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Rechanneling of drug-war funds comes under fire

Democrats and Republicans harshly criticized the administration for planning to use $17 million earmarked for the air war against drug smuggling for office remodeling, pay raises, and computers.

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Members of both parties lambasted officials appearing Wednesday before a House Government Operations subcommittee, saying White House budget-cutting is jeopardizing efforts to curb the flow of drugs.

Rep. Claude Pepper (D) of Florida said drugs are more plentiful than ever, noting the wholesale price of a kilogram of cocaine has fallen from $65,000 to $ 15,000 since 1981. ''If it gets any lower, we'll have the drug dealers coming in here asking for price supports,'' said Mr. Pepper.