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Kustoff Speaks on House Floor in Support of Law Enforcement

June 26, 2019
Press Release
Highlights Importance of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman David Kustoff (TN-08), spoke on the House floor in support of his amendment to highlight the importance of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program (HIDTA). Congressman Kustoff also co-sponsored two significant law enforcement bills: Protecting America’s First Responders Act (H.R. 2812) and Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act of 2019 (H.R. 2368).

The Protecting America’s First Responders Act would help first responders and their families receive access to financial support for injuries incurred in the line of duty. The Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis Act of 2019 will reform and expand an existing grant program to better address the mental health and support needs of law enforcement officers, especially as it relates to suicide prevention.

“Our law enforcement officers work around the clock to ensure our communities are safe. It is important we continue to support them in their mission by offering them meaningful resources to better address mental health, assist them in the fight against drug trafficking, and help our first responders who were injured in the line of duty. I look forward to continuing my strong advocacy in Congress to ensure our law enforcement community is always taken care of,” said Rep. Kustoff.

To watch the full speech, click here.

Full remarks below:

I rise today in support of my amendment to highlight the importance of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program or what's known as HIDTA.

I've had a fair number of conversations with law enforcement throughout my district in West Tennessee, and they've told me time and time again that drug trafficking continues to be one of their main concerns.

Along Interstate 40 in Tennessee, we continue to see an increase in drug trafficking.

I think we can all agree that the spread of illegal drugs leads to higher crime rates which ultimately increases the financial strain on our local, state, and federal law enforcement. 

The HIDTA program provides funding for additional equipment and man hours to carry investigations required to arrest these criminals and ultimately stop the flow of drugs.

Mr. Chairman, I know that many of my colleagues are experiencing similar situations back home and they understand just how serious of an issue this is becoming for the safety and the security of all Americans. 

The bottom line is that our law enforcement needs resources offered by the HIDTA program to help keep us safe.

The HIDTA program is also a good first step to combating the opioid epidemic that is plaguing our communities.

We must be proactive now because prevention is the best long-term solution.

Law enforcement at the local, state, and federal level, they’ve all expressed support for this amendment and I urge my colleagues to do the same today.

I also want to thank my colleague from Illinois, Mr. Foster, for joining me on this bipartisan amendment and I do appreciate the support of the Chairwoman and also the Ranking Member for including my amendment. And with that I yield back the balance of my time.