Rep. Tom Marino issues statement after drug czar withdraw


Congressman Tom Marino breaks his silence.

On Tuesday evening, he released a statement explaining why he withdrew his name from consideration to be the nation's drug czar.

Reports out this weekend allege Marino was behind legislation weakening the DEA's ability to stop companies from distributing opioids.

Constituents in Congressman Tom Marino's district say they're disappointed.

"There probably isn't anyone in this district that isn't within one or two degrees from someone who has died or been impacted by the loss of a loved one from opioids,” Bill Haynos, of Lewisburg, said.

Early Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted Marino requested he withdraw his name from consideration as the nation's drug czar.

Nearly 12 hours later, Marino released a statement calling recent reports false accusations, saying he's been the subject of unfair reporting.

Those reports allege a bill he helped put together weakened the DEA's ability to stop companies from distributing painkillers, ultimately leading to tens of thousands of deaths.

Marino says the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 helps those who need access to medication while empowering the DEA to enforce law and prevent prescription drug abuse.

But Drug and Alcohol counselor Luis Medina says Marino needs to answer to his constituents.

Many waited nearly two days to hear from him.

"He does owe an explanation, and he does owe an explanation to the families that have had a loved one die because of this crisis,” Medina said.

Those we spoke to say this isn't the first time Marino went M.I.A. on his constituents.

"You know about a month ago, he was going to give a talk here in town, not far down the road about the opioid crisis and did not mysteriously show up at the last minute as well,” Haynos added.

"It's about time he shows up and explains and if not, he should resign and let someone better take his place,” Media said.

It's important to note that bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate and signed into law by President Obama.

Some say many are to blame but Marino is taking the heat.

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