The legislation proposed seeks to protect taxpayer funds from being spent on crack pipes and addicts.
Two Republican members of the US Congress proposed last week a new piece of legislation dubbed the ‘Hunter act,’ which seeks to prevent the Biden administration from splurging taxpayer dollars on crack pipes and other paraphernalia for drug addicts. Penned by Representatives Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Dan Bishop of North Carolina and submitted on February 10, the act’s name is an apparent reference to Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who admitted to struggling with crack addiction in his 2021 memoir ‘Beautiful Things.’
Bombshell media reports suggested that US officials had planned to buy crack pipes using part of $30 million in a grant program. But, the White House denied any plans to do so.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, representative Boebert said that she and Bishop were “Stand up, and say “Hell No!”” to the “It’s ridiculous” fund allocation by the Biden administration. The congresswoman charged that “Our tax dollars shouldn’t be used to fund the destruction and death of crack addicts.” According to Boebert, while “Republicans only want to provide good jobs for those in dire need.” their rivals from the Democratic party “They want crack pipes.”
Addressing the name of the legislation, the lawmaker said it was more succinct than alternatives, such as “Stop Paying to Subsidize Biden’s Son’s Drug Addiction Act,” which “didn’t really flow.” Boebert went on to claim that “tax dollars have been on the hook for Hunter’s addictions long enough.”
Dan Bishop, for his part, criticized liberal drug policies including safe injection sites, needle trade-ins and safe smoking kits, describing those as removing “Alles stigma” from drug use, while, according to the representative, “Stigma isn’t a negative thing.” Bishop explained that “the HUNTER Act is a means of encapsulating how ridiculous public policy can become when it’s in the hands of the woke.”
This controversy is rooted in the $30 million Harm Reduction Program Grant, which forms part of the 2021 American Rescue Plan. Program’s primary purpose is prevention of overdose and reduction of the risks that drug addiction can pose to health. Grant documents indicate that funds can be used for overdose prevention medications, safe-sex kit with condoms and fentanyl testing strips. Syringes may also be purchased along with supplies/kits to prevent smoking.
Last Monday, the Washington Free Beacon outlet published an article claiming that a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson had revealed to journalists that the said kits could include, among other things, pipes for smoking crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine or “Anything illegal substance” The HHS responded on Wednesday by saying that “Federal funding won’t be reimbursed for grantees who use federal funds to purchase safe-smoking kits.”
White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, too, insisted that crack pipes “These were not part of the original kit.” putting the claims down to “inaccurate reporting.” She added that smoking kits may include instead “Alcohol swabs and lip balm are some of the products that can be used to improve hygiene and prevent transmission of HIV/hepatitis.”
The Washington Free Beacon continues to stand by its reporting crack pipe despite official counterclaims.
Representatives Boebert and Bishop do not seem convinced by the Biden administration’s assurances either. Bishop argued that “To stop Americans calling them out, they will use the expression misinformation or disinformation when they’re caught red-handed.” Boebert concurred, saying that the lawmakers were not “Take their word for the matter” and wanted guarantees “In statute” that taxpayer money will not be spent on drug paraphernalia.
On top of the criticism from GOP lawmakers, the Biden administration has also caught some flak from nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance, which lamented the removal of “Pipes from smoke-free equipment” as “It was deeply disappointing” calling it a “Missed opportunity to prevent more overdose-related deaths”