REP. JENKINS PROTECTS, SUPPORTS CRITICAL DRUG FUNDING
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) voted late Thursday for hundreds of millions in funding for critical programs to fight the opioid epidemic, including the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program.
After reports indicated earlier this year that the Office of Management and Budget planned to eliminate HIDTA and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Rep. Jenkins wrote to the White House urging them not to cut these important programs. Through his role on the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Jenkins fought successfully to block these cuts and protect these crucial programs.
HIDTA is funded at $254 million in the Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Services appropriations bill, while programs within the ONDCP are funded as well. The bill was voted out of committee late Thursday night.
“HIDTA serves a vital role in our communities, bringing federal, state, and local law enforcement together to combat the drug epidemic and stop the flow of drugs into West Virginia. Programs like HIDTA and Drug-Free Communities work, and we must continue to support and fund programs that are making a difference in drug trafficking and addiction. Law enforcement and treatment can work hand in hand to stop drug trafficking and help people enter recovery. I will continue to fight for the funding and the resources West Virginia needs to address the opioid crisis and ensure a healthier, safer future for our communities,” Rep. Jenkins said.
The committee also adopted language written by Rep. Jenkins that encourages the ONDCP to coordinate with rural law enforcement agencies to develop strategies to stop drug trafficking and improve information sharing.
The Financial Services bill also includes funding for other key anti-drug programs:
- $91 million for the Drug-Free Communities program.
- $2 million for drug court training.
The committee also passed the Fiscal Year 2018 Commerce, Justice and Science bill, which includes critical funding for programs important to West Virginia:
- Fully funds CARA at $103 million, including:
- $43 million for drug courts
- $14 million for prescription drug monitoring
- $12 million for residential substance abuse treatment
- $7 million for veterans treatment courts.
- Funds the Economic Development Administration and rejects a proposed elimination of this important program.
- $2.6 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration, $98 million more than the current fiscal year.
- Priority placed on anti-opioid and other illegal drug enforcement efforts.