President Reagan urged Democratic congressional leaders Saturday to appoint representatives to work with the administration on the drug problem, saying it is "too important for us to permit partisan bickering."
Delivering his weekly radio talk from the Oval Office, the president said his own National Drug Policy Board will recommend specific proposals during the coming week "that would be important to any new drug legislation."In a commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., on May 18, the president said, "I'm calling on both houses of the Congress, both sides of the aisle, to join with my representatives in a special executive-legislative task force to advance America's unified response to the problem of illegal drug use."
Since then, he said, Senate Republican leader Bob Dole of Kansas and House GOP leader Robert Michel of Illinois have appointed their representatives. He urged Speaker of the House Jim Wright, D-Texas, and Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., to follow suit "so we can get to work."
"I am sure you will agree the drug problem is a national problem that demands a national solution, and it's too important for us to permit partisan bickering," he said.
Wright and Byrd were not in their Capitol offices Saturday and could not be reached immediately for comment.