Tom Marino withdraws as Trump nominee for drug czar after lobbying reports

Tom Marino

Rep. Tom Marino has withdrawn from consideration as the White House's pick for drug czar following a bombshell report that he championed a bill that hindered federal agents from going after the Big Pharma firms that flooded the country with addictive opioids.

The congressman's withdrawal comes after a joint CBS "60 Minutes" and Washington Post report revealed that Marino took almost $100,000 from the pharmaceutical lobby while sponsoring a bill that made it easier for drug companies to distribute opioids across American communities and thwart the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Manchin said Marino's appointment to the position, which is casually called the Drug Czar, is concerning given West Virginia's rising opioid addiction and fatal overdoses; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports West Virginia as having the highest drug overdose death rate in 2015 with more than 41 people per 100,000.

Tom Marino talks during an episode of The Wilkow Majority on July 21, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. "West Virginia's families and communities deserve a DEA that will protect them, not pharmaceutical companies".

The bill made it far more hard for the DEA to crack down on drug companies that made suspicious shipments of opioids.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said in a statement Marino will "need to address the accusations" during his confirmation hearings. The bill also was reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget."Neither the DEA nor the Justice Department informed OMB about the policy change in the bill", a former senior OMB official with knowledge of the issue said recently. "We are going to take it very seriously". As The Post and the "60 Minutes" team were trying to report this, they went to Capitol Hill to try to talk to Marino, the bill's author.

University of Florida shocked they can't stop racist speech
They clashed violently with counterprotesters , including members of the so-called antifa movement (short for anti-fascists). One of the marchers ran his vehicle through a crowd protesting their appearance, killing one woman and injuring dozens.

Nonetheless, The Times and other media had made those implications known long before Trump selected Marino.

Trump has said he will officially declare the opioid crisis a "national emergency" but so far has not done so.

October 15: Washington Post publishes its special report.

No word yet on who the White House may nominate next.

During an interview on Fox News Radio shortly after Marino withdrew his nomination Tuesday morning, Trump spoke effusively about Marino's support in last year's presidential election and its importance in winning Pennsylvania, a key state in his victory. "To get to that step, a lot of work has to be done and it's time-consuming work".

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