Manchin to White House: Withdraw Nominee for Drug Czar

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WASHINGTON (AP) – A Democratic senator is demanding that the White House withdraw the nomination of Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Tom Marino to be the nation’s drug czar.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia says Marino played a key role in passing a bill weakening the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority to stop companies from distributing opioids. The Washington Post and CBS’s “60 Minutes” reported Sunday on the 2016 law.

Manchin said he was horrified at the Post story and scolded the Obama administration for failing to “sound the alarm on how harmful that bill would be for our efforts to effectively fight the opioid epidemic” that killed more than 52,000 Americans in 2015.

Manchin said the drug chief must be someone “who believes we must protect our people, not the pharmaceutical industry.”