Rep. Tom Marino is no longer President Donald Trump’s nomination for the top drug-policy position.
The withdrawal came a day after a joint investigation from The Washington Post and CBS’ “60 Minutes” concluded that members of Congress – including Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican – alongside the pharmaceutical industry may have helped fuel the opioid crisis.
On Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, sent Trump a letter asking him to withdraw his nomination of Marino to lead the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a job commonly referred to as the nation’s drug czar. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also joined the chorus of voices calling on Trump to reconsider.
Trump said in a tweet Tuesday morning that Marino had withdrawn his name from consideration.
“Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!” Trump said.
Rep.Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar. Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2017
The “60 Minutes”-Washington Post investigation detailed how Marino introduced a bill in 2014 that made it harder for the Drug Enforcement Administration to enforce laws that would keep opioids from being diverted to people who may abuse them. A version of the bill became law in 2016.
The Post called it “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.”