Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania criticized a news report that forced him to withdraw his name from consideration to lead the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Marino’s withdrawal came a day after The Washington Post and CBS’ “60 Minutes” reported that Marino and other lawmakers may have helped fuel the opioid crisis via a 2014 bill Marino introduced that was designed to make it more difficult for the Drug Enforcement Administration to keep opioids from being distributed to potential abusers.
A version of the bill became law in 2016.
Marino took umbrage at the accusation in a statement he released on Tuesday evening:
“As a former prosecutor who has dedicated my life to aggressive and faithful enforcement of our laws … At the same time, given my lifelong devotion to law enforcement, I insist on correcting the record regarding the false accusations and unfair reporting to which I have been subjected,” Marino said. “I’m proud of my work on the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 which passed with unanimous consent in the House and Senate, uno opposed by the DEA and was signed into law by President Obama.”
Marino suggested the accusations came from “individuals seeking to avert blame from their own failures to address the opioid crisis.” It was not immediately clear to whom Marino was referring.
The Post reported that the bill was “the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market.”
“I will continue to support President Trump in his mission to get the people’s government back to working in their best interests – not those who seek to maintain the status quo,” Marino’s statement continued.
Read Marino’s full statement below:
NEW: Rep. Marino: "I insist on correcting the record regarding the false accusations and unfair reporting to which I have been subjected." pic.twitter.com/BS5zlo1goY
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) October 17, 2017