Schumer: Trump must withdraw drug czar pick

Schumer: Trump must withdraw drug czar pick
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (D-N.Y.) is calling on President Trump to withdraw Rep. Tom Marino's (R-Pa.) nomination to serve as the nation’s drug czar amid criticism that he led a bid to weaken enforcement of the nation's drug policing laws.

"Tonight I am calling on President Trump to withdraw the nomination of Rep. Marino. ... We can do better," Schumer said on Monday from the Senate floor.

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He added that if Trump doesn't withdraw the nomination, "it will be another betrayal in a long line of betrayals on issues near and dear to rural America."

Trump nominated Marino to head the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.

But The Washington Post and "60 Minutes," in a joint investigation, detailed Marino’s involvement in helping pass legislation critics say weakened the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) authority to halt drug distributors.

This reportedly undermined the DEA’s effort to stop the flow of prescription opioids, drugs that have contributed to rising overdose death rates.

Schumer called the Washington Post-"60 Minutes" report a "profoundly troubling revelation" as the country faces a prescription drug and opioid overdose epidemic.

"Confirming Rep. Marino as our nation's drug czar is like putting the wolf in charge of the henhouse. The American people deserve someone totally committed to fighting the opioid crisis, not someone who has labored on behalf of the drug industry," Schumer added.

Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths from opioids has more than quadrupled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles House Democrat says she won't support reconciliation bill 'at this early stage' MORE (W.Va.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack This week: Democrats kick off chaotic fall with Biden's agenda at stake Bottom line MORE (Wis.) have also called on Trump to pull the nomination.