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Last Updated:5/24/00
Speech by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), May 23, 2000
IMPACT OF ILLEGAL NARCOTICS (House of Representatives - May 23, 2000)

[Page: H3642]
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Sweeney). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 6, 1999, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica) is recognized for 55 minutes.

Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to come before the House again tonight to apologize to the staff that is working late into the evening, and appreciate the Speaker's indulgence and other Members who are listening tonight.

I always try to come before the House on Tuesday nights during these Special Orders to bring to the attention of the Members of the House of Representatives the Congress and also the American people, the number one social problem that we face, and that is the problem of drug abuse, illegal narcotics, and drug addiction in this country.

Over and over, I have repeated some of the statistics, and the statistics are mind boggling. The National Office of Drug Control Policy and our Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey have estimated that, each year, over 52,000 Americans die directly and indirectly as a result of narcotics abuse in this country; that in the last recorded report to the Congress in 1998, in fact, 15,973 Americans lost their lives as a direct result of narcotics abuse. I have not yet seen the 1999 figures, but I am sure they are even worse.

The situation is basically out of control with 70 percent of those behind bars in our prisons and jails, incarcerated across this land are there because of some drug related offense.

The cost to our economy is in the quarter of a trillion dollars a year range. The destruction of lives, not only lost, but those left behind in families torn apart in the agony of drug abuse, an addiction that so many families have experienced, is devastating.

Almost every report that we have that comes before us today in our media, the account of a 6 year old killing a 6 year old, drugs were at the heart of the problem of that family, and that 6 year old coming from a crack house. A 12 year old taking a gun to school and threatening his classmates wanted to be with his mother who was in jail on a prison charge. A 17 year old who attacks at the National Zoo during the recent holidays, crowds of people, innocent bystanders, he comes from a family involved in drugs, a father and gangs involved in illegal narcotics. This story goes on and on.

We can place the blame on a weapon or something else, but we do not pay attention, as I have stated before, to the root problem in many, many of these instances, which is illegal narcotics, drug abuse, and addiction.

Tonight, I want to pick up from where I left off last week and talk a bit about some of the impact of illegal narcotics. Now, we know in our land that nearly half of Americans have tried some type of form of illegal narcotic, and we know that, in fact, using some illegal drugs such as marijuana does lead to use of other types of illegal narcotics. We have seen the results which are devastating in our communities.

I come from Central Florida. I represent the area between Orlando and Daytona Beach, probably one of the most economic prosperous growing areas in our country and one of the most beautiful areas across our land, and that area has also been ravaged by illegal narcotics, particularly heroin abuse. Heroin in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s was somewhat limited to the inner cities, to lower socioeconomic and minority population abuse. It was intravenously abused by drug addicts. The availability of heroin was really not that extensive in Central Florida or in most areas of our Nation, again mostly an inner city problem.


[Page: H3643]

[TIME: 2310]

Most people did not pay attention to it.

But in 7 short years of this administration, we have seen the tide of heroin coming into our States from the foreign production, predominantly Colombia, in unprecedented quantities. In fact, in 1992-1993, the beginning of this administration, there was almost no production of heroin in the country of Colombia, and today Colombia accounts for 75 percent of the heroin. That heroin is finding its way into our streets and our neighborhoods, our schools, and now our young population.

I have a copy of a recent May 8 headline, and it says Suburban Teen Heroin Use on the Rise. So what was confined to our inner cities, what was confined to hard addicts is now really becoming a plague upon our teenagers and those in our suburban communities.

In my area of Central Florida, we have had headlines that have blurted out that heroin overdose deaths and drug deaths now exceed homicides. And the same, unfortunately, is true in many other areas of our land.

Part of this article, which is just several weeks old, says, and let me quote, `Heroin is back. It's cheaper, more potent, and more deadly than ever, said Bob Weiner, an aide to White House drug policy director Barry McCaffery.' And what he is saying is, in fact, that the heroin on our streets today, as opposed to the heroin in the 1970s, even the 1980s, is of a much purer, much more deadly content, sometimes reaching 70, 80 percent purity.

In my area in particular they are getting very pure heroin, and that is deadly heroin. That is why it is killing our young people and others in such incredible numbers.

Unfortunately, this report talks about teenagers, but, in fact, the spread of heroin has also affected other parts of our population that have really not seen the ill effects of heroin in the past. This headline is from May 9 in USA Today and it says Heroin's Resurgence Closing Gender Gap. This article says that girls are now becoming the victims. Again, previously, this was limited to inner city populations and also a male drug of choice.

Let me quote from that USA Today article, if I may. `Heroin's reemergence comes at a time when girls, far less likely than boys to drink, smoke marijuana, or use harder drugs, such as heroin, now appear to be keeping pace with them, says Mark Webster, a spokesman for the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Webster's agency, after finding that existing drug prevention programs helped reduce drugs only among boys, recently helped create an advertising campaign called Girl Power to deliver antidrug messages to girls.'

Fortunately, in the billion dollar campaign that Congress has funded to deal with the emerging narcotics problem on a multifaceted basis, we are starting to address this. But, nonetheless, there is an incredible explosion of use among the female population and also among the youth population.

I also began a week or two ago citing part of a report, and I wanted to refer to it tonight. It is an interagency domestic heroin threat assessment that just came out about a month or two ago from the National Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. That interagency domestic drug assessment had some interesting new data that I would like to make part of the record tonight and also call to the attention of the American people and the Congress.

First of all, this report talked about heroin use in the United States of America and particularly in the West. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, which is also known as DAWN, heroin-related emergency department mentions in the western United States increased some 28 percent in recent years; heroin-related deaths between 1993 and 1996 rose in all 12 States of the western region during that time frame. In Oregon, the State Medical Examiner's office reports an average of five people a week died of heroin-related causes in the first 6 months of 1999.

To further look at some of the more recent statistics and data in this report, and again focusing on the western part of the United States, the report says that seizures at the southwest border increased from 52 events and 103.8 kilograms seized in 1997 to 80 events and 145.9 kilograms in 1998.

What is interesting about the heroin that we see coming in from this area is not only do we have the Colombian heroin that almost did not exist at the beginning of this administration, we now have, in double digits, very strong, very pure, very deadly black tar heroin coming from Mexico. Mexico, in fact, and not too many people will publicize this, particularly at a sensitive time, with elections in Mexico and elections in the United States, but from 1997 to 1998, in the most recent statistics we have of heroin seized in the United States, Mexican black tar deadly heroin has increased some 20 percent in just a 1-year period, again a dramatic increase in heroin coming from our neighbor to the south.

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, again the acronym DAWN, heroin-morphine related emergency department mentions in the southern United States increased 165 percent between 1990 and 1997. Heroin-related drug treatment admissions in the southern United States increased 13 percent between 1992 and 1997, according to DAWN's treatment episode data report.

Heroin use in the north central United States is also on the increase. So this is not just a regional problem, a limited regional problem to Florida and the southeast or the Southwest, but this report also details what is going on in the north central States.

Heroin-morphine related emergency department mentions increased some 225 percent in the major cities in the north central United States in the period between 1990 and 1997. Chicago heroin-morphine related incidents increased 323 percent in that same period.


[TIME: 2320]

St. Louis morphine and heroin-related deaths increased some 350 percent from 105 in 1990 to 472 in 1997. And then this report also details the Northeast United States statistics and what is been happening with heroin in that area of the country. According to this report, heroin-related emergency department admissions increased 116 percent between 1990 and 1997 in the Northeast United States.

Heroin-related drug treatment administrations increased 50 percent between 1992 and 1997 according to the DAWN episode data report. The most significant increase according to this report was in Buffalo, New York, where heroin-related emergency department mentions increased some 344 percent from 106 in 1990 to 471 in 1997.

I think a very interesting report that does show the dramatic increase of drug use and abuse particularly heroin across the United States and that deadly substance and what its effect is having in cities that my subcommittee has examined is quite remarkable. I want to use tonight the example again of Baltimore, Maryland. Our Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources recently conducted an oversight and investigations hearing in Baltimore.

Baltimore is really one of the most historic and beautiful cities on our eastern coast, and Baltimore for nearly a decade had a mayor with a very liberal attitude towards illegal narcotics, a liberal needle exchange program, a lack of enforcement of narcotics laws that are on the books of not only Baltimore but also this State of Maryland and a lack of cooperation in going after drug users and abuser. That type of action has related in an incredible record of drug addiction in Baltimore.

Baltimore is an example of a city whose population has gone down, down, and down from over 900,000 to somewhere in the 600,000 range, while the addiction population has gone from somewhere about 39,000 in 1996 to some estimated 70,000 or 80,000. In fact, one of the city council members was recently quoted saying that one in eight individuals, citizens of Baltimore are now addicted and primarily to heroin.

This is a city whose experiment is a failure. This is a mayor whose legacy is death and destruction and addiction. If this was replicated across the United States, we would have tens and tens of millions of our population addicted. Again, a liberal policy possibly well intended, but the liberalization in fact did not work, and it has addicted an incredible percentage of the population of Baltimore.

I am pleased that after the hearing that we conducted there and after the testimony of the police chief, the police commissioner of the city of Baltimore who really had a lackadaisical attitude towards enforcement and going after open air drug markets and after his testimony was heard by the mayor and others that he was, in fact, dismissed. It is my hope that the new mayor, Mayor O'Malley, and I am pleased to see that he is considering a new policy, a cleanup campaign for Baltimore that I hope will be unprecedented.

Baltimore has suffered this level of addiction, has also consistently experienced a high level of deaths per population, over 300 deaths in each of the last 3 years in Baltimore. And we compare that to New York City, some 650, 670 deaths, the last several years. New York City with a zero tolerance policy has cut the murders by some 60 percent. They cut the overall top felony record in that city by some 58 percent with Mayor Rudy Giuliani's zero-tolerance policy.

But, in fact, Baltimore is an example of a city who attempted a severe legalization and liberalization of drugs and experienced, in fact, an unmitigated disaster.

That is a little bit of where we are and an update of what is happening with the heroin across our land.

Again, I would like to point out to my colleagues and the American people that, in fact, we know what does work in the area of drug abuse. I am sure the liberal colleagues all choke when they see this chart come up, because the chart is probably the most graphic evidence of a policy of success in the Reagan and Bush administration when there was a real multifaceted war on illegal narcotics. When we had source country programs, an Andean strategy devised under the Reagan administration, a Vice Presidential task force lead by former Vice President Bush, in which they went after illegal narcotics as they were leaving the source countries in a tough interdiction policy, utilizing in fact in a war against drugs all the resources of the United States, and we see that in the Reagan administration.

And again this is untouched. I have only added the names of the administration and put a little divider in here to show where they began and ended. But you see a successful multifaceted war on narcotics. Again, the source country, reduction, interdiction, use of all of our resources in that effort, a President that said, in fact, we will have a full war on drugs, two Presidents that said that, and we see the success.

Now, many will tell you that the war on drugs is a failure, but I submit that the war on drugs began failing at the beginning of the Clinton administration, when we saw the dismantling of the source country programs, the gutting of the Andean strategy, the dismantling of use of the military against illegal narcotics, the closedown of surveillance operations that provided information to our allies in the war on drugs. So we see the total failure and the very direct closedown of a war on drugs.

If you want to talk about a war on drugs that was a success, you need only look at the Reagan/Bush era. If you look at when you had a failure on the war of drugs, it is when you dismantle piece by piece directly the war on illegal narcotics.

The only change we see here is with the coming of the Republican-controlled, the new majority in Congress, that we began putting some of these programs back together again. And we have only begun to see a leveling off with that effort.

But, in fact, one of our major problems is that even authorizations by the Congress are ignored by this administration. Let me just put up a couple more charts, if I may.

Tonight I was talking about update on heroin, heroin use and its prevalence. Again, you see a leveling and some decline during the Reagan administration. During the Bush administration, you see a concerted effort and a reduction. And then you see a dramatic increase practically off the chart in the Clinton administration. When you do not have a multifaceted approach, when you do not stop illegal drugs at their source or before they come to our borders, these statistics cite what happens and very graphically show why we have an incredible amount of heroin on our streets, why we have the reports like I just read.


[Page: H3644]

[TIME: 2330]

The same thing happens with our young people. This shows 12th grade drug use. The first chart we showed was lifetime prevalence of drug use. But each of these charts and each of these lines on the chart in fact show the trends here with illegal narcotics use. This line, the top line, is lifetime use. The red center line is annual use. The third line is 30 day use.

Again, if we take this back to the Reagan-Bush era, we are coming with a reduction in 1992, with the election of the President Clinton, with the just-say-maybe, with the appointment of a Surgeon General, the chief health officer of the United States, saying just-say-maybe, with a White House which had so many people in its employ that had recent drug abuse histories and problems that the Secret Service insisted on a drug testing program. That was one of the reasons that they in fact wanted to do away with some of the background checks for White House employees, is because they were not passing them, and only after the Secret Service insisted on instituting a drug testing program for White House employees did we see any change there. But in fact some of these people were setting the policy.

You see again upward movement in all of these areas through the Clinton Administration of 12th graders in drug use. Here again you see the leveling off, the beginning of the period in which the Republicans took control of both the House and the Senate and some of the efforts that were put into place in restarting some of those programs. So you see a beginning of a leveling off in that period.

This again is a statistic that I cited tonight in the news report about suburban teen heroin use, and gave the headline from a few weeks ago. This shows in 1996, again, when we took over the House of Representatives, the situation that we inherited as far as suburban teen use. This is the situation we are now faced with, a flood of heroin coming in, predominantly from Colombia, but also from Mexico, as I mentioned. Colombia and Mexico are probably two of the crowning failures of this administration and resulting in the incredible volume of heroin coming into the United States.

Time and time again, this administration has thwarted, as I said, both legislative directives and appropriations to stop heroin production in Colombia. The entire Colombia scenario started in 1994 when this administration closed off information sharing with Colombia. That measure, which was opposed, I must say by even Democrats and all of the people on my side of the aisle, but it outraged everyone, because it brought an end to information sharing with our allies, Colombia, Peru and other countries, and was the beginning of the end of a policy that had begun to make some dramatic changes in Colombia.

If you remember in Colombia, steps had been taken to dismantle some of the drug cartels, and we were on our way to bringing that Nation into some balance. All that fell apart with the beginning of ending surveillance information sharing.

The next mistake by this administration was in fact to decertify Colombia without a national interest waiver, which meant that even equipment and resources which the Congress had appropriated would be denied to Colombia. In fact, when you do not have any war in Colombia or effort by the United States to stem the production of illegal narcotics, when you do not have equipment and resources going in to that region to eliminate the production of the crop, to eliminate the transshipment from the source zone, and you do not use the military and others to provide information and surveillance back to the source country to stop the illegal narcotics and interdict them as they come out, this is the result that we see, is an incredible volume of heroin coming into the United States at lower cost, at higher and more deadly purity levels, and we see now suburban teen heroin use on a dramatic rise in the United States. Again, it can be traced to Colombia and also to Mexico.

Another failure in this administration's policy, which in fact certified Mexico as cooperating when Mexico has done everything to the contrary but assist the United States, failing to extradite even a single Mexican drug dealer after dozens and dozens of extradition requests, failing to sign or negotiate a maritime agreement, which this Congress just several years ago insisted that Mexico do as a part of its cooperative effort to eliminate narcotics trafficking, failing to allow our agents to adequately arm and protect themselves, and also keeping a limit of just a handful of DEA agents in that country. They do not want drug agents in that country, because the corruption from the police level to the President's office and throughout the states of Mexico has in fact run rampant, and in fact Mexico has thwarted again all of our efforts at enforcement, going so far as in the largest operation in the hemisphere, probably the history of this hemisphere, to go after corrupt money laundering in Mexico, operation Casa Blanca, where Mexican officials threatened the arrest of United States customs officials and others involved in bringing to justice Mexican and U.S. and other banking officials who were involved in that huge money laundering scheme.

So, another failure, a failure in Colombia, now a source of 70 to 80 percent of the heroin. Again, almost zero was produced in 1992-1993. Further, Mexico, after giving Mexico incredible trade benefits, financial benefits, opening our borders to Mexico, in fact this administration had failed to gain their cooperation in the devastation that is raining on our communities, and a 20 percent increase in black tar Mexican heroin on our streets in a 1 year period of time.

Mr. Speaker, as I continue talking about the drug narcotic problem and I focus some on heroin tonight and also on teen use of heroin, which we have seen a dramatic increase in, and also the tremendous volume of heroin coming across our borders, I wanted to report some of the other statistics that we found relating to this new phenomena.


[Page: H3645]

[TIME: 2340]

The number of heroin users in the United States has increased, again, according to the last chart I showed, from 500,000, half a million in 1996 to 980,000 in 1999; and we know exactly where that heroin is coming from. We know why that heroin is coming into the United States.

One of the interesting statistics in this report was that the rate of first use by children age 12 to 17 increased from less than 1 in 1,000 in the 1980s to 2.7 in 1,000 in 1996. First-time heroin users are getting younger, from an average age of 26 years old in 1991 to an average age in 1997 of only 17 years of age.

Again, I have cited the failure of this administration's policy in curtailing some 60, 70 percent of the heroin coming in, which is produced in Colombia now and, again, almost none produced there in 1992, through 1993; 17 percent of the heroin in the United States now coming from Mexico. We know, looking at this map, we have Colombia, which is the source of most of the heroin; we know that it is leaving this area.

We also know that since we have instituted very successful programs in Peru and Bolivia where they have cut coca production and cocaine production by some 50 to 60 percent in this area through a successful program set up by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hastert), the previous Chair of the Subcommittee on Drug Policy, those successful programs, coupled with the failure of the administration's program to institute the same type of actions in Colombia, again, even though the Congress appropriated funds; even though the Congress directed those programs to take place in Colombia, we now have some 80 percent of the cocaine produced and coca produced in Colombia. So we know we need Colombia covered as far as surveillance information, as far as knowing where drugs are coming from, as far as going after drugs at their source.

Unfortunately, in May of last year, the surveillance flights stopped from our major forward operating location in the Caribbean, that was in Panama, and of course the United States, it is now history, was forced to remove all of its operations, turn over $10 billion in assets to Panama, close down its antinarcotics flights from that area. This chart that I have here shows the patchwork that is being put together by the administration in trying to replace what we had in Panama. Panama had a strategic location and could cover all of this region with flights out of that area. Unfortunately, between 1992 and 1999, one of our more recent reports that we requested showed that the administration had cut these flights some 68 percent. Additionally, maritime actions and surveillance operations were cut by some 62 percent.

So that is why we have a flood of heroin coming into this area. We do not have these locations that are starred here and circled here, which we intended as substitutes for the Panama operation in place or fully operational. At this time we have in Manta, Ecuador an air strip. We have just signed a 10-year agreement after a year delay; but unfortunately, there is somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 million to $100 million in work that has to be done, and an outdate of the year 2002 before this operation will become fully capable of functioning. We have in Curacao and Aruba a limited amount of coverage from that location, and the star here in El Salvador, we have no operations in that location. We are just in the process of concluding an agreement which must be presented to their legislature.

When we get through with this, we are probably looking at $150 million. Now, we lost $10 billion in assets to Panama, were kicked, basically, out of Howard Air Force base, so we have no drug operations in that location. We only have a fraction of the former drug surveillance flights, so there is a fraction of the

information getting to stop illegal narcotics. Of course, we know the history of the administration blocking aid and equipment to Colombia. Repeated requests for 5 years to get Black Hawk helicopters to Colombia which can operate in high altitudes, eradicate crops, go after drug traffickers, and we know that the narco-traffickers who were involved in drug production are also financing the civil war in that country in which some 35,000 people have been slaughtered; 5,000 police, elected officials, supreme court members, members of their congress have been slaughtered; and yet we have not been able to get even basic equipment in there in the form of helicopters that have been promised for some number of years now. Even when that equipment was delivered at the end of last year, after numerous delays, it was delivered there without the proper armoring and without the proper ammunition.

Mr. Speaker, we found that some of the ammunition that we had been requesting for years to get down to Colombia to go after the drug traffickers was, in fact, delivered to the loading dock of the State Department during the Christmas holidays; and now we find, even more disturbing, that some of the bulk of the ammunition that has been supplied to Colombia is outdated, possibly dangerous, 1952 ammunition that was purchased by the State Department in a bungled procurement.

This is a very sad picture, but it is a very true picture of what has taken place. Again, this is not in place, this is what is proposed, but this accounts for the flood of heroin coming into the United States out of that transit through Mexico, through the Caribbean. Much of it, we found in recent hearings, is transshipped through Haiti. Here is another incredible failure of this administration, spending some $3 billion, one of the most farcical foreign policy adventures in the history of the entire Western Hemisphere.

Mr. Speaker, after repeated pleas with President Clinton, I came to this floor many times saying, we cannot impose an economic embargo on a country where people are making less than a dollar a day, where the country is basically operating with 60,000 to 80,000 manufacturing jobs by U.S. businesses who have invested in that country, imposing an embargo that closed down industry, manufacturing, private sector activity through the entire population on to a Clinton-style welfare program which we are now supporting, and Haiti is a country in which taxpayers of the United States not only got into this subsidization and welfare because the Clinton policy destroyed the economy, but we now see Haiti as the major transshipment point through the Caribbean in a lawless society which, just within the last number of hours, has conducted an election and we will see how that goes. In the meantime, the puppets that we have put in place have slaughtered people in unprecedented numbers; and chaos reigns on the island, which is now open to drug traffickers.


[Page: H3646]

[TIME: 2350]

We had before our subcommittee some videotapes of drug traffickers landing at will and transshipping heroin and other illegal narcotics, cocaine, through Haiti, again where we spent hundreds of millions of dollars supposedly building judicial institutions, police forces and other expenditures to so-called nation build that have been a complete failure.

So this is why we have unprecedented quantities of heroin coming into the United States. It would be bad enough if we just had heroin and cocaine, but these charts which I showed last week, I would like to bring up again tonight, and again I did not produce them. The administration's own Commission on Sentencing brought these to our subcommittee and it shows crack in yellow and the darker color here is methamphetamine and it shows 1992 almost not on the charts. The prevalence in 1993 begins to increase with the advent of this administration; 1994, it becomes an even broader pattern across the United States; 1995, spreads even further. One would think this was something put out by the Republican National Committee here as propaganda but, in fact, these are the charts that were given to us by the administration's own Sentencing Commission.

Look at the prevalence of crack in 1996 and methamphetamines, 1997; 1998 reaching epidemic proportions. We not only have heroin epidemics in parts of the country, an increase as a result again of this huge influx coming from Colombia and also from Mexico, two major failures of U.S. foreign policy, some of it through Haiti, another failure of policy, we now have an incredible meth and crack epidemic in many parts of our country. The chemical that helps produce this, and meth gangs in our hearings have produced some incredible results and documentation, the meth dealers and the meth product is coming out of Mexico to communities like Iowa and we will be going out there to do a hearing shortly, our subcommittee. We held hearings in Sacramento, in that area of the State, and San Diego. Meth epidemics, incredible tales of how methamphetamines destroys people's lives, causes them to abandon their children. It is far worse than the crack epidemic that we had in the 1980s, and meth does incredible damage to people, causes them to commit bizarre acts.

What was interesting, again these two charts show the meth epidemic and crack epidemic across this country, is that we have had in our Subcommittee on Drug Policy criminal justice drug policy scientists who show us what meth does to the brain.

Tonight, as we get towards the end, I wanted to show a little bit to the Members of Congress and others who are watching what takes place. This is a scientific brain scan presented again to our subcommittee. It shows the normal brain here, and we see a lot of the yellow here. This would be the normal brain pattern. Then it shows a gradual reduction in dopamine, which is so important to brain function, because of meth use. This is additional methamphetamine use. The only thing a habitual methamphetamine user has differently from this last brain scan, if we look at that, is a tiny bit of brain capability left. The last scan is severe Parkinson's's disease. So meth destroys the brain and brain function. It is not something that regenerates, according to the scientists.

This is a very graphic illustration of the destruction of the human mind, the brain, and it accounts for the incredible acts of violence, the spouse abuse, the child abuse, the abandonment of family and life as we know it when people become addicted and their brain is destroyed by methamphetamine.

Unfortunately, as I said also, heroin, which has such a glamorous connotation today, is more deadly than

it has ever been. In the 60, 70 percent purity levels, when mixed with other substances, it is accounting for incredible record numbers of deaths across the United States. When used sometimes by first-time users it results in fatalities and drug-related deaths at record levels. The only thing that has kept our level of heroin deaths at a gradual increase in deaths and not even higher records is the ability now to provide anecdote medical treatment, emergency treatment. However, admissions for overdoses are, in fact, soaring, as I cited, throughout every region of the United States. Unfortunately, it is not a very pretty picture. Unfortunately there have been some serious mistakes made by this administration, by the Congress when it was controlled by the other side from 1992 to 1994.

It is a difficult task to pick up humpty-dumpty, so to speak, and put it back together. It is a difficult task to conduct a war on drugs after a war, in fact, has been dismantled.

I am pleased that the Republican-controlled Congress has dramatically increased the funding of programs across the board in a very balanced fashion. The success that we knew in the Reagan and Bush administration when drugs were going down, according to charts not produced by me but universities and others, very competent sources, showed that that was a successful program. So this Republican-controlled Congress has increased source country programs back to the 1992 levels, the 1991 levels.

Interdiction, we are trying to bring the military back in to this program. The military does not arrest anyone. It merely provides surveillance information. And reinstitute forward operating locations which have been dismantled under this administration and allowed that incredible volume of hard, deadly, more pure drugs come in to our border.

We have begun a billion dollar unprecedented match by a billion dollars in donated time; a national media campaign which is one year underway; and we are working to improve that. We are trying to fund treatment and prevention programs at an unparalleled level, in fact have dramatically increased the Federal funding for treatment programs and again put in place hopefully a balanced approach to the problem of illegal narcotics.

It is my hope, Mr. Speaker, that we can work, as we conclude the 13 appropriation bills, in funding a real effort against illegal narcotics, a real war against illegal drugs as a multifaceted project in the Congress because we have 13 appropriation bills and many of them deal with pieces of this puzzle. Putting it back together, in fact, is important. We have stalled in getting the money to Colombia and that is a horrible mistake and shame on both sides of the aisle. Shame on this administration and this President for not getting that package here in a timely fashion and acting on it. We know that heroin is coming from Colombia and Mexico and we must stop illegal narcotics at their source.

END

As of May 24, 2000, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H23MY0-815:
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