Joe Manchin and Marco Rubio have worked together on a bill to prevent government funds from being used to distribute crack pipes.


Side-by-side images of Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Joe Manchin; Senator Marco RubioAlex Brandon, File / Associated Press; Drew Angeler / Associated Press

  • Manchin and Rubio announced a bipartisan bill, the PIPES Act, in a press release on Friday.

  • This will happen after the announcement of a federal grant for harm reduction services related to substance use.

  • Earlier this week, the White House and HHS denied that funds were directed to crack pipes.

Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Marco Rubio submitted a bipartisan bill on Friday.

The Prevention of illegal tools under the Exchange System ActOr the PIPES Act, was announced by West Virginia Democrat Manchin and Florida Republican Rubio. Press release..

“All Americans and West Virginia citizens were affected by the drug epidemic that killed more than 101,000 Americans between April 2020 and April 2021,” Manchin said. “This is a tragic problem that must be completely addressed by the federal government, but buying tools with taxpayer funds for people suffering from substance use disorders is not a solution.”

“Everyone knows who is suffering from addiction, and unfortunately many have lost their loved ones due to illness,” Rubio said.

According to a press release, the PIPES Act banned the use of federal funds to purchase needles and syringes for injecting illegal substances. He added that there are exceptions in the case of “the significant risk of hepatitis infection and the development of HIV due to the use of injectable drugs”.

The bill also argues that federal funds cannot be used to purchase or distribute pipes used to smoke illegal drugs.

The bill will come later Announced by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare In December, a $ 30 million grant was provided for a harm reduction service focused on preventing death from overdose and reducing the health risks associated with substance use. Such services include the provision of sterile syringes, safe smoking kits, and overdose prevention kits.

Fox News confiscated grants with host this week Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity drive the claim The taxpayer’s dollar was used to buy crack pipes.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki In response Wednesday, he told reporters that crack pipes were “never part of” a safe smoking kit. She said such kits may contain “alcohol swabs, lip balms, and other ingredients to promote hygiene and reduce the transmission of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.”

HHS also published statement Wednesday said: “Federal funds will not be used to put the pipe in a safe smoking kit, either directly or through a subsequent refund to the recipient.”

Before introducing the PIPES law, Manchin and other senators letter We asked HHS on Thursday about the grant program. The letter cites two Canadian-based groups and states that some harm reduction groups will include pipes in safe smoking kits. Towards the heart When Interior health.. The HHS grant also states that it does not explicitly prohibit the use of funds in pipes.

HHS did not immediately respond to insider comment requests.

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