Trump Budget Seeks $13B for Opioids, $23B for Border

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Photo by US Department of Agriculture via Flickr

The Trump administration is seeking $13 billion in opioid-related spending in its budget proposal Monday for fiscal year 2019. The White House says it will ask Congress for $3 billion in new funding this year and $10 billion in new funding 2019 in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for a total of $13 billion in funding to combat the opioid epidemic by expanding access to prevention, treatment, and recovery support services, as well as support for mental health.

Critics have said that the president and his advisers have spoken out about the drug overdose epidemic but have not matched their rhetoric with spending. Last week, Congress added $6 billion in federal expenditures on opioids in a two-year budget deal, which means, the Associated Press says, that the Trump budget plan “is dead even before arrival” on Capitol Hill.

The new budget proposal seeks more than $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement, which the White House says includes “the investments necessary to construct physical infrastructure, improve technology, and increase personnel, resources, and authorities on the ground.”

The budget request includes $782 million to hire and support 2,750 additional law enforcement officers and agents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and provides $2.7 billion to pay for an average daily detention capacity of 52,000 illegal aliens at ICE, the agency’s highest-ever detention level. The administration wants $18 billion across fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to build the southern border wall, which has been opposed by many in Congress.

Trump’s budget request includes a slightly higher number for the FBI ($8.77 billion) and the Bureau of Prisons ($7.1 billion), the two largest internal components of the Department of Justice’s budget.

Overall, the DOJ budget would decrease 1.2 percent, to about $28 billion.

As  The Crime Report predicted last week, the administration wants to end the Community Oriented Policing Services Office (COPS) as an independent agency.

It’s budget proposal submitted Monday to Congress says that “community
policing activities will be merged into the Office of Justice Programs (OJP).” It was not immediately clear if the budget for community policing would be cut.

Ted Gest is president of Criminal Justice Journalists and Washington bureau chief of The Crime Report.

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