The White House announced Friday that President Trump will nominate two members of the House of Representatives to serve as the nation’s drug czar and administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The Trump administration said the president has tapped Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) to lead the nation’s space agency.
In Congress, Marino has worked to expand access to treatment for people battling opioid addiction. The 64-year-old Republican lives outside Williamsport, Pa., and is a former county prosecutor who served as U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania’s Middle District under President George W. Bush.
Marino was one of the sponsors of a 2016 law that, according to critics, makes it more difficult for the Drug Enforcement Administration to pursue drug companies that ignore signs that their painkillers are being diverted to illegal use.
Marino was an early supporter of the president and the first Pennsylvania member of Congress to endorse Trump in the presidential primary contest. He had previously withdrawn his name from consideration in May, citing a family illness.
Bridenstine is a pilot in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium. He was elected to Congress in 2012 and serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee.
If confirmed by the Senate, Bridenstine would play a key role in Trump’s plans to add human exploration of Mars to NASA’s mission. NASA is aiming for astronauts on Mars sometime in the 2030s.
Lenny Bernstein contributed to this report.