ful strategies and programs?
Dr. Brown. We have spent, since I was confirmed to the position,
a great amount of time looking forward and not so much looking
backwards, and what we need to do to address what I consider to
be one of our most pressing domestic problems. To that extent, we
have examined the past strategies put out by the office, the past
policies, the programs.
I visited throughout the country, talked to people Â£dl over the Na-
tion, and visited South America to look at what they are doing to
make sure that what we do is effective. It is in that context that
you see our strategy making a change from what previous strate-
We have seen some success, for example, in the reduction of the
occasional drug user. Groing back a number of years, you probably
had close to 24 million nonaddicted drug users. Now, that is down
to about 11.4 million.
What we have not seen is a reduction in the hard-core drug user,
and as I pointed out briefly in my statement, that is where we see
the major problem. They consume up to three-quarters of the co-
caine that comes into our country. They are responsible in large
part for the crime and violence that we see.
So what we are attempting to do is see what we need to do to
address our problem and thus our interim strategy has four major
Number one is to reduce the consumption of drugs, as has always
been the case, but with a special emphasis on the hard-core drug
users. Number two is to reduce the senseless violence that we see
going on throughout America. We find it is no longer a problem
only in our inner cities. It is a problem for our suburbs and rural
areas. Virtually every family in America has been touched by this
senseless violence in one way or another. We must put an end to
Third, we want to make sure that we take care of our own house,
so our third goal is to make sure that my office carries out its re-
sponsibility, which is to ensure coordination and cooperation among
the various Federsd agencies, some 50 Federal departments and
agencies that are involved in our drug control issue. And in addi-
tion to that, we want to make sure that we are partners with State
and local governments and communities.
So our objective will be to empower the communities to help deal
with the problems.
And finally, we want to continue to have an effective inter-
national program with the controlled shift that I talked about
where we move from the transit zone more into the source coun-
tries in order to attack the drugs there. We have tried to build
upon what has been successful, determine where the various voids
exist, fill those voids with the ultimate objective of improving the
quality of life for all Americans wherever they may live, and so our
efforts are building upon the past, looking forward to see what we
need to do at this point in time to address the issue of drugs and
violence and crime.
EFFECTIVENESS OF COORDINATION EFFORTS
Mr. HOYER. Doctor I appreciate that and, of course, I would
agree with you, that is our objective. We need to find out whether
we are going to accomplish it and if we have been accomplishing
During the last six months, what has been your observation with
respect to your ability to coordinate interagency cooperation, inter-
agency assessment of successful programs, interagency sharing of
responsibility and assigning of responsibility to those agencies most
effectively carrying out a particular task?
To what degree do you think that you have the capability to do
that either under existing law or under the authorization bill as it
Dr. Brown. I believe that the fact that the President made the
position a Cabinet level position makes a world of difference. As I
said earlier, my two predecessors did not have that status.
Now, how does it make a difference? As we sit around the table
at the Cabinet meetings, we talk about any issue, whether it is eco-
nomic development or education reform or health reform. I am
there at the table now where I can address the issue of drugs. If
there is an issue that comes up at that level, then we can, at the
direction of the President, address it.
Let me give you a good example. We are interested in making
sure that we have treatment within the criminal justice system. At
a meeting of the Domestic Policy Council chaired by the President,
we talked about that. We don't have what we need now at the Fed-
eral, State or local level.
As a result of that, the President directed that I bring together
Health and Human Services and the Attorney Greneral and put to-
gether a plan to make sure that we have treatment within the
criminal justice system at the Federal, State and local level. So the
ability to coordinate takes place through the formal process.
I also meet regularly with my colleagues on an informal basis.
We share a lot of the same interests in terms of addressing the
problem. A lot of us came from local government and we saw the
problems that existed at the Federal level.
A few months ago we were explaining about the Federal Govern-
ment, the bureaucracy, the red tape. Now, we are meeting to see
how we can cut through that and make the effort of the Federal
Government more meaningful. And so if you look at it from the for-
mal level, the fact that I do sit on the Cabinet, that I do have the
responsibility of certifying the budgets of the various agencies, 1 do
monitor what they do, we are carrying out our responsibility.
I think you will see an improvement in the future as we go along
based on putting together the new, the new full-blown strategy
which we will present to Congress in February of next year.
COORDINATING COUNCIL FOR DRUG EFFORT
Are you meeting on a regular basis with the component parts of
the effort, both on the demand reduction, supply reduction, law en-
forcement sides? For instance, FBI, DEA, Customs, INS, NIDA,
ATF, and HHS.
Is there a coordinating council similar to our Security Council?
If there is not, what do you think about that as an idea?
Dr. Brown. We do not have a coordinating council. We do have
a number of interagency working groups that are working on dif-
ferent problems. We have instances in which the Cabinet members
will meet to work on problems. We have deputy committees that
work on problems.
There is not a coordinating council as you suggested.
Mr. HOYER. What do you think if you got DEA, FBI, INS, Cus-
toms, ATF, Secret Service to the extent that they might be involved
in terms of money laundering and things of that nature, if you
have got everybody in a room on a regular basis like the National
Security Council, would that be useful for you and would that help
you carry out your responsibilities?
Dr. Brown. Sure, I think it will be useful. We intend to do that
as we move ahead, bringing all the enforcement agencies together.
We do that now â€” not at my level. Health and Human Services, the
treatment people, we meet. The education people we meet.
But formalizing something, that is something I have had in the
back of my mind to begin with and something we certainly will
Mr. HOYER. It seems to me, doctor, if we don't do that, then your
position becomes frankly somewhat S3anbolic as opposed to real in
the sense of coordination of policy.
What the Congress had in mind was a real position of power, and
to the extent we even call it a Drug Czar. I don't think you in your
wildest imagination would refer to yourself at this point in time as
a czar in terms of the clout that you have to really say to various
agencies, this works, so let's do it. This doesn't work, so let's not
BUDGET REVIEW OF DRUG CONTROL EFFORT
You are now in the process of reviewing the budget submissions
of the various agencies on both sides of the law enforcement and
now in the demand reduction side.
Are you making substantive recommendations with respect to
cuts and additions, transfers of resources from one objective that
your office perceives is not working effectively to other objectives
which you perceive to be working effectively?
Dr. Brown. OMB has given the departments budget ceilings that
they are working on. All departments have not submitted to OMB
and therefore not to us their budgets.
Therefore, we have not had the opportunity to do that at this
time. That being the case, what we are doing now is preparing a
budget that we think will be necessary to carry out the national
drug control strategies, and we are doing that in conjunction with
the various departments and agencies.
We will submit that budget to OMB ourselves.
Mr. HOYER. I don't know whether in the past NeÂ£il Smith has
had the benefit of a report from your office with your imprimatur
saying this is working well, this isn't, or to HHS, we believe that
this works and this doesn't work.
Are you contemplating anything of that nature?
Dr. Brown. We are asking in our reauthorization legislation that
we have up-front authority. If we view a department's budget as
not adequate to carry out the strategy, we are sisking for the au-
thority to say what should be put in the budget initiative, that
should go in there to make it adequate to carry out the authority.
That request is being requested in our proposed legislation being
put before Congress for reauthorization, m fact, if we viewed
Health and Human Services' budget, for example, and we found
that it was not adequate to carry out the National Drug Control
Strategy, we are asking for the authority to make sure that we rec-
ommend what they put in there so it would be responsive to carry-
ing out the National Drug Control Strategy.
Mr. HoYER. Adding is easy. It is choosing between resources and
subtracting from others that is tough.
STRATEGY: BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS
Mr. Lightfoot. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dr. Brown, again, I appreciate your coming today. Before we get
into questions, there was one question that popped to mind looking
through your testimony and your paragraph which was very com-
plementary to the Congress on passing the Brady bill. The final
sentence in that paragraph said, further, our strategy or "the strat-
egy calls for the enactment of a ban on domestic manufacture of
assault weapons," end of quote.
Am I interpreting that correctly that you are going to pursue
that we can't manufacture assault weapons in this country?
Dr. Brown. For general civilian use would be our concern.
Mr. Lightfoot. That was the key. So our military will not have
to go offshore to bid for assault weapons?
Dr. Brown. No, sir. We are talking about the assault weapons
that are in the hands of the general population that have no need
for it. And my idea would be, they would be available for our mili-
tary purposes certainly.
Mr. Lightfoot. Because I am sure somebody over at DOD will
jump on that statement pretty quick.
Dr. Brown. Sure. I will remember that in the future.
impact of smaller staff in 1994
Mr. Lightfoot. Okay, sir. In the GAO's testimony, and again I
will quote from their testimony, it said, "Over the years we found
that one of the main reasons the government has not been more
effective was the longstanding problem of fragmented drug control
activities, and we therefore advocate a strong leadership and
central direction," end of quote.
Coffee shop talk around here is that because of a smaller staff
and a smaller budget, ONDCP would reflect a weaker leadership
role rather than a strengthening effort in the resolve to handle the
drug problem. How do you respond to that?
Dr. Brown. I think you will find a stronger leadership role for
a lot of reasons. One I just mentioned being that the President ele-
vated the position to Cabinet level and two, because of the commit-
ment we have from the President to address the issue. Three, we
find that with the help of the Congress, we have increased our stziff
some. We now have a total of 40 persons will be working in my of-
fice once we get them all hired.
We have also transferred some of our responsibilities to other
agencies within the Executive Office of the President. Many things
we do not have to do. For example, some of our bookkeeping. We
can have the other agencies of the White House do that for us,
thereby alleviating the necessity of us doing it ourselves.
We can task other departments to do what we need done. All the
data does not have to be gathered in my department and my office.
We can have other departments do it. So you will see a much
greater leadership role rather than a weakened leadership role as
a result, even with the reduction of staff.
We will make sure we have a stronger leadership role. Putting
together the national strategy, we are getting great cooperation,
help from everyone. Reviewing the budgets, we have been getting
great cooperation and help. I see a stronger role rather than a
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. In the fiscal year 1994 package I believe there
were what, 25 total FTEs? You say that is up to 40 now?
Dr. Brown. The passage of the budget would have 40, 15 more.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. That is, what, a combination of professional
staff, detailees, career people? How would that break down?
Dr. Brown. It would be all the ones you mentioned.
Mr. HOYER. Forty are appropriated; we appropriated 40.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. Yes, right.
Dr. Brown. That is the total we have right now. We probably
have 23 on the staff right now. We haven't filled the other ones
that were allocated to us, 15. So we have about 23 actually on staff
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. How are you going to break this down as to ca-
reer people or detailees? Have you come to that yet, particularly
the detailees? In addition to the number
Dr. Brown. Detailees would count against our head count. So if
we brought a detailee, that would count in our 40 ceiling that we
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. So you are going to go for career people then?
Dr. Brown. We will have a mix, yes. I am not sure of the exact
mix at this time. We will have a mix.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. I think that from testimony we have heard from
yours here today and others that what we are currently doing is
not the total answer, part of it possibly, but if we do put increased
emphasis on treatment, as the administration is proposing, and you
and the Chairman were discussing what programs we need to cut,
where we need to make decisions, it was in your testimony, be-
tween programs that work and those that don't, I guess the key
question is, how do we go about determining which of these pro-
grams we ought to keep, which ones we should cut back, and which
ones we should modify?
Have you got some mechanism you set up to do that or are you
going to do it on a case-by-case basis, or how are you going to ad-
dress that? Because I think it is important. I agree with your opin-
Dr. Brown. I see two issues in your question. One when we talk
about the supply and demand side, as I see it, those two should not
be competing against each other. We are going to continue to need
strong law enforcement.
DEA, FBI, Customs, all the ones that are dealing with enforcing
the law, they need to continue to do that. We need to also in the
same hand have an effective treatment program, and I say that be-
cause we can all appreciate that a big part of the drug problem is
the addict. Unless we can break that cycle, then we are going to
continue to have a problem.
So treatment becomes very, very important, and there is a big
gap now between those who need and can use treatment and our
ability to deliver it. What that means to me is we need more re-
sources into the treatment arena, and not to take the resources
from enforcement, because we still need that too.
People on the streets of America are suffering because of crime
and violence. I think we would certainly do ourselves and this
country a disservice to dismantle our enforcement efforts. We
would also do the country a disservice if we didn't deal with the
So we are looking at, in my estimation, not taking resources from
the law enforcement end, but we need more resources to go into the
treatment end, and that is why the President's health reform pack-
age, when passed by Congress, will go a long ways to help do that.
Right now, we don't have adequate treatment slots. There are
hundreds of thousands of people who need treatment and can't get
it. We do not have adequate treatment within the criminal justice
system. They need it and we should be mandating that they have
So the competition between supply and demand in my estimation
is not the appropriate way to address the problem.
The second issue that comes out of your question will be looking
at what we are doing, take interdiction, for example, which is a
costly undertaking, and as we have made a policy shift to go into
the source countries, we think that makes good sense because we
have a vast border.
We are now on the borders trying to catch the bees as they come
across. To me, it makes more sense to go to the beehive where we
can stop it there.
But because the interdiction efforts are very expensive, as we
make the shift, some of those funds should be able to go to our ob-
jective to achieve in the source countries.
However, that will not happen when we look at the cuts we have
taken in our international programs this year. We have had sub-
stantial cuts. It threatens to destroy our strategy before we even
get it implemented, in terms of the military cuts, the DOD cuts,
our foreign assistance cuts.
That is a very, very serious problem for us at this point in time
which has the potential of not allowing us to carry out our strategy.
So in summary what I am sajdng is when we look at the strategy
we put forth, it is comprehensive and it is also balanced. It says
we must have enforcement, we must have prevention, we must
have education, we must have treatment, we must have interdic-
tion, we must have an international component, Â£ind we will look
at programs that work.
If there are things that we are doing that are not working, we
shouldn't continue to do it. It doesn't make sense to do programs
because we think that they sound tough. If they are not getting the
job done, we need to stop lunding them and stop doing them.
And I have some concerns. I don't think we have all the measure-
ments we need, all the standards we need.
If we look at the educational programs in our schools, for exam-
ple, I am not at all convinced that we have the standards to insure
that we are getting the bang for our buck.
That will be an area that we will approach: how do we evaluate
the effect of the funds we put into educational programs in our
schools? We don't have adequate measurements for our treatment
programs, for example.
I think we all can agree that treatment works. We see it work.
We have stories all over the place. But if we don't have in my esti-
mation adequate standards, and we want to make sure we have
those standards. Those are things we are doing and are in the proc-
ess of doing right now.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. This question doesn't have a day and night an-
swer to it, I don't think, because there are too many variables out
there, but I wouldn't expect you to come up with that kind of an
answer at this point in time, but part of the earlier testimony that
we had as well, am I assuming correctly from what you said that
you are in the process at least of putting together some criteria in
your mind where you can look at an individual program, and based
on whatever that criteria might be, you can make a pretty definite
determination that this is useful, this is not useful, that you can
make â€” doing that sorting that is necessary and has to be done?
Dr. Brown. What we want to do is precipitate the development
of standards so if an agency receives the resources from the Fed-
eral Government, they have to meet the standards.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. That you have got a score card on?
Dr. Brown. Yes, sir.
SECURITY FOR DIRECTOR OF ONDCP
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. Gk)od. Well, I think that is important. I would
applaud you in doing that. One last question, Mr. Chairman.
Security expenditures, are they going up, down, staying about
Dr. Brown. Which ones are you referring to?
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. Ones for your office.
Dr. Brown. About the same. Same as what the last director had.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. Security threats, have they increased, has that
all stayed about the same?
Dr. Brown. I see no difference.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. There are a lot of folks in this room.
Dr. Brown. It changes from one time to another. We do what we
call threat assessments, and based upon that, the security is deter-
mined to accomplish the objective at the time, but the same level
of security my predecessor had is what I have right now, which is
less than what the first director had.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. I only mention that, Mr. Chairman, the presence
of security may be the reason Mr. Kasich walked out of the room.
Mr. HOYER. Maybe.
His answer reflected the controversy of the first director as well.
SUCCESS OF ELIMINATING ILLEGAL DRUGS
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. Again, Dr. Brown, we appreciate your taking
time to come up here and even though we may not always agree
totally on specific issues, I think you will find this group is willing
to try to help you be successful in your objective, because it is to
the benefit of all of us and the country that we get a handle on
the drug problem.
It is costing us a lot of money. It is costing us a lot of agony, and
a lot of lives are wasted, and I totally concur with you that alcohol
should be in the equation as well. I think that is, right now par-
ticularly young people, that is probably one of the biggest problems,
at least in our part of the country we have, and I am sure it re-
flects it elsewhere.
Dr. Brown. It is.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. I appreciate your time.
Dr. Brown. I appreciate your understanding and support. As I
see it, we have a serious problem with drugs in America that has
not gone away, although we don't see the headlines as we saw in
I assure you that is still a very serious problem. Some of the de-
creases in drug use we saw amongst our young people have stopped
and are going up. A recent survey showed, for example, that col-
leges are using more drugs now, greater use of marijusma and
LSD. 8th graders are using more drugs and perceiving the use of
drugs as not as bad as they did a year before, and that is what is
really troubling when you find our young people using more drugs
and having a greater tolerance toward drug use, and so we have
to be very worried.
There are a lot of indications that heroin may be coming back,
and we have to be very alert to that as a major problem as well.
The purity is much higher, almost twice as high as it was when
we had the heroin epidemic in decades gone by. We know that â€”
we look throughout America. We find that the crime rate is kind
of leveling ofl" or going down overall, but the violence rate is going
up and that is really something that is of concern to probably every
family in America.
Tens of thousands of children don't go to school every day be-
cause they are afraid. There are guns and knives in our schools
throughout America. As I said, it is not just a problem for our large
cities. It is also a problem for our suburbs and rural areas, towns
that you would not think of now have drive-by shootings.
These are issues that we have to address, and I feel very strongly
that unless we can get a handle on the hard-core drug problem, we
are not going to be successful in dealing with the issues of crime
and violence that are of great concern to zdl Americans right now.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. If the Chairman would indulge me one more
Mr. HOYER. Sure.
Mr. LiGHTFOOT. It seems like, and you have got a good deal of
background and experience in this, but a number of these things
tend to go in cycles, and we as a Nation we tend to be reactive
rather than proactive.
We wait until we have a problem and try to solve it rather than
shut the problem ofF in the beginning. If in fact they do go in cy-
cles, which I tend to think they do, and as you say, you are seeing
some evidence that heroin, for example, is becoming a drug of
choice again and so on, are we at a point now that we could take
some proactive action and maybe clip this cycle some and if so, how
do we do it?
Dr. Brown. We have to monitor what goes on. That is where my
Pulse Check project becomes very important. We have to go out on
the streets and find out what is happening. All these surveys do