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Schumer: Trump must withdraw drug czar pick

Schumer: Trump must withdraw drug czar pick
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns McConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers 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 ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Blankenship endorses ex-W.Va. GOP Senate rival, calls him 'lying' drug lobbyist MORE (W.Va.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinObama to campaign for Dems in Wisconsin Treasury sets politics aside, admits China isn't a currency manipulator Hillicon Valley: Facebook deletes accounts for political 'spam' | Leaked research shows Google's struggles with online free speech | Trump's praise for North Korea complicates cyber deterrence | Senators want Google memo on privacy bug MORE (Wis.) have also called on Trump to pull the nomination.