House Republicans Propose Drug Funding Cuts

Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives have proposed eliminating the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) to save $220 million over the next five years, the  Huffington Post reported June 4.

GOP leaders Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) included the NDIC in a larger package of proposed budget, saying that the center “has been the subject of significant public debate recently because it unnecessarily duplicates the work of other agencies and its justification seems to have more to do with its powerful patron than its benefits to the taxpayer.” Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), an appropriations subcommittee chairman, was instrumental in establishing the NDIC and getting it located in his district.

“I don't want to point out the obvious here, but for the past few years Republicans were opposed to the NDIC because it wasn't funded in the president's budget, yet this year they are opposed to the NDIC because the president recommended funding it. Make up your mind,” said Murtha spokesman Matthew Mazonkey. “What gets lost in this Republican flip-flop distraction is the actual substance to their arguments, and that's because they have none. I don't think anyone is shocked to learn that Republicans haven't a clue what they are talking about when it comes to the NDIC.”

Replied Boehner spokesman Michael Steel: “Whether or not NDIC is included in the president's budget, it is widely regarded as a pointless and duplicative waste of the taxpayers' money. That having been said, it is surprising that a president who has promised earmark reform — though that promise has largely been ignored in the face of squeals from Congressional Democrats — would now embrace such a notorious earmark from Speaker's Pelosi's prince of pork.”

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