August 25, 1996
STATEMENT BY JOE LOCKHART
NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY
BOB DOLE: ALL TALK, THE WRONG ACTION ON DRUGS
Today on CNN, Bob Dole's chief spokesman refused to take cuts in drug war funding off the table to pay for Bob Dole's risky $548 billion tax cut promise. It is no surprise. "Dole has opposed everything that could have stopped the epidemic of drug addiction," wrote Rep. Charles Rangel in an op-ed circulated on Capitol Hill.
President Clinton, in his State of the Union address, chose to talk to the American people about the problems of drugs and crime. He introduced General Barry McCaffrey, who had retired from a distinguished military career, to lead America's fight against drug use. In Bob Dole's response, he never mentioned drug abuse and the need to stop it.
The Dole-Gingrich Congress -- after shutting down the government in attempt to force deep cuts in key priorities of the American people -- provided nearly $800 million less for Federal Drug Control than President Clinton requested in his balanced budget. [Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy]. Arm-in-arm with Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole attempted to dismantle initiatives that would help young people avoid drug use. Dole voted against funding for drug courts, voted against stiffer penalties for playground drug dealers, and against creating the drug czar's office. The Dole-Gingrich budget would have cut President Clinton's Safe and Drug Free Schools program in half. The 40% cut required to pay for his tax cut plan could deny Safe and Drug Free services to 5,800 local school districts nationwide.
Rhetoric is cheap. When it comes to taking action against drug use, Bob Dole comes up short.
# # #
Dole's Record on Drugs
SENIOR DOLE AIDE WOULD NOT GUARANTEE THAT DRUG BUDGET WOULD BE EXEMPT FROM CUTS:
Appearing on CNN's "Late Edition" today, Dole's communications director John Buckley refused to take cuts in the anti-drug budget off the table under the Dole economic plan:
Frank Sesno: ...Most Americans don't believe that he [Dole] can cut taxes and balance the budget at the same time. He's taken several things off the table. I'm asking you very simply, is the drug budget off the table?
Buckley: The plan that Bob Dole put forward in his speech in Chicago two weeks ago tomorrow is a comprehensive economic growth plan between now and the year 2002. It's not his FY 98 budget. It's not a budget plan... We have not put out what the line-by-line budget would be for FY 98. That's not what this is about..." [CNN's "Late Edition," 8/25/96]
DOLE'S BUDGET COULD CAUSE 40% CUTS IN ANTI-DRUG PROGRAMS:
Independent analysis by BusinessWeek and the Concord Coalition have determined that the Dole economic plan would require 40% cuts in a broad range of domestic programs. The Concord Coalition wrote, "Dole proposes funding [Domestic programs] at a level of $186 billion -- a 41 percent cut." [BusinessWeek, 8/19/96; [Concord Coalition "Supply Side Tax Cut: Issue Analysis and Background Information," 8/14/96]
Dole's 40% Cuts could have a dramatic impact on law enforcement and the war against drugs. A 40% cut could cause: 1900 Fewer Agents Patrolling the South-West Border (a $542 million cut from INS Border Patrol could mean 2,100 fewer border agents -- including 1,900 fewer agents patrolling the South West U.S. border), 2,500 fewer DEA agents fighting drugs, a $324 million cut from the Drug Enforcement Agency [DEA], and 2,500 fewer DEA agents fighting trug trafficking. [40% cut based on 1996 funding levels & programmatic levels]
IN 1994 DOLE VOTED AGAINST DEATH PENALTY FOR DRUG KINGPINS:
Dole voted against the 1994 Crime Bill, which authorized the death penalty for major drug felonies committed by a "drug kingpin." The bill also authorized the death penalty for gun murders committed during a federal drug felony or violent felony. When asked if he had the votes to block the crime bill, Dole said, "I hope I have, I think I have, but I'm prepared to move ahead in any event" [CQ Almanac, 1994, p. 290, Vote # 295, 50-S, Reuters North American Wire, 8/24/95]
IN 1994 DOLE VOTED AGAINST DRUG CONTROL MEASURES:
The 1994 Crime Bill which Dole voted against also contained other drug control measures, including:
Drug Courts: The bill authorized funding to promote drug courts, aimed at rehabilitating non- violent drug offenders. Typically, a drug court would offer non-violent offenders intensive probation, including testing, treatment, and job training, in place of conventional incarceration.
Recidivism: Broadened the definition of "prior felony drug offense" to include any drug offense punishable by more than one year in prison, thus enabling these people to receive tougher sentences for subsequent crimes. [CQ Almanac, 1994, p. 290, Vote # 295, 50-S]
IN 1994 DOLE VOTED AGAINST STIFFER SENTENCES FOR PLAYGROUND DRUG DEALERS:
In August 1994 Dole voted against the 1994 Crime Bill which directed the US Sentencing Commission to stiffen sentencing guidelines for manufacturing or dealing drugs in areas designated as drug-free zones -- usually near schools or playgrounds. [1994 CQ Almanac, p. 290; p. 50-S, Vote 295]
IN 1982 DOLE VOTED AGAINST CREATING THE DRUG CZAR'S OFFICE:
Dole voted against an amendment to the Violent Crime and Drug Enforcement Act of 1982 (S 2572) to create the Drug Czar's office in the White House to coordinate drug enforcement operations and policy. The amendment passed, 63-33. [1982 CQ Almanac, Vote # 377, p. 64-S]
IN 1994 DOLE VOTED AGAINST SAFE & DRUG FREE SCHOOLS PROGRAM
On October 5, 1994, Dole voted against the conference report to reauthorize the Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 1965 (HR 6) which included the Safe & Drug Free Schools program. Roughly 40 million students benefit from this program in 97% of America's school districts. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program receives funds under the Safe & Drug Free Schools. [1994 CQ Almanac, p. 55-S, Vote # 321; Education Dept., 2/9/96; P.L. 103-382, 10/20/94]
IN 1995 DOLE VOTED TO CUT SAFE & DRUG FREE SCHOOLS PROGRAM BY 51%:
On May 25, 1995, Dole voted in favor of the Conference Report on the GOP's FY 1995 rescissions bill (H.R. 1158) which cut the Safe & Drug Free Schools program by 51% from $482 million to $246 million. President Clinton vetoed this bill. [1995 Congressional Record, Vote # 203 p. S-7405; OMB Letter to Bob Livingston (R-LA), 6/7/95; Public Law 103-382, 10/20/94; Veto Message, 6/7/9
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Committee, Inc.