Kustoff: We Must Support Law Enforcement in the Fight to End Drug Trafficking
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative David Kustoff (TN-08) yesterday delivered remarks on the House floor regarding his amendment to increase support for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program by $10 million dollars. Shortly after speaking on the floor, the Congressman’s amendment to the HIDTA program passed the House unanimously. This amendment is included in the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 211-198.
“After many grave conversations with law enforcement throughout my district, it is crystal clear that this drug scourge is one of their top concerns right now, if not the top concern,” said Kustoff on the House floor. “Our drug task force in the Eighth District desperately needs these funds, as we have seen a spike in the trafficking of narcotics along Interstate 40 in Tennessee.”
The HIDTA program, created by Congress in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, provides assistance to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in areas determined to be the most concerning drug trafficking regions in the country. Without sufficient funds, these drug interdiction task forces cannot obtain the equipment needed or afford the overtime pay required to employ highly-trained, specialized law enforcement officers. This amendment to the HIDTA program is critical to improving the intelligence sharing and coordinated strategies that will reduce the supply of illicit narcotics.
Kustoff Continued: “The spread of illegal drugs in West Tennessee and across the nation leads to higher crime rates, which means our local, state and federal law enforcement are being stretched incredibly thin. We must also think of the resources needed to battle the drug addiction epidemics, such as the opioid crisis. We should be proactive now, because prevention is the best long-term solution.”
Kustoff is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, serving on three subcommittees for the 115th Congress: Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, Oversight and Investigation and Terrorism and Illicit Finance. He previously served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee under President George W. Bush.