President Trump plans to nominate the White House deputy chief of staff to be the nation’s drug czar.
Jim Carroll would be the first Trump appointee to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Trump’s first pick, Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), withdrew his nomination after The Washington Post reported that he was the chief advocate of a law that weakened DEA enforcement against drug manufacturers who aggressively peddled opioids.
The office has been leaderless despite Trump calling the opioid epidemic one of his top priorities. He declared it a public health emergency in October, a designation that was extended last month. But the White House has offered no concrete solutions on how to solve the crisis, and little has happened in the months since the declaration was made.
At least seven of Trump’s appointees have left the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the past year. Some of their duties were assumed by a 24-year-old Trump campaign worker who became the office’s deputy chief of staff.
Carroll was chosen by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly to be his deputy after serving in the White House counsel’s office and the Office of Management and Budget. He was previously a lawyer for Ford Motor Company.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Carroll will help execute one of the administration’s top priorities.
“We have full confidence in Jim to lead ONDCP to make significant strides in combating the opioid crisis, reducing drug use, and coordinating U.S. drug policy,” Sanders said. “Fighting the opioid crisis and drug addiction is a priority for this administration.”