Seizing upon the crack pipe scandal that has swamped the $30 million “Harm Reduction” grant program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have introduced the bipartisan “Preventing Illicit Paraphernalia for Exchange Systems” — or PIPES — Act, which would ban the use of federal funds to purchase “illegal drug paraphernalia, such as needles or crack pipes.”
In a press release Friday, Senator Manchin said: “Every American and West Virginian has been impacted by the drug epidemic that has killed over 101,000 Americans from April 2020 to April 2021. While this is a heartbreaking issue that must be fully addressed by the federal government, using taxpayer funds to buy paraphernalia for those struggling with substance use disorder is not the solution.”
“Our bipartisan PIPES Act will ensure that American Rescue Plan funds can’t be used to buy illicit drug paraphernalia, and I look forward to passing legislation to address this issue quickly,” he continued.
As BizPac Review reported, the Harm Reduction grant program, announced in December of last year, received a load of unwanted attention when the Washington Free Beacon pointed out that, buried within the 75-page document, the phrase “safe smoking kits/supplies,” which have traditionally included crack pipes.
Fact-checkers, White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta all rushed to debunk the notion that our government was furnishing addicts with crack pipes in the name of “equity.”
In her daily press briefing, Psaki said that the reporting on this issue was “inaccurate” and stated that crack pipes “were never a part of the kit.”
The Washington Free Beacon hit back Friday, on the same day as the PIPES Act was announced, with an article entitled, “The Biden Administration Thinks You’re Stupid.”
In it, the editors fact checked the fact-checkers, stating, “Media ‘fact-checkers’ willingly repurposed the administration’s talking points in an attempt to discredit our reporting. Not surprisingly, the result was an incoherent mess.”
The Biden Administration Thinks You’re Stupid
…and the fact-checkers actually are
New from the WFB Editors: https://t.co/ndTpzgGw0P
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) February 11, 2022
The Beacon’s assessment was shared by many on social media.
“Bad faith actors are spreading disinformation about Biden’s crack pipe funding program,” tweeted Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). “They say the program never existed or safe crack-smoking kits only contain chapstick. The truth is pip funding ended when HHS got caught.”
Conservative author and podcaster Michael Knowles tweeted: “‘Safe smoking kits’ include crack pipes. The people telling you they don’t are lying.”
And author Michael Shellenberger tweeted: “Given their resources, influence, and willingness to lie, DPA & NHRC may seem unbeatable, but hours after we denounced Biden’s plan to fund crack pipes, the White House announced, ‘No federal funding will be used… to put pipes in safe smoking kits.”
"Safe smoking kits" include crack pipes. The people telling you they don't are lying.
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) February 10, 2022
Given their resources, influence, and willingness to lie, DPA & NHRC may seem unbeatable, but hours after we denounced Biden's plan to fund crack pipes, the White House announced, "No federal funding will be used… to put pipes in safe smoking kits"https://t.co/AiPwimwYS4
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) February 10, 2022
The PIPES Act aims to make sure the Biden administration sticks to that statement.
“Everyone knows someone who has struggled with addiction, and unfortunately, many have lost a loved one from the disease,” said Rubio. “Addiction is crippling, not only for the individual, but also for the family and communities throughout our country. We need to do more, but sending drug paraphernalia to addicts is not the answer.”
According to the release, the PIPES Act would maintain “the bipartisan, bicameral precedent that prohibits federal funding from being used to purchase needles or syringes for the injection of any illegal drug, unless there is a significant risk of hepatitis infection or HIV outbreak due to injection drug use.”
Furthermore, the legislation “clarifies that federal funds cannot be used to ‘procure, supply, or distribute pipes, cylindrical objects, or other paraphernalia that can be used to smoke, inhale, or ingest narcotics” and “clearly applies these restrictions to American Rescue Plan funding, inaccordance to annual Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations language.”
Meanwhile, over in the House of Representatives, Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Dan Bishop (R-NC) have introduced their own legislation: the “Halting the Use of Narcotics Through Effective Recovery” — or HUNTER Act.
The federal government should NEVER be funding crack pipes with our hard-earned tax dollars.
That's why I've just introduced the HUNTER Act with @RepDanBishop.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) February 11, 2022
“Congressman Bishop and I are standing up and saying, heck no,” Boebert told Fox News Digital. “Our tax dollars should not be funding the death and destruction of crack addicts. Democrats are always putting the American taxpayer last and Republicans just want to give people in need a good job. Democrats want to give them crack pipes.”
Boebert added: “I think tax dollars have been on the hook for Hunter’s addictions long enough.”
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