The vote to lift a longstanding ban on federal aid for such programs — in place since 1988 — came after a brief but passionate debate on an amendment by Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., to keep the ban in place. His amendment failed by a 211-218 vote.See how your Representatives voted on the Souder Amendment here.
(LL note: this is BS). According to Souder "providing needles acts as a way for drug users to sustain and support their intravenous drug use and does not address the primary illness of the drug addiction."
But Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., said the scientific evidence is indisputable and that needle exchange programs put addicts into contact with social services agencies, opening the door for them to seek treatment.
"Needle exchange is not about promoting drug use," said moderate Democrat Alan Mollohan of West Virginia. "It is in fact about preventing disease."
The vote came as the House approved, by 264-153, a massive spending bill for health, labor and education programs for the upcoming budget year, cementing big spending increases for a wide swath of social programs.Read the full article here.