September 1, 1996
STATEMENT BY JOE LOCKHART
NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY
Bob Dole is stuck in the old Washington way of "either/or" politics: choosing between interdiction and prevention as a solution to the drug war. Itís a false choice. President Clinton has submitted the largest drug budget ever that unites enforcement, interdiction and treatment to combat drug abuse. The President has continued to use the National Guard to help police our borders and he has increased the number of Border Patrol agents on the Southwest border by over 40 percent.
The National Guard is doing its job. Unfortunately, the Dole-Gingrich Congress has not. Dole and Gingrich cut the Presidentís overall drug fighting budget for this year by nearly $800 million. Dole and Gingrich voted against the Presidentís expansion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools program in 1994. And one of their first actions in 1995 was to cut funding for the Safe and Drug Free Schools initiative by 50 percent. Dole and Gingrich also voted against the Presidentís 1994 Anti-Crime bill which expanded the death penalty for drug kingpins, instituted a tough "three strikes and youíre out" sentence for the most dangerous career criminals and provided for drug courts and expanded drug testing.
More troubling than past actions, Senator Bob Doleís economic plan will include 40 percent across-the-board cuts in all law enforcement programs, including border patrols.
President Clinton has a strong record when it comes to fighting the war on drugs. The President elevated the Drug Czar to a Cabinet-level position and appointed four-star General Barry McCaffrey the first Drug Czar with a drug interdiction background to lead the fight against drugs. Year-in and year-out, the President has proposed the largest anti-drug budgets ever. Under the Clinton Budget now before Congress, the DEA would grow by 18% in one year and 116 new DEA agents would be added.
In his Thursday night convention speech, the President challenged Congress to immediately pass his national anti-drug budget. If Bob Dole is serious about fighting the war on drugs, he should convince his Republican colleagues in Congress to take up the Presidentís challenge and immediately pass the Presidentís supplemental request for fighting drugs in America.
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Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Committee, Inc.