|Sponsor||Rep. Owens, William L.|
|Date||December 21, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)|
|Staff Contact||Ja'Ron Smith|
H.R. 4748 is expected to be considered on the House floor on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, under a suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote for approval. Rep. William L. Owens (D-NY) introduced H.R. 4748 on March 3, 2010, and the bill was approved in the House by voice vote under a motion to suspend the rules. The Senate approved the legislation with an amendment by unanimous consent on December 20, 2010.
The Senate amendment to H.R. 4748 would require the Office of National Drug Control Policy to submit a strategy to Congress on addressing illegal drug trafficking along the U.S.-Canada border. This Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy would be developed in consultation with the heads of the National Drug Control Program and relevant state, local and tribal government officials. The plan would be required to be submitted to Congress no later than 180 days after the date of enactment and every two years thereafter.
More specifically, the bill would require the strategy to set forth the plan for preventing illegal trafficking of drugs from Canada, including through ports of entry and between ports of entry on the border. The strategy would designate the specific roles and responsibilities of each agency and identify the specific resources required to implement the strategy. In addition, the measure would require the strategy to reflect the unique nature of small communities along the U.S.-Canada border, coordination with Canadian law enforcement and variations in volumes of vehicles and pedestrians passing through ports of entry. The measure would also require the strategy to take Indian issues into consideration. The strategy would be required to include ways to end drug trafficking to or through Indian reservations and recommendations for additional assistance needed by tribal law enforcement agencies.
The mission of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is to establish policies, priorities and objectives for the country's drug control program. Specific goals of the program are reducing illicit drug use, manufacturing and trafficking; reducing drug-related crime and violence; and reducing drug-related health consequences.
The Senate amendment to the House bill is nearly identical to a companion bill (S. 3467) introduced June 9 by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y).
As of press time, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had not released a cost estimate for either version of the bill.