Congressman Walden Invites Top Drug Officials to District
Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) has invited two of the country's top drug officials to the Second District for a summit next spring with community organizations devoted to fighting drug abuse, and the House of Representatives tonight passed legislation cosponsored by Walden to renew an important grant program that aids innocent children impacted by drug abuse at home.
Walden personally extended the invitation to John Walters, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (also known as the "drug czar"), and Karen Tandy, the administrator at the Drug Enforcement Agency, during a meeting in the U.S. Capitol with a small group of legislators last week.
"Through many extensive town halls I have held throughout the district on the issue of drug abuse, I have seen the alarming effects that drugs like meth can have on individuals, families, and communities," said Walden, who met with the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Task Force on Saturday. "A forum where anti-meth and anti-drug coalitions can come together to discuss what is working, what is not working, and what is on the horizon with some of the federal government's leading authorities on the issue would be extremely beneficial. I want both Director Walters and Administrator Tandy to personally witness the tremendous work and innovative models being developed at the grassroots level in eastern, central, and southern Oregon and to share their valuable expertise with the passionate folks working on the ground to keep our communities clean every day."
The letter that Walden personally delivered to both Walters and Tandy inviting them to attend the meeting can be accessed by clicking here. The date of the forum has yet to be scheduled.
House passes the Drug Endangered Children Act
The House of Representatives tonight passed legislation cosponsored by Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) that reauthorizes the Drug Endangered Children grant. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, over 15,000 children were found at methamphetamine labs from 2000 to 2004. This problem is hardly limited to meth. A recent Health and Human Services study found that over 1.6 million children live in a home where at least one parent abuses illicit drugs, including meth, cocaine, heroin, and prescription medicines.
"The most vulnerable and innocent victims of meth abuse are the children held hostage in poisonous and harmful homes," Walden said. "We need to do everything we can to provide local agencies with efficient resources to transition these children to safe residential environments."
The legislation Drug Endangered Children Act of 2007 (H.R. 1199) reauthorizes the Drug Endangered Children grant at $20 million for each of the next two years. Money from the grant helps coordinate state and local agencies that provide assistance to drug endangered children and aids the transition of these children to safe residential environments. The legislation now awaits action in the Senate.
Other anti-drug bills currently in Congress:
Ø Walden cosponsored the Family-Based Meth Treatment Access Act (H.R. 405), which would expand a grant program that provides residential substance abuse treatment to pregnant and postpartum women. The legislation is currently in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Ø In February, the House passed the Methamphetamine Remediation Research Act (H.R. 365), which sets federal standards for the remediation of former meth labs. The legislation, co-sponsored by Walden, now awaits action in the Senate.
Ø In March, Congress passed the Native American Methamphetamine Enforcement and Treatment Act (H.R. 545), which would ensure that territories and Indian tribes are eligible to receive grants that address the manufacture, sale, and use of methamphetamines. The legislation now awaits action in the Senate.