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executive agencies on notice that the Senate of the United States would no longer tolerate a status quo that steadily deteriorates, but will demand excellence and cooperation.
In his message accompanying the reorganization plan of 1968, President Johnson stated in words of simple eloquence the goal of the Federal Government, and let me quote just part of it:
America will serve notice to the pusher and peddler that their criminal acts must stop. No matter how well organized they are, we will be better organized. No matter how well they have concealed their activity, we will root them out. The response of the Federal Government must be unified, and it must be total.
In truth, I do not believe that such sentiments have been accompanied by comparable action since the days when Robert Kennedy was Attorney General. Certainly, in recent years, no such commitment has even been slightly evident. Unfortunately, the vacuum of Executive leadership has not been filled in the Congress either. Institutionally, the Senate, at least, has not had a mechanism whereby it could effectively develop and coordinate policy. And with the many time demands on each Senator, the drug problem has occupied only a small portion of the attention and concern of only a few.
By establishing the select committee that we are here proposing, it may be possible for the Senate to reverse the unfavorable trends; it may be possible for us to begin to clear away some of the darkness of a drug problem whose dimensions seem overwhelming; it may be possible to clean up some of our society and to reduce the crime consequent upon drug use. Whether or not the select committee is totally successful-and no human endeavor is ever totally successful-it cannot but help move us in a positive direction.
In fact, Mr. Chairman, I believe that if this committee seriously considers Senate Resolution 207, it should authorize its existence for a limited period of time-perhaps for one Congress only—and then reexamine whether it should continue on the basis of: (a) Whether the need still exists and, (b) whether the committee's performance justifies its continuance.
Furthermore, I would suggest that if such an approach is adopted that the Rules Committee require the select committee to justify what it has done not on the basis of numbers of reports published or days of hearings held, as often happens, but upon hard results. The question the Rules Committee should ask is whether the select committee has really and significantly contributed to the war on illicit narcotics.
On the basis of my conversations with colleagues who would be anxious to serve on such a select committee, I am positive that the President pro tempore of the Senate would find no dearth of individuals who are truly committed to devoting the time and the resources necessary to make the select committee a success. Each one of these individuals recognizes the gravity of the problem, and would be enthusiastic about contributing to its solution.
I am perfectly aware, Mr. Chairman, that there is opposition to the creation of a select committee. As in all such discussions, there is a mixture of both policy and politics. I recognize the legitimate concern that you and others have over the danger of proliferating committees and the fear that some of the excellent work done by the reorganization at the beginning of the 95th Congress might get
undone. These objections can, I believe, be overcome on the ground that a temporary select committee to investigate and propose solutions to a massive, multifaceted problem is completely consistent with the purposes of the reorganization. Unquestionably, the need is there.
But beyond policy, there is politics. No committee or subcommittee looks with favor upon a perceived encroachment of its traditional domain. I vividly recall some of the rather heated discussions that took place both in this room and on the Senate floor when Senate Resolution 104 was being discussed. Yet, I do not view the establishment of this select committee as interfering in any meaningful fashion with the jurisdiction or function or any other committee or subcommittee of the Senate. Nor do I accept as persuasive the argument of any other committee or subcommittee that because it has performed effective oversight over this or that agency, that the task outlined for the select committee is already being accomplished. The facts speak for themselves. The fractured jurisdiction over the drug effort means, quite simply, that without the select committee, it will be business as usual, and that means business without a comprehensive national policy toward drugs,
This committee will no doubt hear testimony from a number of my distinguished colleagues that their committees are doing important and proper oversight. I would like to concur with those remarks in advance. Indeed, I would like to augment them by noting that in the various appropriations subcommittees on which I serve-most notably, that chaired by Senator Hollings—we have done exceptional oversight. Nonetheless, it is that very experience that underscores and reinforces the absolute need for a select committee which is invested with a mandate by the Senate to explore all the dimensions of the drug problem. Oversight over individual agencies does not yield a comprehensive portrait of the Federal drug effort, and certainly, it does not provide the basis for designing a true national drug strategy.
Mr. Chairman, the balance of my statement deals with the involvement of organized crime in the drug area and some history. Mr. Chairman, I also could have asked a number of my colleagues who are cosponsors to testify today in support of it. I felt that it would be more educational to the members of this committee to have some witnesses that have been involved in the enforcement, in the reporting and in the investigative area of this problem to demonstrate the need for a select committee as is proposed.
I would welcome any questions, Mr. Chairman. I do thank you again for your consideration and time that you have set aside for this hearing
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much indeed, Senator. I have a couple of specific questions. Your estimate of the size and cost of the committee is what?
Senator DECONCINI. Mr. Chairman, if the Rules Committee elected to create this committee, I would submit an itemized budget of expenditures. Let me say that I have already done some penciling along those lines, and I would feel that this committee could do an adequate job with an appropriation during one Congress of slightly less than $1 million, roughly $480,000 per year.
The CHAIRMAN. Would not each of the present standing committees have to continue their respective activities in these areas even after the select committee was set up, if it was set up? Senator DECONCINI. That is correct, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Are you able to report to us what the House Select Committee on Narcotics has done during the 4 years of its existence?
Senator DECONCINI. No, sir, I am not. The CHAIRMAN. Because they have had a similar committee that has been in existence.
Senator DECONCINI. Yes, they have. I would be glad to get any reports; if your staff does not have them, I would be glad to secure
those for you.
The CHAIRMAN. Even with the select committee, will not the demands on the Members' time from their other assignments limit the central coordination they could achieve on the select committee? I think we are all so rather spread out now.
Senator DECONCINI. Well, I think, Mr. Chairman, it would have to be a commitment from Members, as it is in any committee that we serve on. We obviously cannot pay attention to all of the work that is loaded upon us. I believe that there are members of this Senate who are willing to make this a priority and devote the necessary time to attempt to find out why it is not working and to attempt to recommend not only a national policy, but the directions for Federal law enforcement to make it work, and not necessarily just spending more money. I believe the commitments are here in this body to make this work in a limited time period.
[A summary of the activities of the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, prepared by the staff of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, is as follows:
SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES OF THE HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON NARCOTICS ABUSE AND
CONTROL—1977, 1978, 1979, AND 1980
(Prepared by the staff of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration)
The House of Representatives' Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control was created by H. Res. 77, which was agreed to on January 11, 1977. This select committee has no legislative powers, but rather acts in a supportive capacity to the other standing House committees having legislative responsibilities in the area. It serves a factfinding function by holding hearings, publishing reports and, generally, conducts a continuing study and review of the problems of narcotics abuse and control. 1977 activities
According to its 1977 Annual Report, the select committee received funding in the amount of $722,204. The full committee, which was (and still is) chaired by Lester L. Wolff (D. 6th Dist. N.Y.), met six times in 1977. Nineteen professional and six clerical personnel were on the staff.
The select committee held 10 hearings in 1977 ranging from U.S. narcotics policy vis-a-vis Southeast Asia to Federal narcotics research. The committee issued 12 publications, including a preliminary study on drug abuse in New York City schools, and one on international narcotics control written after a trip by Chairman Wolff and committee member, Ben Gilman (R. 26th Dist. N.Y.) to review United Nations drug control organizations in Geneva, Switzerland. Also, the select committee conducted special two week study missions to Southeast Asia and South Americareports were issued on findings made from these trips.
Te select committee received funding in the amount of $722,204 in 1978. For most of 1978, the committee staff consisted of nineteen professional and six clerical members.
The select committee held several briefings and discussions in 1978 and some of its services were provided to the Senate: (1) It provided the Senate Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations with several briefings on investigations into organized crime in south Florida; (2) it briefed the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency and the Subcommittee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse on hearings concerning PCP and psychotropic substance abuse; (3) it worked with Senator Bentsen's staff on his legislative proposal concerning PCP; and (4) it discussed with Senator Percy's staff the Foreign Assistance Act and the spraying of marijuana with paraquat in Mexico.
The committee compiled a Congressional Resource Guide--a comprehensive review of Federal efforts to control narcotics abuse from 1969 to 1976. According to the select committee's report, the resource guide provides a legislative, organizational and budgetary basis for determining the effectiveness of current programming.
Thirteen special investigations were undertaken in 1978, ranging from a HawaiiGuam-Thailand-Hong Kong study mission on drug trafficking routes, to the abuse of Talwin and Pyribenzamine-two prescription drugs which, when used together intravenously produces a heroin-like effect. 1979 activities
The select committee's 1979 funding was for $815,000. There were seventeen professional and four clerical staff members.
The select committee's 1979 report emphasizes its services to members and other standing committees, including three instances of assistance to Senate offices and committees. Eighteen committee hearings were held. Three special investigations were conducted, two of which involved trips overseas. A number of select committee members (7) visited Hong Kong, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the Soviet Union for a 16-day study mission on narcotics trafficking in those countries. Also, a follow-up mission to Columbia was conducted by the select committee for discussions with the Colombian government. As a result of the mission, the select committee recommended passage of a bill providing for $16 million to continue interdiction of drug traffic there.
The report noted six substantive legislative initiatives in which select committee members were involved. The legislative actions range from suggesting an increase in the Drug Enforcement Administration's authorization to increasing penalties for smuggling 100 pounds or more of marijuana-from 10 to 25 years or a fine of $100,000 or both.
1980 Activities-Source, Pat Carpentier, Select Committee Chief Counsel.
Thus far in 1980 the House Select Committee has conducted a number of hearings, examples of which are the following:
(1) Hearing in Memphis, Tennessee on marijuana use in the schools; (2) Hearing in Georgia on drug enforcement problems;
(3) Hearing in New York on the inflow of Southwest Asian herion to New York City, which is the major distribution point for this country.
The New York hearing also involved testimony concerning the impact of a $40 million cut in funds available through the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) to drug rehabilitation centers and other programs. Many of these hearings represent follow-ups of prior hearings held at the same locations.
The select committee is following and providing input to a number of bills. For example, the committee has asked the House Judiciary Committee to defer considering provisions of the proposed criminal code revisions concerning decriminalization for possession of small amounts of marijuana; they are supporting a bail reform bill which would give judges more discretion in setting the amount of bail in drug cases; and they are also supporting bills providing for alternatives to decriminalization of marijuana through pretrial diversion sentencing.
As for future activities, the select committee is planning an upcoming trip to Israel, India, Pakistan, and possibly to Rome. Chairman Wolff wears two hats on these foreign trips—as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee (he also chairs the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs) and Chairman of the Select Committee. A hearing is also planned on the benefits of marijuana for use in glaucoma treatment, in easing chemotherapy treatment and for other uses.
The select committee staff is deliberating on what recommendations the committee should make to the House at the end of 1980. They will develop proposals as to
how the House should deal with factfinding and legislation on drug abuse problems in the future. The CHAIRMAN. Senator Hatfield. Senator HATFIELD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator DeConcini, I have just one question. I could ask a number of others, but in the interest of time, I will just propound one.
It is my understanding that the House of Representatives will probably not reauthorize their Select Committee on Narcotics Control and Abuse after it expires at the end of this Congress. How would that affect the operation of the proposed Senate select committee that you are testifying on this morning, and would this proposed committee still make sense in the absence of a House counterpart?
Senator DECONCINI. Yes, Mr. Chairman, Senator Hatfield, I believe it would. I am not prepared to offer constructive suggestions of what the House committee should have done or should not have done, but I am aware of some of the shortcomings of that effort on the House. Not being a Member of the body, I cannot speak as to the support that it had or did not have from the leadership, from its Members.
I have had an opportunity to discuss this with a number of people—and you will hear some of them today—who have testified before that committee and have felt that perhaps that committee could have moved in a more aggressive manner. I would suggest to you that if the Senate adopted this resolution, that this committee would move in such an aggressive manner.
It is not easy, Mr. Chairman, Senator Hatfield, to attempt to mandate coordinated efforts among law enforcement. I have come from an effort in that area, being the prosecutor. There you have probably the most control, because all law enforcement has to come to you in order to get their cases filed in court and their indictments. Nevertheless I think it can be accomplished with the proper type of forceful demonstration that there is going to be a policy. I believe the House committee has some ways to go in attempting to achieve that.
So the answer specifically to your question, Senator Hatfield, is that I think this committee would be a proper committee at this time, and I would dare say it would have a greater impact than the House committee has had, and could function even without a comparable House committee.
Senator HATFIELD. Thank you, Senator. The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Senator DeConcini. Now, if you will come up here and wear your other hat as a member of the committee and ask questions of the witnesses.
Senator DECONCINI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have no questions of this witness. Thank you. [Laughter.]
(The prepared statement of Senator DeConcini follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF HON. DENNIS DECONCINI Good morning, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this morning on behalf of S. Res. 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.