Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) has issued a letter to President Joe Biden (D) calling for the President to reinstate the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to his cabinet.
Over the weekend, Senator Scott directed the letter amidst a rise in border crossings. In 2009, then-Vice President Biden decided “to downgrade this important statutory position which advised the president on all drug policy matters.” However, Scott notes that as the “border crisis rages and the nation continues to see the epidemic take a toll on families everywhere,” Scott argues that reinstating the position would “help give attention and resources to curbing the epidemic.”
The former governor of Florida informed that “with more than 100,000 Americans dying last year from opioid overdoses, it is time the ONDCP director be elevated back to a Cabinet-level position.”
In Florida, a rise in opioid use has plagued residents, and lawmakers have worked hard to respond to the growing epidemic. Dating back to the time that Scott served as governor, legislation has been implemented to address the concern, but it continues to be a pressing issue.
“Given the unique role of the ONDCP to assess threats both domestically and internationally, the ONDCP director should lead the National Strategy on combatting this epidemic,” expressed Scott, adding that “returning the director to the Cabinet would help improve information sharing and coordination between departments that is already required by law, and allow ONDCP to have better oversight of the National Drug Control Budget.”
Scott links “the rise of fentanyl and its analogues” to the southern border, writing that “fentanyl has become the leading cause of death among Americans aged 18-45, above both suicide and COVID-19.”
In not having elevated the position, Scott argues that the Biden administration “has shown a shocking lack of will to stop this flow of dangerous drugs, and the traffickers who bring them into our communities.”