A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including House Minority Whip Hoyer, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Senate Finance ranking member Max Baucus, D-Mont., today released a report they said demonstrated the effectiveness of the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, whose funding the White House has proposed cutting in half in FY06.
The program serves to coordinate drug control efforts among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and was funded at $226.5 million last year. Citing the program's ineffectiveness, OMB is proposing to cut the agency's budget by more than $120 million and move it under the Justice Department rather than the Office of National Drug Control Policy, recently said the program is "unable to demonstrate results."
The House Appropriations Committee rejected the administration's proposal and provided full funding at $227 million for FY06 as part of a $66.9 billion Transportation-Treasury spending bill headed to the floor next week. "At a time when we are asking our state and local law enforcement agencies to assume additional responsibilities for homeland security, now is not the time to undercut the critical support they get from HIDTA in combating drug-trafficking and the resulting violent crime," Hoyer said