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King: Proposed Coast Guard Cuts Would Worsen Drug Epidemic

AUGUSTA, Maine - Military commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday that, due to budget constraints, the U.S. Coast Guard and other federal agencies are going after only a quarter of the drug smuggling incidents on which they have intelligence.

Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent, said that’s unconscionable given the national death toll
from drugs being trafficked across the border.

"Since we have been sitting here four people have died of overdoses in the United States," King said. "It’s about four an hour, 37,000 people a year, one a day in my state of Maine.”

King said the Congress should spend more, not less, on drug interdiction, and that the proposed cut in
the Coast Guard budget by the Trump administration would be disastrous.



Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.