12 May, 2017| By: Kevin Trieu
Last Friday, it was leaked by the press that in the President’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, the President proposed a 95% cut to the Office of National Drug Control Policy by about 95%. This effectively guts the office and the programs run by the office such as the Drug-Free Communites (DFC) Grant and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency (HIDTA). Please note that CASAP is funded by the DFC grant.
Since that time, the press, Senators, and community based organizations have all called out the President and his staff decrying them of the leaked budget proposal. Senator Rob Portman and Congressman Sander Levin have written a letter to OMB Director Mike Mulvaney in Support of the DFC Program. Several community organizations across the country have signed onto a letter to Senior Adviser to the President, Reed Cordish, and several Senators have written a letter to Mike Mulvaney in support of ONDCP, DFC and HIDTA, including our own Senator Durbin.
While I may express some bias about this issue, but I wanted to say how valuable this program is, and hopefully lend a voice to the cacophony of pushback that this proposal is seeing. The DFC program has been around for about 20 years now, and has seen nothing but success since the program started. I would argue that the success of the program is because local communities are providing and proposing local solutions to be funded. The fact that the president is proposing cuts to this and HIDTA which is a partnership with the FBI, CPD, DEA, ICE as well as other organizations to fight against drug trafficking, is deeply disturbing.
It is important to note; however, that this is the solely the President’s proposal that was leaked. His actual budget proposal will be released on 23 May and any of his budget proposals, will have to go through the meat-grinder that is Congress for approval. What do you think of the proposal? Comment down below.
ACTION ITEM: Please take 2 minutes out of your day to call up our Senator Durbin’s office to thank him for his support of ONDCP, DFC, and HIDTA. (312) 353-4952 for his Chicago office and (202) 224-2152 for his Washington DC office. (Note: if you are a 501(C)3, this would not be considered lobbying, so you are free to call away!)
Link to story here.