House GOP Wants Cuts To Drug War

When President Obama’s drug czar declared an end to the war on drugs, Republicans were apparently listening closely.

House GOP leadership now wants to cash in the peace dividend.

Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) released a set of proposed budget cuts Thursday that included trimming $220 million from drug war spending over the next five years.

The duo propose eliminating the National Drug Intelligence Center, saving $44 million the first year and $220 million over five years, they say.

The NDIC “has been the subject of significant public debate recently because it unnecessarily duplicates the work of other agencies and its justification seems to have more to do with its powerful patron than its benefits to the taxpayer,” the leadership team offers.

The NDIC referred a call to the Department of Justice, which did not immediately respond.

The Republicans don’t spell out just who that patron might be, but let’s piece it together: the center is located in Johnstown, a rural piece of Pennsylvania that may seem an odd place for a drug intelligence center. The area also happens to be represented by Democrat Jack Murtha, an appropriations subcommittee chairman who directs millions each year to government projects in his district. Currently at the center of a pay-for-pork scandal, Murtha is favorite target of Republicans and a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

He’s also an unabashed supporter of the earmark process and isn’t backing down on the NDIC.

“I don’t want to point out the obvious here, but for the past few years Republican’s were opposed to the NDIC because it wasn’t funded in the President’s budget, yet this year they are opposed to the NDIC because the President recommended funding it. Make up your mind,” said Murtha spokesman Matthew Mazonkey. “What gets lost in this Republican flip-flop distraction is the actual substance to their arguments, and that’s because they have none. I don’t think anyone is shocked to learn that Republicans haven’t a clue what they are talking about when it comes to the NDIC.”

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel dismissed the response. “Whether or not NDIC is included in the President’s budget, it is widely regarded as a pointless and duplicative waste of the taxpayers’ money. That having been said, it is surprising that a President who has promised earmark reform — though that promise has largely been ignored in the face of squeals from Congressional Democrats — would now embrace such a notorious earmark from Speaker’s Pelosi’s prince of pork.”

Perhaps the GOP objection to the NDIC is also ideological. It is a conservative mantra that health care decisions should be the private domain of doctors and patients. A top NDIC priority: getting between the doctor-patient relationship by going after providers who prescribe medication at levels it considers unacceptable.

– Article from The Huffington Post.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. Green on

    The Party of once common sense and reason, the party that once promoted the idea of a smaller federal Government.

    But why not pointing out the real progressive heads in the GOP as Dr. Ron Paul and his bill on legalizing Hemp again – these are the heads we should talk to once and for all and not the neocon scum that claims to lead the party. If it would be up to Dr Paul the DEA would been history yesterday along with most of these other useless federal agencies.

    And 200 millions over 5 years, this is ridiculous small number if we look at their annual budget of 2.345,900,000 Billion they had in 2007 (no further data released by the DEA for ’08/’09) but it been on the rise ever since so under Obama the 3 Billion Dollar mark will be taken for sure if not already taken under Bush (which will only mean for Obama that he will push it to 4 Billion mark before midterms).
    Besides, the Billion Dollar mark was first taken under Bill Clinton – to set this on straight, Dems always been the more vicious “drug warriors” on the block if they not busy banning handguns under the false flag of safety or other BS. (See Obama’s attempt to ban handguns now under the false flag of the Drug War, the violence this prohibition is causing in Mexico [yet he is blaming it on US civil gun ownership, a god given right, secured by the 2nd. amendment] and his push to intensity the war in Mexico and US under the pretext that prohibitions are all of a sudden a functional theory which they are not of cause as we all know)

    So just and simple cutting the entire DEA would free 3 Billion Dollars right away and only cut 10,000 useless jobs would be cut and free a new labor force that could finally clean up our highway ditches at $.25 an hour.
    Funny that Obama and his team of “experts” couldn’t find this item when they been looking for “cuts” in the budget – after all, Obama stated a couple time till ’07 that the “War on Drugs” is a catastrophic failure – guess this been just some more lies he been telling to us all the time to seek our votes for him.

    Peace,
    Green

  2. Anonymous on

    This is a day i never though I would see.I am glad to see someone is finally getting it and giving voice to the peoples top concern.There might be a shred of hope for the GOP yet.More politicians need to jump on this bandwagon,because it is not going to go away and it is making alot of people really angry with the government’s stance along with no scientific data to back it.That will not change until they change course on how it is now.The war on drugs has been one of the leading causes of human rights violations and laws being broke in this country for too long and too many people see it.