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Opioid law draws scrutiny after Trump's pick for drug czar steps aside

19 October, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • Sen. Joe Manchin

Rep. Tom Marino is no longer in the running to become the next USA drug czar.

Trump tweeted about Marino's withdrawing, saying: "Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!"

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, two days after CBS' 60 Minutes program featured several former employees of the Drug Enforcement Administration saying that the legislation that Marino (R-Pennsylvania) championed previous year made it all but "impossible" for the government to go after unscrupulous distributors of addictive opioid pills.

Trump told reporters on Monday he would reverse Marino's nomination if it was "one percent negative to doing what we want to do". He later put himself up for consideration once again, and Trump announced he meant to nominate Marino as drug czar last month. "We're going to look into the report, we're going to take it very seriously".

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a state devastated by the epidemic, called Monday for President Donald Trump to withdraw Marino's nomination.

Big pharma heavily lobbied for the legislation and donated millions to the election campaigns of Marino and other lawmakers who shepherded the bill through Congress.

More news: Congress leading; Vote counting is underway

The Pennsylvania Republican's decision to pull out followed reporting from the Washington Post and CBS that he championed legislation that hamstrung the government's efforts to fight opioid abuse.

In the past, the DEA has fined drug distributors when they fail to shut down suspicious sales of millions of pills, but the new law, spearheaded by Marino, makes it almost impossible for the agency to freeze suspicious shipments, according to the report. "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".

The bill was needed, Hatch said, because the DEA's had "unfettered" power to immediately suspend a provider's ability to distribute prescription drugs. It has been two months since he said it was an emergency and pledged to devote more resources to addressing the issue. It's a very important step.

Trump surprised his advisors Monday when he said during a news conference that he plans to declare the national emergency next week.

"This mind-set - it's extremely unsafe to legitimate business", Marino reportedly told Holder.

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