Rep. Tom Marino withdraws drug czar nomination after opioid controversy

Henrietta Strickland
October 17, 2017

"Rep. Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar", President Trump said in a tweet Tuesday morning.

The topic got renewed attention this week after a report in the Washington Post and CBS' "60 Minutes", which detailed how major drug distribution companies had hired former DEA officials to help craft the legislation and then had pushed it through Congress.

The bill made it far more hard for the DEA to crack down on drug companies that made suspicious shipments of opioids. Many more are addicted to the drugs. Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

Trump on Monday raised the possibility of withdrawing his nomination of Marino following the reports. When NBC News asked Trump about it at yesterday's Rose Garden surprise presser, Trump said he was very concerned about the report.

Trump called Marino "a good man", but said, somewhat ominously, "We're going to be looking into Tom".

"He was a very early supporter of mine, the great state of Pennsylvania", Trump said. This is wrong. And I'm sure the president sees this.

A White House commission suggested the opioid epidemic should be declared a national emergency.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat, had drawn a line in the sand less than an hour before Trump tweeted, saying that he would block Marino's nomination.

Drug overdoses, almost two-thirds of them from prescription opioids, heroin and synthetic opioids, killed some 64,000 Americans past year, over 20 percent more than in 2015.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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