January 19, 2018

Trump Administration Again Proposes to Effectively Eliminate White House Drug Czar Office

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan issued the following statement on reports that the Trump Administration is planning to effectively eliminate the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) by cutting its budget by 95 percent. The Administration was forced to back down from a similar plan in May 2017 after facing strong bipartisan opposition.   

“It is beyond comprehension that in the middle of a devastating opioid crisis the White House is once again trying to effectively eliminate the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which helps coordinate policy across the federal government and administers grant funding - including the Drug Free Communities and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area programs - that are critical to our efforts to combat this epidemic,” Senator Hassan said. “People are dying every day, and we should be focused on investing more federal resources to step up the response to the crisis, not making devastating cuts that would pull us backward. I will keep working with members of both parties to get much-needed support to those on the front lines battling this crisis."

U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen introduced legislation to reauthorize the ONDCP, which directs the National Drug Control Strategy and acts as the lead federal agency working to coordinate policy to combat the opioid epidemic. Following reports that a 24-year-old with no relevant work experience served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the ONDCP, Senator Hassan led a group of nine colleagues in calling on President Trump to nominate strong, experienced leadership to key drug policy positions and to provide information on all political appointees serving in key drug policy positions, including those appointees’ relevant qualifications.