Trump moving to slash budget for White House 'drug czar

  • Trump moving to slash budget for White House 'drug czar

Trump moving to slash budget for White House 'drug czar

A leaked proposal from the Office of Management and Budget suggests the Trump administration is thinking about gutting the Office of National Drug Control Policy's 2018 budget.

"President Trump's nonsensical proposal to gut the Office of National Drug Control Policy is the most destructive contribution he's made yet to the fight against the opioid and heroin epidemic, and another clear sign he has no intention of keeping the promises he's made to the American people", Schumer said.

Diamond reports that Trump's proposed 2018 budget would slash funding for the office by 95 percent, drastically cutting staff and completely eliminating a program that helps communities fight addiction at the local level. "While I can appreciate the president's desire to cut spending, the Office of National Drug Control Policy plays an important role in combating the drug crisis in West Virginia and across our nation", said U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, a Republican who represents the the 3rd Congressional District, which included Huntington.

A White House spokesman wouldn't say when a final budget document would be released.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price also commented on the proposed cuts on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, reiterating Priebus' note that the budget is not yet completed.

The proposal was described by the agency's acting director Rich Baum as "heartbreaking", Politico reported.

But some drug policy experts are cautiously optimistic at the agency's elimination.

President Donald Trump pledged to take on the opioid epidemic during his presidential campaign as he traveled to many communities ravaged by heroin use and overdose deaths.

Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, who advised three former presidents on drug policy and organized the letter, said he was stumped by Trump's decision to make cuts to his drug office. In March, the White House announced plans to set up a commission to address the country's opioid crisis. The funding supports training and operational activities at the Huntington Police Department for its effort to combat drug trafficking.

"I want you to know that senior ONDCP staff have engaged, and continue to engage, with senior leadership in the White House Office of American Innovation and in OMB to address our agency's budget concerns", Baum wrote in the email to staffers.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Sen. Trump is turning his back on his fellow citizens at their most vulnerable moments, and even ignoring the police who endorsed him in order to do so. The commission is led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Trump supporter who also has been a strong advocate for addiction treatment.

A senior administration official suggested that if the White House chose to strip ONDCP of it's agency mandate to coordinate collaboration between federal and local law enforcement and public health organizations, transitioning it into an office like the National Security Council or National Economic Council.