OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - March 09, 2006)
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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Souder and Mr. Cummings deserve a tremendous amount of credit.
I look at this problem, as a former mayor, as a criterion, one of the major criteria, for homeland security. If we cannot secure our neighborhoods, if we cannot secure our towns, small and large, against the poison of illicit drugs, which take many of our own sons and daughters every year, then we are never going to be able to address foreign terrorism on our shores.
So I thank you, and I thank you. I thank Mr. Davis and Mr. Waxman. I believe in a zero-tolerance policy, but we don't have a sense of urgency. Mr. Souder, I think you put it better than I could ever put it. This is an urgent problem, certainly nothing that started yesterday morning. It has been upon us.
The war on drugs is the original war on terror, one that we are fighting, and reauthorizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy is the least we can do, the least we can do, to continue the fight. I think it is a noble fight.
Illegal drug trafficking and use is a cancer on our society that destroys people, families, and even destroys neighborhoods. The bill takes a positive step in helping to restore the foundations of our community by authorizing more than $1.1 billion over 4 years to fight drug trafficking in high-intensity areas. I happen to live in one of those high-intensity areas, North Jersey/New York. This is an important investment that can be used by local, county, State and Federal agencies to collaborate information and root out the dealers and the traffickers.
In 2004, as a member of the Select Committee on Homeland Security, Secretary Ridge appeared before us. We were talking about terror and elevating the alerts, if you remember the debates we had at that time and the color schemes, et cetera, et cetera, which, by the way, we still have. And I asked Secretary Ridge, who I had a great deal of respect for, I thought he did a good job with the cards that he was dealt; I asked him the question, ``Secretary Ridge, you were Governor of a State. Have you ever seen the terror on the faces of families and people who live in neighborhoods that are infested by drugs? Have you ever seen that terror?''
He said, ``I know exactly where you are going, Congressman, because homeland security should be a place where we make our stand as well.''
Families are being ruined. This bill increases funding for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, I think a successful program. The bill earmarks money for the Dawson Family Community Protection Act, which would focus on providing avenues for citizens to report drug trafficking in at-risk neighborhoods without putting their lives on the line.
This is an urgent problem, Mr. Chairman. This is a very urgent problem. When you see how many of our own kids are dying, and adults, I might say, during the year, and compare that against the tragedy of 9/11, we must address both of these problems to bring sanity back to our neighborhoods and back to our families.
There is an urgency here. Is there an urgency down the street, Mr. Souder and Mr. Cummings?
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