Trump backtracks on cuts to anti-drug office

Trump backtracks on cuts to anti-drug office
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President Trump has reversed course on a proposal to nearly eliminate the nation’s anti-drug office in the face of opposition from Democrats, Republicans and advocates.

The president’s budget, released Tuesday, reduces funding for the Office of National Drug Policy (ONDCP) by $11 million, a 3-percent cut.

According to a document sent to The Hill, the White House just weeks ago had floated slashing the ONDCP’s budget by nearly 95 percent. 

ONDCP, which was created in 1988, helps coordinate the federal response to the opioid epidemic and advises the president on ways to decrease drug activity.

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GOP and Democratic lawmakers warned the White House that eliminating this office could worsen the opioid crisis, which has seen rising deaths from prescription drug and heroin overdoses.

“The Office and the programs it supports are uniquely positioned to address the causes and effects of the current opioid crisis with proven strategies and broad reach,” a May 16 letter from about 70 House members to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney stated. “For these important programs to remain effective, we believe they must continue to be funded fully and coordinated effectively.”

More than 200 advocacy organizations also sent a letter requesting the White House to reverse the proposed cuts.