December 21, 2010
Floor Statements

December 21, 2010

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia:  Madam Speaker, H.R. 4748 amends the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 to require the Director of the National Drug Control Policy to submit to Congress a northern border counternarcotics strategy.

The United States' northern border with Canada is the longest open border in the world, spanning 12 States and over 4,000 miles. The House initially passed this bill 5 months ago, recognizing the increased amount of drug trafficking and related criminal activity occurring near the Canadian border, including on Indian reservations in that area.

To combat this development, H.R. 4748 requires the creation of a northern border counternarcotics strategy similar to what has been in place for our southwest border for several years. This will promote more effective consultation and coordination between Federal law enforcement agencies so that we can bring new force to our efforts to curb the flow of illegal drugs across the northern border and the crime it brings in its wake. In addition, H.R. 4748 gives Indian tribes with reservations on or near the Canadian border a consulting role in implementing the strategy on their reservations.

This bill is the result of efforts by our colleague, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Owens), whose district spans 250 miles of the border on land along the St. Lawrence River and on Lake Erie. The Homeland Security chairman, the gentleman from Mississippi (Mr. Thompson), helped to shape the bill and bring it to the floor last summer. The Senate has now returned the bill with some modest, but helpful, refinements; and I urge my colleagues to support this revised version so that we can send it to the President.