A federal anti-methamphetamine plan unveiled Thursday by the Bush administration is yet another example of how the administration is floundering in its efforts to combat the nation’s top drug problem, Republican members of Congress told USA Today. “If this is a cohesive national policy, it is embarrassing,” said GOP Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, chairman of the House subcommittee on national drug policy.
He suggested the initiatives may be just a public relations ploy aimed at curbing congressional criticism of the administration’s lack of response to the meth problem. Another Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, said the meth proposals leave administration officials with “egg on their face.” The plan, unveiled Thursday in Nashville, would limit sales of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in illicit meth, and provide $16.2 million for meth treatment programs in seven states – California, Tennessee, Oregon, Texas, Montana, Georgia, and New Mexico. But President Bush’s proposed fiscal 2006 budget would substantially cut anti-meth programs, another source of congressional anger.