« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Hon. Mark O. Hatfield, ranking minority member of the Committee on
Rules and Administration, from Hon. Charles H. Percy, ranking minor-
April 22, 1980
ism and Drug Abuse, Committee on Labor and Human Resources,
April 22, 1980
Steve Allen, Van Nuys, Calif., April 17, 1980
Virgil W. Peterson, Riverside, ill., April 7, 1980 Miscellaneous
Summary of the activities of the House Select Committee on Narcotics
Abuse and Control-1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980, prepared by the staff of
the Committee on Rules and Administration
The Elias Cortez Organization
Midland, Michigan area
Flint, Mich. area
TO CREATE A SELECT COMMITTEE ON
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 1980
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:02 a.m., in room 301, Russell Senate Office Building, Hon. Claiborne Pell (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Pell, DeConcini, and Hatfield,
: William M. Cochrane, staff director; Gerald W. Siegel, chief counsel; Thomas K. Decker, minority staff director; Donald F. Massey, minority counsel; Raymond N. Nelson, professional staff member; Paul G. Goulding, professional staff member; Jack L. Sapp, professional staff member; Robert C. Heckman, assistant chief clerk (auditor); and Peggy Parrish, chief clerk, OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CLAIBORNE PELL, CHAIRMAN
OF THE COMMITTEE ON RULES AND ADMINISTRATION The CHAIRMAN. The Committee on Rules and Administration will come to order.
Our first business at this morning's meeting is Senate Resolution 207, introduced by our colleague, Senator DeConcini, and cosponsored by Senators Ford, Leahy, Hatfield, and Schweiker. The resolution proposes to establish a new Senate Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control which, without legislative authority, would conduct a continuing study of the problems of narcotics abuse and control and review any executive department recommendations in this vitally important field.
We, in the Senate, are greatly concerned with the continuing problem of narcotics abuse, including the involvement of organized crime, and we are interested in pursuing every effort to eliminate or at least reduce such abuses and to establish more effective controls at every level of government.
We are mindful that several standing committees of the Senate already have jurisdiction and on-going investigations in this field. Whether an additional committee in the Senate for these purposes is necessary and desirable is the question before us as we open this hearing on Senate Resolution 207.
I would defer at this point to my friend and our colleague and our fellow committee member and sponsor of the resolution, Senator DeConcini, for his statement.
STATEMENT OF HON. DENNIS DeCONCINI, A U.S. SENATOR
FROM THE STATE OF ARIZONA, AND SPONSOR OF SENATE,
Senator DECONCINI. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate al the opportunity to appear before you this morning on behalf of Senate Resolution 207, a resolution that I am sponsoring together with Senators Ford, Leahy, Hatfield, Schweiker, and Boren. Our resolution proposes the establishment of a Senate Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control.
I want to insert here, Mr. Chairman, that I realize how busy you are and the committee staff, and I greatly appreciate you finding the time to hear these hearings today for several hours, and the staff of the committee for cooperating with us on the witnesses and my own statement.
I recognize that in making this proposal, Mr. Chairman, I appear to be running counter to the thrust of Senate Resolution 4, which reorganized the Senate committee structure by eliminating and consolidating committees. I am equally cognizant of the fact that I incur the displeasure of a number of distinguished colleagues whose various committees and subcommittees already have formal jurisdiction over various aspects of the drug problem.
Before examining the substantive reasons why such a new committee is imperative, I should like to address the internal political and policy issues. Certainly, I would be the last member of this Senate to oppose the fundamental thrust of Senate Resolution 4. The work done by Senator Stevenson and the other members of the special committee that proposed the resolution was excellent, indeed. The resolution, even though modified on the Senate floor, went a long way towards streamlining the Senate committee structure and making it conform better to the needs of our Nation, enabling us to do our jobs more effectively.
To argue, however, that this resolution should be made the basis for objections to any changes or modifications in the present structure is to set in concrete a document that reflected the needs of the Senate and the country at a given time. As a supporter of Senate Resolution 4, I believe that our resolution to establish a select committee is consistent with that spirit.
The ultimate purpose of the recent reorganization, as I under, stand it, was to eliminate, as much as possible, the sort of fractured jurisdiction that limits the ability of the Senate to act effectively
. One of the major accomplishments of the reorganization was to centralize most jurisdiction over energy in the newly named Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Previously, the jurisdiction was shared in some measure by so many committees that effective policy was virtually impossible.
An analogous situation exists today with regard to the problem of drugs and drug control. Jurisdiction over this fundamental societal problem is also fractured; it is scattered among a number of legislative and investigative committees. For example, oversight over the Drug Enforcement Administration is shared by the Appropriations and Judiciary Committees. However, the U.S. Customs Service, which is primarily responsible for interdiction, is covered by the Finance Committee and a different appropriations subcommittee. The heretofore very effective eradication programs are ad
ministered by the State Department, which reports to the Foreign Relations Committee. The Government Affairs Committee has jurisdiction over the main issue of organization and reorganization; moreover, its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has a general mandate to oversee crime.
Many issues relating to demand reduction, integral both to an understanding of the drug problem and to the design of effective solutions, lie within the purview of the Labor and Human Resources Committee. Active and former military personnel represent a substantial share of the Nation's addict population; solutions to their difficulties, which have a bearing on the universal problem, are being devised within the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committees
Beyond these more obvious examples, a host of other governmental agencies, including among these—the Internal Revenue Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco, the FAA, the CIA, the Agriculture Department, and the FBI-are involved to one degree or another in the drug problem and report to a variety of different Senate committees and subcommittees.
The net result, Mr. Chairman, is that in the area of illicit narcotnics we are like the ancient parable of the blind men and the
elephant. No one committee or subcommittee in the Senate is able to view the problem in its totality and, thus, to work toward developing a comprehensive strategy. But let me clarify one point in this context. The resolution that we have offered neither contemplates supplanting these many fine committees nor negates the superb work that they have done in the past and will do in the future.
General oversight of different agencies quite properly should remain within the domain of both the relevant standing committee and the relevant appropriations subcommittee. Likewise, we are in no way suggesting that the select committee usurp the proper legislative function of these committees. The select committee would be endowed with no legislative mandate. Neither are we
suggesting, Mr. Chairman, that the select committee preempt the 30 general investigative mandate of the Permanent Subcommittee on it Investigations.
More importantly, we are simply saying this: The drug problem in the United States has reached crisis proportions and shows every indication of increasing in severity. It is a problem of extreme complexity because of its many dimensions and because of the numerous different Government agencies involved. Let me note parenthetically that it is an effort which is as much a State and local problem as it is a Federal problem. Furthermore, we would argue that, to date, the Federal Government, in particular, has not been able to develop an effective national strategy for attacking and ameliorating this societal cancer. I say this notwithstanding the many gains and, indeed, individual heroics that have characterized the effort.
The most comprehensive analysis of the drug problem is a report prepared over a period of years by the General Accounting Office and released to me in the context of oversight hearings conducted under the aegis of the State, Justice, Commerce, and the Judiciary Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. The title of that
200-page study captures the essence of the situation, and it is entitled "Gains Made in Controlling the Illegal Drugs, Yet the Drug Trade Flourishes." Among the report's conclusions is, and I quote,
"* * * inconsistent and sometimes conflicting drug policies (which result) in no clear overall direction.
After having read this report and after having conducted approximately 20 hours of hearings on its conclusions, I do not think there is any doubt but that the GAO view is correct. Furthermore, all this information is consistent with my own experience as a prosecutor in an area that for many years was a primary route of heroin trafficking into the United States. Indeed, during my tenure as prosecutor, we were forced out of necessity to develop innovative cooperative efforts among differing enforcement agencies to compensate for the very lack of direction and coordination that should have been emanating from the Congress and from the executive branch of our Government.
It is our belief that a comprehensive policy must be fashioned unless we as a nation are willing to continue to allow a $50 billion a year illicit traffic to continue. It is, gentlemen of the committee, more of a contagion than a traffic. One-half million Americans are daily users of heroin, and another 142 million are less frequent users; 13 million Americans are users of stimulants like amphetamines; 6.9 million Americans have used PCP; over 10 million Americans have used cocaine; and at least 43 million Americans have used marihuana. If those few statistics do not send shivers down the collective spine of this committee and the U.S. Senate, then we have become insensitive to what may well be the most fundamental and challenging social problem we have faced,
Unfortunately, this is not a problem that can be solved merely by appropriating more moneys. Over the last decade, we have increased our overall expenditures on narcotics-related activities by more than 17 times—from $46.5 million to $814 million. Enforcement expenditures have also increased by over 13 times. Yet, as the GA study hammers home, the drug trade flourishes.
If there is an answer to this problem, it is surely no simple one, no magical formula that we have simply overlooked. Rather, the solution lies in a creative integration of the many disparate elements of Federal, state, and local law enforcement efforts. We have the resources, but they are scattered and disorganized. It would be the primary function of the select committee to understand the nature of the problem and to arrange the pieces of the solution into a relatively coherent, manageable whole.
Mr. Chairman, let me assure you that I am not going to read this entire statement into the record; a few more pages, and then I will submit the balance.
There is a symbolic dimension of the creation of the select committee which almost equals in importance its formal task. To establish this committee would reflect a level of committee to the burgeoning drug problem that the Senate has not yet seen fit to make. Not only would it put the criminal and would-be criminal on notice, but it would give heart to the thousands of men and women throughout this country who toil, many at the risk of their personal safety, at what is one of the most thankless and most necessary jobs we have, drug enforcement and control. It would put the