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Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter

Representing the 1st District of New Hampshire

New Hampshire Congressional Delegation Writes to President Trump in Opposition to ONDCP Cuts

May 19, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC  – Today Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02), the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, along with U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) wrote to President Donald Trump to express their opposition to proposed cuts to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The letter highlights the importance of ONDCP to addressing the substance misuse crisis in New Hampshire. Recent reports cite up to 94% in cuts to the office, which is critical to coordinating the federal response to the opioid epidemic that is negatively impacting communities throughout the state and the country. The letter comes as the Trump Administration continues to pursue policies that would undermine efforts to address the opioid crisis.

“We write to you as the federal delegation representing New Hampshire, one of the states suffering most from the nation’s opioid crisis, to express our concern after recent reports indicated that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) could face severe budget cuts in fiscal year 2018,” wrote the members. “These cuts would eliminate important programs that improve the ability of local law enforcement to respond to the opioid crisis in our communities. Programs like the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and the Drug-Free Communities Support program provide local law enforcement and public health officials the flexibility needed to tailor appropriate responses to challenges facing their communities.”

The delegation continued, “We urge you to reconsider any proposed cuts to ONDCP that would undermine federal response to the ongoing opioid crisis.”

The proposed cuts to ONDCP include the Drug-Free Communities Support program and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, which coordinates drug trafficking activities in designated areas. Last year, the New England HIDTA region received nearly $4.5 million in funding, including nearly $250,000 specifically for Hillsborough and Rockingham counties in New Hampshire.

 

May 19, 2017

 

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

 

Dear President Trump,

 

We write to you as the federal delegation representing New Hampshire, one of the states suffering most from the nation’s opioid crisis, to express our concern after recent reports indicated that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) could face severe budget cuts in fiscal year 2018. Specifically, reports indicate that the Office of Management and Budget will propose a fiscal year 2018 budget for ONDCP of $24 million, reduced from $388 million in fiscal year 2017. This budget cut would be a decrease of nearly 94 percent and amounts to a virtual elimination of ONDCP.

These cuts would eliminate important programs that improve the ability of local law enforcement to respond to the opioid crisis in our communities. Programs like the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and the Drug-Free Communities Support program provide local law enforcement and public health officials the flexibility needed to tailor appropriate responses to challenges facing their communities.

Last year, the New England HIDTA was recognized as one of the most successful HIDTAs in the country.  Not only was the New England HIDTA one of the founding members of the HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy, its SCOPE of Pain initiative has become a national model for public health and public safety partnerships to combat the opioid epidemic. The NE HIDTA coordinates activities in the Granite State through its Southern New Hampshire HIDTA Task Force, which currently covers Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties. Importantly, it coordinates activities in neighboring states, most significantly three counties in Massachusetts that border southern New Hampshire. The ability for the NE HIDTA to deploy its substantial intelligence, operational, and training resources in a coordinated fashion across states and with public health organizations.

Equally troubling are the proposed cuts to ONDCP’s policy and research functions that threaten the Federal Government’s overall response to the opioid crisis. ONDCP’s role as a coordinating agency greatly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of programs designed to address substance misuse across agencies. For example, through ONDCP’s National Drug Control Strategy, the Federal Government is able to leverage its resources toward the most important projects in the hardest hit states and regions – places like New Hampshire.

We urge you to reconsider any proposed cuts to ONDCP that would undermine federal response to the ongoing opioid crisis. We stand ready to work with your administration on any proposal to improve or expand local prevention, treatment, or recovery efforts associated with substance misuse.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Ann McLane Kuster                                                     Jeanne Shaheen

Member of Congress                                                  United States Senator

 

 

Carol Shea-Porter                                                       Maggie Hassan

Member of Congress                                                  United States Senator

 

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