OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - March 09, 2006)
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Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Chairman, when I am home in Utah, I constantly hear about the prevalence of methamphetamines and the dangers to our community posed by this highly addictive drug. This legislation has some excellent measures to help the federal government better deal with the problem and I sincerely hope that it will help ONDCP to combat meth abuse.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) was created in 1988 in order to establish policies, priorities, and objectives for our Nation's drug control program. Its stated goals are to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing, and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences. I support this bill and am proud to vote for strengthening the agency in charge of producing the National Drug Control Strategy.
But it would be a mistake to look at this bill without also considering the need to fully fund local law enforcement. The drug problem in our nation and in my home State of Utah is so pervasive that it absolutely requires the dedication and the cooperative efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement. I know that Utah is not alone--I've heard many of my colleagues talk today about the scourge of methamphetamines and other drugs in thousands of communities across the nation. As a result, I am gravely concerned about the President's budget proposal for funding local law enforcement.
The federal government needs to step up to the plate and properly fund law enforcement, if we are serious about national drug control policy. That's why I strongly support funding for critical law enforcement programs, such as Byrne grants, JAG grants, and the COPS program. During my time in Congress, every single person involved with law enforcement has made it a point to share with me exactly how these grants help protect Utah citizens.
As we vote today to reauthorize ONDCP, let us also remember that our commitment to safeguarding local communities. I don't think we can say enough about the men and women who use this funding to better patrol our streets, decrease the availability of drugs in our schools, and ensure that each and every citizen is safe and protected. I know that they, and their fellow officers across this nation, are committed to protecting all of us, just as I am committed to working in support of both homeland security and domestic security.
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