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Community Anti-Drug Funding Act Signed by Clinton


July 1997

On June 27, President Clinton signed H.R. 956, the "Drug-Free Communities Act," authorizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to distribute $143,500,000 over five years to community-based anti-drug groups. Under the law, neighborhoods with effective anti-drug programs are eligible for Federal matching grants of up to $100,000 ("Drug-Free Communities Bill Signing," C-Span, June 27, 1997; Associated Press, "House Approves a Bill for Anti-Drug Grants," New York Times, May 23, 1997; "House Passes Bill Creating New Drug Grant Program," Drug Enforcement Report, June 9, 1997, p. 5).

The bill passed the House on May 22 by a vote of 420-1, and passed the Senate on June 20. Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) was the lone vote against it. The bill was sponsored by Congressmen Rob Portman (R-OH), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Dennis Hastert (R-IL), and Sander Levin (D-MI). "We're rechannelling existing resources to what works," Rep. Portman said. Grants will go to "sustainable and accountable" anti-drug programs. President Clinton called this bill, and the bipartisan effort that passed it, "A sign of things to come." [This rhetoric is thirty years old. In a classic example of Orwellian "New Speak," Rep. Portman called the bill "new thinking" - EES.]