cannabisnews.com: Drug War Funding Faces Delay





Drug War Funding Faces Delay
Posted by FoM on March 27, 2000 at 08:37:16 PT
By Eric Pianin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
Hastert Agrees With Senate Holdup of Colombia, Kosovo Aid.The Clinton administration's drive for emergency funds to combat Colombia drug traffickers and to cover military costs in Kosovo was apparently thwarted yesterday, after House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said he agreed with Senate leaders that a final decision on such financing should be put off until later this year.
The House Appropriations Committee recently approved a $9 billion package of emergency spending, including about $3.8 billion more than Clinton requested. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) has complained repeatedly that the package is "bloated" and that Congress should consider the funding requests as part of next year's regular appropriations bills.Hastert and the White House until now have argued for swift action on Colombian aid, to help reduce the flow of illegal drugs to this country. But on "Fox News Sunday" yesterday, the speaker acknowledged, "We may have to break it up and move it into the regular order.""If it becomes the fact that the supplemental [package] weighs us down and slows us down so that we can't get our work done, then we have to change our tactics," he said.The administration yesterday voiced concern over Hastert's change of heart and said it still was not too late to pass the emergency spending measure this spring."Our view is that it's important that this move now because the needs are critical," said Linda Ricci, an administration spokeswoman. Hastert also said that House Republicans likely would support a Senate GOP plan to address soaring gasoline prices by cutting the federal gas tax by 4.3 cents a gallon--and suspending the entire 18.4 cent gas tax if gasoline prices hit $2 per gallon. While Senate leaders insist that a reduction in the gasoline tax would help mitigate some of the economic burden of soaring gas prices, House leaders until now have opposed that approach, arguing that it would do little to affect prices at the pump."I think if the Senate moves that forward, that is something that could happen," Hastert said. "I think we will support it. But the problem is, that doesn't solve the problem."Last week, the House passed a largely symbolic measure critical of the administration's energy policies and urging aggressive action against oil producing countries if the administration determines there was collusion to fix prices.White House chief economics adviser Gene Sperling said he was troubled by Hastert's "flip-flopping" and said the House could better spend its time reauthorizing the president's use of the strategic petroleum reserve to respond to energy crises.The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is meeting this week in Vienna to consider whether to increase oil production by as much as 2.5 million barrels a day, which U.S. officials believe would stabilize or reduce skyrocketing oil prices.Lott, on NBC's "Meet the Press," sought to assure House Transportation Committee Chairman Bud Shuster (R-Pa.) and other GOP leaders that a gasoline tax cut would not jeopardize the trust fund that finances highway and bridge construction. Lott said Congress would use part of the non-Social Security surplus to replace revenue lost by a cut in the tax.The controversy over the $9 billion emergency spending bill threatens the leadership's goal of finishing work well before the fall elections. Hastert had championed the spending, in the face of criticism from Republican conservatives, arguing that anti-drug efforts should be a GOP priority.There are "14,000 people a year that die either because of drugs or drug violence on our streets," he said yesterday. "We need to do everything we can to stop and to stanch that flow of drugs that come in across our borders into this country. And if we can help the Colombians help us, I think we ought to do that."The bill approved two weeks ago would use part of this year's surplus to provide $1.7 billion to help Colombia and its South American neighbors step up their anti-drug efforts. It also includes $2 billion to cover the costs of U.S. forces in Kosovo, $1.6 billion to meet the Pentagon's soaring fuel costs, $2.2 billion to assist communities and farms ravaged by last fall's Hurricane Floyd and $600 million to replenish funds for emergency heating and cooling assistance to low-income households.Hastert said the House may still pass the emergency bill this week, expecting it to be put on indefinite hold in the Senate.Hastert also continued his ongoing feud with House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), charging him with obstructionist tactics that have undermined trust between the two parties. "He wants to see the Congress do as little as possible so that he can label us . . . a 'do-nothing Congress,' " Hastert said.Laura Nichols, a spokesman for Gephardt, replied that "trust is a two-way street" and that Hastert "has done very little to try to foster a relationship of trust" with Gephardt and the Democrats. By Eric PianinWashington Post Staff WriterMonday, March 27, 2000; Page A04  Copyright 2000 The Washington Post CompanyRelated Articles:Drug Money - Arianna Huffington - Salon Magazinehttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5085.shtmlThe Narco-Guerrilla War - Newsweekhttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread2382.shtml
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Comment #5 posted by Freedom on March 27, 2000 at 12:16:48 PT
It gets worse.
McCaffrey recently stated, in the hearings on this "aid" bill, that 51,000 people died from drug taking. To correct a representative who stated 11,000. Recreational drugs, that is, not the 106,000 who die from legal drugs.I thinkhis number is inflated along these lines: i.e. you smoke a joint, and a tornado-car crash-flood etc... kills you, well, it was the drug.
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on March 27, 2000 at 11:35:57 PT:
Blood Money
4D is all too right: 'It's kinda like they're up there goofin' arond,and partying with these massive amounts of our money,yet ,,when it's all said and done,there's no one to account for it..........and this is probably just the very tip of the iceberg......ddddWhat many people forget is that the black ops appropriations that usually tag along hand-in-hand with these foreign 'aid' bills are hidden amongst things like agricultural loans to foreign countries, and sundry other subterfuges. Meaning that much *vaster* sums are actually being planned for this farce than they wish to admit. "Billions and billions" (with apologies to the late Dr. Sagan) going to secret projects that inevitably involve casualties. The harmless elderly, women and kids in foreign countries around the world curse us because we give money to people who turn buy the weapons they use to 'thin' their own 'herds'. And we gaze dumbfoundedely at why so many foreigners burn on our flag on TV and think, 'Ungrateful b-----ds!'
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Comment #3 posted by observer on March 27, 2000 at 10:13:04 PT
3000 or 14000 Illegal Drug Deaths ?
Hastert: ``There are "14,000 people a year that die either because of drugs or drug violence on our streets," he said yesterday.''Were there 14000 or 3000 deaths due to illegal drugs? Who do you believe?seehttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5166.shtml``Johnson also said most problems associated with drugs are due to prohibition. Last year, he said, 450,000 people died from tobacco-related health problems, 150,000 died of the health consequences of alcohol and 100,000 people died from prescription drugs. "How many people died from cocaine and heroin during that same period of time? Three-thousand. Where's the bogey man there?" he said.''
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Comment #2 posted by observer on March 27, 2000 at 10:07:15 PT
Write to Congress here
Write to Congress http://congress.nw.dc.us/wnd/
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on March 27, 2000 at 09:24:49 PT
WOW
 I had no idea this bill was such a ghastly Mega-Porker. Here I was thinking it was about the $1.7 Billion,(give or take $50 MIL),that was going to be wasted on arming Columbia,to benifit oil companies interests. "The bill approved two weeks ago would use part of this year's surplus to provide $1.7 billion to helpColombia and its South American neighbors step up their anti-drug efforts. It also includes $2 billion tocover the costs of U.S. forces in Kosovo, $1.6 billion to meet the Pentagon's soaring fuel costs, $2.2billion to assist communities and farms ravaged by last fall's Hurricane Floyd and $600 million toreplenish funds for emergency heating and cooling assistance to low-income households." I cant help but gasp,in disbelief when I see all the unrelated crap they throw into these things. It's kinda like they're up there goofin' arond,and partying with these massive amounts of our money,yet ,,when it's all said and done,there's no one to account for it..........and this is probably just the very tip of the iceberg......dddd
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