Rep. Tom Marino set to serve as White House drug czar


 One of President Donald Trump's biggest supporters on Capitol Hill is preparing to serve as the next White House drug czar, according to published reports. 

 

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., who represents Pennsylvania's rural 10th Congressional District, is in the final stages of the paperwork process to be nominated to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, according to CBS News. 

 

A Marino spokeswoman didn't immediately return requests for comment. 

 

Marino, 64, was among Trump's earliest backers and took on an increasingly visible role over the course of the presidential campaign. He campaigned with Trump across Pennsylvania — a state Republicans won for the first time since 1988 — and was awarded by the campaign with various chits, including a seat in the coveted VIP box during the Republican National Convention. 

 

But on Capitol Hill, Marino is known for his work on drug-control matters. A former federal prosecutor from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, his Transnational Drug Trafficking Act became law as did legislation that critics say undercuts the Drug Enforcement Agency's ability to hold drug distributors accountable. 

 

The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act was supported by large drug distribution companies and their professional association. Passed in 2016, the bill raises DEA standards to stop the distribution of prescription drugs if they believe there's a threat to the general public. Critics say the new law sets a nearly impossible burden to meet against distributors and that the new law essentially protects distributors from having their drugs locked up with little notice. 

 

The head of ONDCP, commonly known as the "drug czar," requires Senate confirmation. If confirmed, Marino would be the fifth congressional Republican tapped to serve in the Trump administration, joining former Reps. Tom Price of Georgia (now serving as Health and Human Services secretary), Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina (director of the Office of Management and Budget), Mike Pompeo of Kansas (CIA director) and Ryan Zinke of Montana (Interior secretary). 

 

A special election to succeed Pompeo is being held Tuesday, while the election to succeed Price is next Tuesday. 

 

If historic trends hold, the race to succeed Marino should keep the seat safely in Republican hands. He won reelection last November with slightly more than 70 percent of the vote. Trump won all of the counties in the district with at least 60 percent of the vote.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Democratic candidates for Florida governor square off at debate
Democratic candidates for Florida governor square off at debate

Three of the four Democrats vying to replace Rick Scott as governor of the third-largest state in the nation get their news first from The New York Times, and only one, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, relies on his hometown paper to find out what’s going on in the world. The insight into who’s reading what was among the lighter moments...
Donald Trump makes a rare concession of defeat in eulogizing Barbara Bush
Donald Trump makes a rare concession of defeat in eulogizing Barbara Bush

President Donald Trump speaking at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post) PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump often compares himself to other presidents — and often finds his predecessors lacking. At a joint...
Florida Gov. Scott, Seminoles reach deal on gambling money
Florida Gov. Scott, Seminoles reach deal on gambling money

As legislative leaders hold behind-the-scenes talks about revamping the gambling industry, Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday announced a deal that will lead to the Seminole Tribe continuing to pay more than $300 million a year in casino money to the state. The tribe would continue making the payments, which are rooted in a 2010 gambling agreement...
PEACE calls for community IDs, slams commissioners who skipped meeting
PEACE calls for community IDs, slams commissioners who skipped meeting

More than 2,000 people attended a community meeting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center Monday evening, but organizers were miffed that figure wasn’t a little larger. Officials from the social activism group People Engaged in Active Community Efforts called out six of the county’s seven commissioners for skipping the gathering, saying...
Busy Twitter morning at Mar-a-Lago as Trump-Abe summit continues
Busy Twitter morning at Mar-a-Lago as Trump-Abe summit continues

President Donald Trump arriving at Palm Beach International Airport on Monday. (Melanie Bell/The Palm Beach Post) Before he begins the second day of an international summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump has confirmed a top-secret meeting between CIA Director...
More Stories