Sen. Tommy Tuberville is demanding answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs about a taxpayer-funded needle exchange program for drug-addicted veterans that he says will harm veterans and ignore contrary state laws.
In a July 27 letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough, Tuberville warned that the VA’s “Syringe Support Programs” (SSPs) contradict laws in six states, including Alabama, and said the VA program is setting up veterans to violate their home state laws. He wrote that it “seems contradictory to the will of the states that the VA should offer SSPs to veterans at their medical centers in states where it is unlawful and whose practice could expose veterans to criminal liability.”
“I find VA’s continued superseding of state laws in order to drive a progressive agenda troubling, and I worry for the future of veteran health because of it,” Tuberville added.
He also wrote that he is worried about the VA program that is aimed at stopping the spread of diseases between drug users and argued that VA data showing SSPs contribute to drug use reduction is “questionable.”
Tuberville posed several questions to the VA that he says need to be answered by Sept. 30.
“Under what federal law and regulation does the VA derive authority to administer a taxpayer-funded needle exchange program?” Tuberville asked. He said he wants access to the data that “shows, explicitly and conclusively, that SSPs are the reason for a veteran’s recovery” from substance use disorders.
Tuberville also asked for the total number of veterans who are receiving needles through this program, how many have enrolled in in-patient rehab, how a veteran gains access to the needles, and what kind of oversight the VA is providing.
“The country is facing an unprecedented opioid epidemic, and facilitating addictions, especially those of our veterans seeking help from the VA, will only exacerbate the problem,” Tuberville wrote.
The Department of Veterans Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Tuberville is currently involved in another states rights fight where he has been slowing down President Biden’s Department of Defense nominees over what he said was the Pentagon’s illegal policy of providing travel expense reimbursement as well as paid time off, for those service members and their families receiving abortions.
“Federal law only allows the military to provide abortions in three very narrow circumstances: rape, incest and threat to the life of the mother. Yet the Biden administration has turned the DOD into an abortion travel agency. They did it by using just a memo,” Tuberville said.
In recent months, the Biden administration has accused Tuberville of hurting military recruitment and retention.
In a Fox News Digital article last month, Tuberville argued that Democrats are the ones jeopardizing the military readiness by pushing a progressive agenda and politicizing the military.