The House : Interdicting Drugs

By a vote of 237 for and 177 against, the House adopted an amendment requiring presidents to use whatever military might is needed to substantially halt the illegal flow of drugs into the United States. This would mark the first diversion of the armed services from their military mission to the war on drugs. Presidents would deploy air, sea and land forces against drug smugglers in coastal and border areas.

The amendment was attached to a multi-pronged legislative attack on America's growing drug problem, a measure that will cost more than $1.5 billion in fiscal 1987 and upwards of $3 billion over the next three years.

The bill (HR 5484) was sent to the Senate, where liberals are threatening to filibuster some of its provisions.

Critics of the amendment included liberals who said it is dangerous for the armed services to become involved in civilian law enforcement, and conservatives who said the Pentagon has enough to do already.

While the bill provides special funding to prevent drug abuse, its emphasis is on enforcement. It toughens laws against drug traffickers, provides money for more prison space, upgrades government interdiction activity and penalizes countries that fail to curb drug exports to America.

Members voting yes wanted the Pentagon to be enlisted in the war on drugs.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

Rules of Evidence

The House adopted, 259 for and 153 against, an amendment setting conditions under which evidence obtained illegally in warrantless searches can be admitted in criminal drug trials. Under this proposed softening of the exclusionary rule, such evidence would be admissible if police acted in "good faith" in seizing it. The vote occurred during debate on HR 5484 (above). Members voting yes wanted to loosen restrictions on the admission of illegally obtained evidence in drug trials.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Beilenson (D) x Rep. Berman (D) x Rep. Dixon (D) x Rep. Levine (D) x Rep. Waxman (D) x

WHERE TO REACH THEM Anthony C. Beilenson, 23rd District

11000 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 14223, Los Angeles 90024(213) 209-7801

Howard Berman, 26th District

14600 Roscoe Blvd., Suite 506, Panorama City 91402(818) 891-0543

Julian C. Dixon, 28th District

111 N. La Brea Ave., Inglewood 90301(213) 678-5424

Mel Levine, 27th District

5250 W. Century Blvd, Suite 447, Los Angeles 90045(213) 215-2035

Henry A. Waxman, 24th District

8425 W. 3rd St., Suite 400, Los Angeles 90048(213) 651-1040

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