbers three and four times those lost in one incident in Columbine, a horrible national tragedy. But that horrible national tragedy is repeated three and four times each day if we count all of the drug overdoses across this country.

Our Drug Czar, General McCaffrey, has estimated that the deaths, if we took into account all of the causes related to use and abuse of illegal narcotics, would exceed some 52,000 a year, an incredible impact. As much of an impact as our last major conflict, international conflict, the Vietnam War. Again, a deadly problem for this country and for our society and sometimes pushed into the background.

The march that was held on Sunday focused on violence and in particular gun violence. The media stories, as I have recounted over the past month or two, have focused on several incidents involving guns. A 6 year old shooting a 6 year old, and again the focus was the gun. But the real problem was the 6 year old came from a crack cocaine family. The 6 year old came from a family whose parent was in prison because of narcotics, serious narcotics offenses, an environment that was harmful, an environment that provided the motivation and the setting for a 6 year old to commit mayhem.

Then of course the media focused on, I believe it was, a 12-year-old who brought a gun to school and had all of his fellow students on the floor and threatened them. When asked why he brought that gun to school, he said it was because he wanted to join his mother, be with his mother. She was in prison because of a drug offense. Another tragedy.

Most recently, we had in Washington, D.C., during the spring and Easter Passover break a horrible incident when African American families in our Nation's capital were celebrating a day in our National Zoo; and what took place there was mayhem among young teenagers, I believe a 16 or 17-year-old teenager who fired the weapons in that case, wounding a number of individuals. The focus was again on the gun.

But here is another young individual in our Nation's capital, the victim, not just of gun violence and participating in gun violence, but coming from a home of drug violence. His father is in prison because he was part of a Washington, D.C. drug gang. That is a sad event for our Nation's capital.

But, unfortunately, that sad event has been repeated for the last decade day and day and day again. I cannot tell my colleagues how many times I have come to the capital and read on a Monday or Tuesday of the violence over the weekend. Some of that has been curtailed by tougher enforcement, by change of administration, which is long overdue in our Nation's capital. This year, the drug-related deaths are down. But year after year, 300 to 400 young African American males were slaughtered in this city in a pattern of violence, and almost all of those incidents of death brought about by involvement with illegal narcotics.

I would venture today, if we quizzed our Capitol Police and our Washington Metropolitan Police Officers, they would tell us the same statistics prevail. Sixty, 70, 80 percent of those who are murdered in our Nation's capital, 60 to 70 percent of the violence, the felonies committed in this great city with so many great people, are caused because someone is involved with illegal narcotics.

Here of course we have a city in which most firearms, individual possession of an unregistered firearm is not allowed. We have some of the tightest laws relating to weapons. In fact, most of the weapons that are used in these murders are stolen or illegally obtained.

Again, I think it is important that, rather than to focus on guns, that we need to focus as a Congress and as responsible legislators on the root cause. Certainly the root cause, if we ask anyone involved in law enforcement, is illegal narcotics.

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I thought I would recite some statistics relating to other types of violence that my colleagues may not have heard about, and how they too are brought about by the use of illegal narcotics. Most of the cases of child abuse that we read about, if we look a little further behind the news, at the child abuse itself, the motivation that someone has become involved in child abuse is because of drug use.

A study that was recently done indicated that 80 to 90 percent of all referrals for child abuse to social services in Butte County, California, cases were, in fact, drug related. Social service workers estimated that 80 percent of the child abuse cases statewide in California, in that same study, are drug related. Social service workers across the United States attribute 62 percent or more of the child abuse cases to an adult substance abuse problem.

Not only is child abuse driven by illegal narcotics and substance abuse, but the same thing applies to spousal abuse. Spousal abuse attributed to drug use was also reviewed by another study, and we found in the study recently that social service workers across the United States attributed a large percentage of spousal abuse cases to drug-related causes. A full 50 percent of all domestic violence cases involved substance abuse in a study conducted in New York State.

Suicide is also another major social problem, and studies have recently been conducted to see the impact of illegal narcotics and drug use as it relates to suicide. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also known in Washington as SAMSHA, estimated that 90 percent of the suicide victims have had a mental and/or substance abuse disorder. SAMSHA, again our HHS, Health and Human Services agency, followed up studies of adults with substance abuse disorders and it revealed an inordinately high risk of suicide for those who were victimized by illegal drugs and by substance abuse. Youth who abuse substances combined with serious behavioral problems are much more likely to commit suicide than those without substance abuse problems, this study also found.

Of course, I have related in a previous special order, after conducting a hearing on the problems of methamphetamine in California, we conducted two hearings there, our Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources recently, and I did provide a detailed report in a special order on the methamphetamine problem both in the Sacramento, north central area of California, and also in San Diego, where we conducted our second hearing.

Some pretty startling cases of child abuse, actually beyond description, where children were abandoned by their parents in incredible numbers because of their problems of being addicted to methamphetamine. Methamphetamine causes some of the most irrational behavior in human beings I think I have ever seen recorded. The crack epidemic of the 1970s and 1980s is nothing compared to the methamphetamine problems we are experiencing.

This past week, our Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources conducted a hearing on the question of minimum mandatory sentencing, particularly as it relates to drug offenses, and there is some controversy about how those laws have been applied. But I was startled to learn from one of the witnesses in that hearing what has taken place in this country relating to methamphetamine and crack abuse since 1992, since the beginning of this administration.

One of our witnesses was a United States Sentencing Commission commissioner. That commission has had vacancies, but they have recently been filled and we were pleased to have testimony from that commission provided to our subcommittee so that we can find out what is happening as far as sentencing and also the prevalence of drug abuse in this country.

Submitted for the record of that hearing were several charts, and these charts are exactly as submitted to our subcommittee. This chart is entitled Predominant Drug Type by State, and it covers the period starting in 1992 and going up to 1995 with this series. I think if we look at the lighter yellow here we see crack. In 1992, there is almost very little crack in these States, almost no methamphetamine, which is in the other color here.

In 1993, we see the beginning of methamphetamine abuse, some in the Midwest. We see the spreading of the crack problem. That is 1993. In 1994, we could focus here and we see methamphetamine, crack in the yellow, spreading. In 1995, we see what has taken place.

Now, this is under the policy of the Clinton-Gore administration in their change of emphasis to get away from source country programs; stopping illegal narcotics at their source. The source of crack is cocaine. Cocaine comes from only three countries: Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia. Methamphetamine, most of the precursors, the chemicals used in processing methamphetamine, come from Mexico.

This is the record from 1992, untouched, submitted by this administration's sentencing commission. This is the rest of the story, so to speak; 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. Again, we are talking about crack, methamphetamine. Crack in the yellow, methamphetamine in this other color here. Until we get to 1999, when we see almost the entire Nation covered by methamphetamine and/or crack.

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This is one of the most telling sets of graphs showing again the dramatic increase in these two drugs across the Nation since 1992.

Now, I have often heard liberal commentators and liberal legislators talking about the failure of the war on drugs. This is a chart that I have not altered in any way, except we have added the Reagan-Bush era during their presidency and the Clinton presidency with this bar and just labeling here.

The chart itself was produced by the University of Michigan, and it really tracks the long-term trend and lifetime prevalence of drug use. I have used this several times in special orders. But, to me, this is the most telling and graphic representation of what took place in a real war on drugs.

Again, the liberals both in the media and in the House and other body would tell us that this is a record of failure. We have a decline in long-term trend in lifetime prevalence of drug use.

And if we took up other illegal narcotics, we would see, again, we could go back to cocaine or to heroin or some of these other narcotics, methamphetamine, which was not even on the charts, but we would see a decline in those illegal narcotics during the Reagan and Bush era.

Now, they will tell us that this is a failure, both failure in the war on drugs, the war on drugs failed. I submit that if we look at this point where the Clinton administration up to the Republicans took over the House of Representatives, we see a steady incline in the use of illegal narcotics, the prevalence of lifetime use. And again, we can bring the other charts that were just supplied by the Sentencing Commission or take charts relating to heroin and other narcotics and we show the same pattern.

Again, this is what they are trying to tell us is a record of failure. This is a record of success. I submit there is absolutely no way the war on drugs was a failure when it was adequately conducted. When it was a multifaceted effort, when we had source country programs where we stopped illegal narcotics where they are produced.

Again, crack and cocaine, it does not take a Harvard Ph.D., it does not take a rocket scientist when we know that crack and its derivative, cocaine and coca, are only produced in a small Andean region are really only capable of being produced in that region, Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia.

When the Republicans took over the House of Representatives, one of the things that they did was try to restore some of the international programs that had been sliced and slashed by the Clinton administration.

The Clinton administration, when it took office in 1993 to 1995 controlled in very large majorities both this body, the House of Representatives, and the other body, the United States Senate. One of the first things that they did was to cut money on the international programs. That would be stopping drugs at their source. Federal drug spending on international programs declined 21 percent in just 1 year after the Clinton administration took office.

Federal drug spending on the international programs decreased from $660 million in 1992 to 1993. And it is interesting, if we look at these years, as they cut international programs, drug use and abuse increased.

The same thing happened with interdiction. Interdiction would be stopping illegal narcotics as they leave the source country before they get to our borders. The prime area of assistance is really in surveillance of illegal narcotics, both at the source so that the host country or the source country can destroy the illegal narcotics at their source or get the illegal narcotics as

they are leaving the source from airfields, from waterways, from transit routes.

The United States military has been involved in providing that surveillance information. Unfortunately, one of the first decisions of the Clinton administration, again, back here when we see the beginning of the end of the war on drugs and the failure of, again, fighting illegal narcotics, Federal spending on drug interdiction declined 23 percent in 1 year after the Clinton administration took office, again, with very significant majorities of both Houses here in Congress.

Federal drug spending decreased from $1.96 billion in 1992 to $1.5 billion in 1993. Actually, it went down even more if we take into consideration several years that they controlled this body in large numbers.

This is the Federal drug spending chart on international programs. Again, we see dramatic decreases from the Reagan-Bush era on down to about half. So if we want to see how we can get more drugs from the source into this country, we cut these international programs.

When the Republicans took over in 1995, and it does take several years to get into this process, since then we have been able to get back to 1991 and 1992 figures. However, even with these programs, money which we ask to be sent, for example, to Colombia, funds never made it to Colombia, either through ineptness or through just pure ignoring the will of the Congress.

So even though funds have been appropriated to go back to the equal equivalent of 1991-1992 Bush-Reagan era dollars, the actual resources getting into the war on drugs have not been there.

So this is the era in which there was a dramatic decline. This is the era in which we had a dramatic increase in prevalence of drug use among our young people.

I have a second chart which deals with interdiction, and we see the same pattern again of cutting interdiction, use of military, for surveillance information gathering. The military does not arrest anyone, does not become involved in enforcement. It merely provides that information.

Here again, we have the same pattern of behavior. Back in 1996, the Republicans did up this and in 1998 we are bringing it back. Again, we have to use equivalent of 1991-1992 dollars. So in the past 4 or 5 years of our control of the House and the other body, we have managed to get us back to 1991-1992 levels with great difficulty.

Unfortunately, in the international area, as I said, resources have not gotten to the countries which are producing the illegal narcotics. We have had two success stories, both of those developed by the current Speaker of the House when he chaired the responsibility of the subcommittee, which I now chair, for our national drug policy.

The gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert) chaired, again, this responsibility and got funds and resources into some of these programs. However, many of the funds and resources, again, were diverted time and again by this administration and did not, in fact, get to Colombia, which is now the main source of heroin and cocaine and illegal substances that are coming into this country.

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The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simpson). The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica) for the remainder of his hour, or 28 minutes.

Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I will continue part of what I am discussing tonight, which is the history of how we got ourselves into this fix. It is a very difficult situation, made even more so by, again, the incredible quantity of illegal narcotics coming into our borders.

I submit, Mr. Speaker, that there is no more important responsibility for us to attend to as Members of Congress than, first, to keep illegal narcotics from coming into our borders. Stopping illegal narcotics in the international arena is not the responsibility of our local police force, it is not the responsibility of our State police, it is not the responsibility of the localities or the school boards. Our number one responsibility is to make certain that those hard narcotics are kept from our shores, from our borders. Once they come into the United States, it is very difficult to go after them, and it does take a great deal of resources.

This, again, is a record, in my estimation, of failure, the war on drugs being very systematically closed down. Statistics show, again, a record of success in the Reagan and Bush era. I have not doctored the figures. This is not meant to be partisan in any way. These are in fact the facts.

If we see success with an increase, as the media, the liberals would have you know success, an increase in drug use, then in fact that is success. We have more heroin addicts, more people on illegal narcotics, more deaths, almost double the deaths. Again, if we flip the other charts of the changes in policy made in interdiction and international programs, we can almost trace again the end of any war on illegal narcotics.

Again, these are the results released last week by the administration themselves. I do not know if we can get both of these up here, but from 1992 to 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, what an incredibly graphic description of what has taken place. This is only with several of the drugs, the very serious narcotics that are affecting our cities and our communities across the land.

Again, the situation with illegal narcotics is affecting all of us. Recently I participated in an International Association of Chiefs of Police meeting, and I asked if I could get from the Drug Enforcement Administration, our U.S. anti-narcotics agency, information about the purity levels of heroin, because I come from an area that has been the victim of heroin abuse, heroin overdose. Deaths now exceed homicides in central Florida, which is the area I represent.

We know that we are getting more and more illegal narcotics in from the source countries because we do not have intervention in place, because we are just back to the 1992 levels and because the administration has thwarted our efforts to stop illegal narcotics coming from their source.

One of the things that startled me in receiving this information on heroin trends in central Florida is, again, we have an incredible death rate, but that death rate is linked almost directly to the purity level of the heroin coming in. In the eighties and seventies the purity level of heroin was in single digits, sometimes very, very low purity. In 1995-1996 that began to change. In fact, we have ranged from 71 percent to 60 percent on average since 1995, the purity rate in central Florida with the heroin that is seized there and analyzed.

What that means is that the heroin is so pure that it is deadly, it is killing in unprecedented numbers, it is killing first-time users, and it is killing those who use heroin with other substances. The only reason the deaths have not gotten worse than they are, and they have increased in the last several years, is that in fact our medical personnel are able to resuscitate more of the victims of drug overdose in central Florida and also around the Nation, but we have a startling increase in number of drug overdose admissions and in emergency rooms.

Part of it is dealing with the deadly heroin that is on the streets of central Florida, again between 60 and 72 percent pure. That compares to a national purity level of between 40 and 37 percent, still very deadly. But the people in my district are particularly vulnerable to, again, a very deadly type of heroin that is coming in.

Now, we know exactly where that heroin is coming in. We have the ability through our agencies, and, again in this case, DEA, Drug Enforcement Agency, to analyze the heroin that comes in and other drugs that come into our borders. They can conduct signature analysis, which basically tells us almost to the field where that heroin or the poppies are grown and where that heroin comes from.

Now we have some 60 to 70 percent of the heroin coming into the United States from Colombia. This is an incredible figure, if you consider that in 1992 there is almost zero heroin being produced in Colombia. In six or seven short years of this administration, through, again, neglect of getting equipment, resources to fight illegal narcotics, again in the source country or interdicting it as it came to our shores, before it came to our shores, we have turned Colombia into the largest producer of heroin.

Following Colombia, is, of course, our good trading partner who we have given so many trade benefits to, underwritten their finances when they faltered, opened our borders in unprecedented fashion to trade and commerce and business, and that is Mexico, which has jumped, again, the media will not report it, but a 20 percent increase in the last two recorded years in heroin production, from 14 to 17 percent of the heroin, black tar heroin on our streets, killing our kids and our young adults and others, is coming from the fields of Mexico, our good trading partner.

So between Colombia and Mexico, and Colombia, of course, is way out there with some 65 to 70 percent of the heroin being produced, none of that being produced some 6 or 7 years ago.

In 6 or 7 years, through the policy of this administration, we also find that Colombia, which was really a single digit producer of cocaine, now produces some 80 percent, according to DEA and other estimates, of the cocaine and crack coming in to the United States of America.

We are fortunate that the plan devised by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert) and the Republicans 3 or 4 years ago to curtail illegal production of cocaine in Peru and Bolivia has stopped production in those countries to the tune of 55 percent reduction in Bolivia, and a 60-plus percent reduction in Peru.

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Those two countries were the major producers in the past. The production has shifted and operations have shifted to Colombia which formerly was just a transit country in the last 6 or 7 years. Of course, we all know that Colombia is a disaster. The situation in Colombia gets worse every week. This morning's news, President Pastrana of Colombia suspended a round of Colombia's peace process plan for the end of May, something we have all been trying to work to get accomplished. His action came as a result of Marxist rebels killing a woman in a most horrible fashion. They rigged a bomb around her neck and she was killed when the bomb disposal specialists of Colombia tried to diffuse the dynamite-packed necklace bomb which the Army said had been rigged by the Marxist FARC leftist rebels who demanded ransom from her husband. President Pastrana said to his nation, the men of violence have placed a necklace of dynamite around the hope of all Colombians.

Of course, many people say well, why should we worry about Colombia; why should we be concerned? Of course, we know where the source is, again, of the hard narcotics coming into this country. We know where the death and violence is coming from, and that is Colombia.

Unfortunately, the administration turned its back on this problem since 1993 and has very systematically kept any assistance coming to Colombia and, in fact, even the assistance that has gotten to Colombia has been almost farcical.

Some people may say why is Colombia so important in this, other than the production of illegal narcotics which in itself should justify our involvement? But, in fact, Colombia and the region surrounding Colombia produces some 20 percent of our daily oil supply. Some 35,000 individuals have been killed in Colombia through a war, a civil war, of various factions and that war is being financed by narcoterrorists.

General Barry McCaffrey described Colombia as an emergency situation last year after, again, this region exploded not only with narcotics production but also violence which is now spilling over into the region. In fact, Colombia has become a basket case.

Americans have already died in Colombia. U.S. contract pilots have been killed in Colombia, who have been on missions to eradicate illegal narcotics. Robert Ernest Martin was killed in 1997. Dane Milgrew was killed in 1998 and Jerry Chestnut, another pilot, in 1999. Also in Colombia we have had the deaths of five individuals on July 23, when a U.S. Army reconnaissance aircraft crashed into Southern Colombia on a surveillance mission. The officers killed there were Captain Jennifer Odom of Maryland; Captain Jose Santiago of Florida, my central Florida area; Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Moore from Arkansas; Private First Class Bruce Cluff of Utah; and Private First Class Ray Kruegar of Texas.

These are some of the deaths that have occurred there, including DEA agents, Special Agent Frank Moreno, who was killed in November of 1998. So indeed we have a great deal at stake in Colombia and, again, if we linked each of the 52,000 deaths last year related in the total picture of illegal narcotics and narcotics abuses and murders and suicides and other things that have brought about death, or the 15,973 deaths in 1998, we could trace a vast percentage of those deaths to Colombian narcotics that are coming across our borders.

So indeed this has been identified by this administration finally as a priority. That is in spite of blocking, at the beginning of the Clinton administration, Clinton-Gore, of course, slashed the drug czar's staff from 112 personnel to 27, and the Democrat-controlled Congress cut the source country and interdiction programs by more than 50 percent. Then appointing just-say-maybe Surgeon General of the United States, Jocelyn Elders, who again I think said just say maybe and the results are very dramatic in the increases of illegal narcotics as they closed down very systematically the war on drugs.

In 1994 and 1995, this administration single-handedly closed down information and intelligence-sharing with Colombia and Peru and slashed U.S. military and Coast Guard involvement in antidrug programs.

If you are going to conduct a war on drugs and if you see why the liberal and Clinton-Gore program to stop illegal narcotics was a failure, if you look at cutting, again, the assistance in these most effective source country programs, the interdiction programs, the Coast Guard programs, taking the military out of the effort, that is why you had no war on drugs. Then to stop information-sharing which is so important to stop the drugs both at the source and as they leave the source and interdict the drugs before they come into our borders year after year, this administration blocked assistance to Colombia again through a bungled decertification of Colombia, a direct action of the President, without providing a waiver to give Colombia the needed assistance.

The latest part of the fiasco, again by the Clinton-Gore administration, is news that we received this week. It was in the Washington Times and other papers across the Nation, the U.S. Sends Colombia Unsafe Shells from 1952. Now since I came to Congress in 1993 we have done everything we can to get this administration to get resources to Colombia because we knew narcotics were going to be produced there more; we knew they were going to be transited from there. We knew it was the source of death and destruction coming to our shores. The latest part of the fiasco is even after the Congress appropriates money, the administration supplied recently, and this is within the last few weeks we have sent our staff down to check on the ammunition that is being sent there, the manufacturer actually said that these shells and this ammunition which was produced in 1952, which we have given the Colombians with some of the taxpayer money, is, in fact, unsafe. The story, of course, gets even worse because for at least some 4 or 5 years we have been trying to get helicopters, and in this case Black Hawk helicopters, which could be most effective to go into the mountains, eradicate narcotics, go after drug traffickers. It is very difficult in Colombia, with the high Andean regions, to go after traffickers without the right resources.

This is another headline, Delay of Copters Hobbles Colombia in Stopping Drugs. This is 1998, and I could take these headlines back to 1997 and 1996, time and time again.

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Time and time again, the administration blocked equipment getting there. Finally when they declared an emergency last August, we were able to get at the end of last year three Black Hawk helicopters to Colombia. They were sent there without proper armoring, so just recently they have gotten them into the position where they are combat ready. Now we find the ammunition was sent down there in fact was outdated and may be in fact dangerous for the Colombians to use.

This story continues to get worse. We asked the President and the administration to send surplus military equipment to Colombia. We had in mind equipment that could be used. We unfortunately learned, and we do have quite a bit of surplus military equipment, that Colombia was provided with dilapidated trucks, military trucks, and the cost of actually rehabilitating them was high. I think some of them were used in an arctic terrain and not suitable for the mission at hand. Unfortunately, Colombia had to turn these down because it would have cost them more to rehabilitate them than to use them.

Finally, again, how important it is to have intelligence and surveillance information available to stop illegal narcotics. Peru has been great about stopping illegal narcotics. President Fujimora, who has eliminated 60 percent of the production in that country, has used in the past, when we were able to get information, surveillance information to him, a shoot-down policy which in fact has resulted in, again, that lowering of production, the lowering of transiting of, in this case, particularly cocaine coming out of that country.

This is a March 13 headline from the Washington Post. `U.S. Officials See Trend in Colombia: Lack of Air Support Hindering the Drug War.' I have said before, there has not been a drug war in this country since 1993. We have tried to restart it in the last 2 or 3 years, but every time we get on course, we find the administration diverts resources.

They diverted resources to Haiti. The Vice President diverted some of the planes for surveillance to check on oil spills in Alaska. The President diverted military resources to Kosovo, to Bosnia, and to any one of the number of other deployments, and took them out of in fact action and the war on drugs.

The inability to provide surveillance is now, for the first time, resulting in an increased production in Peru, according to reports we are getting, in cocaine.

Without source country programs, without interdiction, without surveillance and intelligence, the missions fail.

I do not want to just talk about the failure of the Clinton record. I must say that what we have done is the Republican majority in a positive fashion I think has been on target. We have gotten our levels of funding for source country back to 1991-1992 levels. We have not only concentrated on source country, but also on interdiction, trying to get those resources where they were not diverted.

In these cases, we see in March again a third time the administration is making a fatal mistake and again closing down our war on drugs, if there ever was under this administration a war on drugs.

The Republicans have funded a $1 billion campaign, an education and media campaign. Maybe Members have seen those ads on television. We hope they are effective. We are testing them in various markets. We are going to do everything to see that we reach our young people in education and prevention.

That $1 billion through our efforts, and the administration, of course, wanted to spend the $1 billion, but we thought it was important to have also donated an equivalent amount, at least. So with that compromise we will now have $2 billion in that program, both through direct taxpayer funding and through private sector donations.

We have dramatically increased the amount of money for prevention. In fact, one of the primary goals of this administration was to treat our way out of this problem. We see examples like Baltimore, Maryland, where they have gone from just a handful of heroin addicts to now one in eight in the population of Baltimore is an addict, a drug addict. They could not treat their way out of the problem. It has grown out of control, while the murder rate has stayed dramatically high in that city.

The liberals would have us believe that the war on drugs is a failure. The liberals would have us believe that if we liberalize the policy, we can just treat people out of this problem. In fact, Baltimore is a great example of that philosophy gone wrong. Thank goodness they have a new mayor, a new philosophy, and are instituting it at this time. I am very pleased with the action they have taken after we conducted a hearing in the city of Baltimore, and now we will have a new police chief, someone more inclined to zero tolerance and tough enforcement, to bring the death and destruction in that great city on our East Coast to a halt.

Those are some of the things that the Republicans have done, again, in spite of opposition.

I wanted to close tonight, I only have a few minutes more, and talk about something else we have asked the administration to do. That is since 1992. If we are going to go after, again, illegal narcotics and those who deal in death and destruction, then we prosecute those people.

We have been after the administration, because in 1992 we were having prosecutions in Federal courts for drug offenses at the rate of nearly 30,000. In 1996, the administration dropped to 26,000. So we have been hammering the administration to go after prosecution of drugs.

This is almost an embarrassment, again, if we are going to have a war or serious efforts against those who are dealing in death and destruction, contributing to the thousands and thousands of deaths and mayhem around, and 70 percent of the crime, this is their record. Now, I will say that in 1997 and 1998 they started up, but they are getting just back to the level of 1992 with our hammering.

This is prosecution. Then we found this last week when we had in the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the Commissioners, we found a report that was provided recently that shows that Federal drug offenders are spending less time in prison, according to a study that was released about the same time as their testimony. So we had prosecutions down, we were trying to get prosecutions up, but then we find that the administration is now reducing sentences and drug offenders, and this case serious drug offenders, are spending less time in prison. It seems like everything is being done to thwart a real effort against illegal narcotics.


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