5:46 PM EDT
Lamar S. Smith, R-TX 21st

Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 545, the Native American Methamphetamine Enforcement and Treatment Act of 2007, which provides urgently needed funds to Native American communities for the enforcement and treatment of methamphetamine addiction.

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 was enacted last year as part of the U.S. PATRIOT Act Improvement and Reauthorization Act. It included three critical grant programs to assist States with America's escalating methamphetamine problem: the COPS Meth Hot Spots program, the Drug-Endangered Children program and the Pregnant and Parenting Women Offenders program. However, the act inadvertently omitted Native American communities from participation in two of these grant programs.

At a hearing before the Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Subcommittee in February, Mr. Ben Shelly, vice president of the Navajo Nation, stated that methamphetamine is the drug of choice in Indian country.

In 2005, 40 percent of all calls seeking police assistance on the Navajo Nation were meth-related. Even more troubling is that 40 percent of all violent crimes committed on the Navajo Nation are directly related to methamphetamine use trafficking.

Mr. Udall of New Mexico, the sponsor of H.R. 545, testified at the hearing that 74 percent of Native Americans surveyed in a recent study say that meth is the single biggest threat to Native American communities today. The Native American Meth Enforcement and Treatment Act corrects this oversight and gives Native Americans full access to all three meth grants. This legislation is critical to our continuing fight to eliminate the meth epidemic in America.

Mr. Speaker, I support this bipartisan legislation and urge my colleagues to do so as well.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.