Senator Portman made clear last week he strongly opposed proposed cuts to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), an office that supports the Drug Free Communities Act, a bipartisan law he authored with Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) in 1997, as well as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, which benefits states like Ohio.  Following are some story excerpts:

  • “‘I’ve known and worked with our drug czars for more than 20 years and this agency is critical to our efforts to combat drug abuse in general, and this opioid epidemic, in particular,’ Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a statement on Friday.  He noted that the office oversees a program he helped create: the Drug Free Communities Act, which he said has provided more than $1 billion to community drug coalitions around the country over the last 20 years.” – USA Today, May 5, 2017
  • “Some Republicans were also unhappy, arguing that Mr. Trump was underestimating the importance of the drug czar’s work. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio said that the anti-drug programs that the Trump administration wants to eliminate have had a profoundly positive impact in his state.” – New York Times, May 5, 2017
  • “Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio was equally irate over the slash-and-burn plan in a time of crisis.  ‘We have a heroin and prescription drug crisis in this country and we should be supporting efforts to reverse this tide, not proposing drastic cuts to those who serve on the front lines,’ said Portman.” – New York Daily News, May 5, 2017
  • “And at least one Republican senator isn’t onboard with Trump’s plan. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who wrote the Drug Free Communities Act in the 1990s, criticized what he called “drastic” proposed cuts.” – Washington Post, May 5, 2017
  • “Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, the author of last year’s law to boost efforts to fight the opioid crisis, is out with a statement against the Trump administration’s reported plan to wipe out nearly all of the funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy: ‘[T]his agency is critical to our efforts to combat drug abuse in general, and this opioid epidemic, in particular …’  Why it matters: It’s a sign that Congress won’t look kindly on the administration’s budget proposal, at a time when most members of Congress are concerned about the opioid abuse epidemic, and probably won’t approve it.” – Axios, May 5, 2017
  • “Some Republicans in states ravaged by the opioid crisis are trying to save Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has argued that his state’s expansion has helped people with addictions get counseling and job training that make the difference between relapse and recovery. ‘If we don’t do that, people will be clogging our jails and our emergency rooms and all of us will pay more in terms of the cost of those institutions, which are not equipped to handle it, and the cost of crime,’ Portman said in an interview last month.” – Politico, May 5, 2017
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on Friday criticized a reported White House proposal to cut nearly the entire budget for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).  ‘I’ve known and worked with our drug czars for more than 20 years and this agency is critical to our efforts to combat drug abuse in general, and this opioid epidemic, in particular,’ Portman said.” – The Hill, May 6, 2017
  • “‘We have a heroin and prescription drug crisis in this country and we should be supporting efforts to reverse this tide, not proposing drastic cuts to those who serve on the front lines of this epidemic,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who’s been one of the most outspoken lawmakers on the issue.” – Morning Consult, May 5, 2017
  • “Portman, who sponsored legislation last year aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic, was upset about proposed cuts of $356 million to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  ‘We have a heroin and prescription drug crisis in this country and we should be supporting efforts to reverse this tide, not proposing drastic cuts to those who serve on the front lines of this epidemic,’ Portman said.  Portman said that the areas are helpful for states like Ohio that are ‘ground zero for this problem.’” – Washington Examiner, May 5, 2017

###