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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

President Trump Considers Proposing Drastic Cuts to ONDCP

May 11, 2017 | Addictions | Federal Budget | Comments
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In a leaked document from the Office of Management and Budget, President Trump is considering proposing a 95% cut in funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy for FY2018. Such a cut would leave just $24 million in funding compared to $388 million the year prior. Immediate effects could see over 30 employees fired, crucial grant programs eliminated and ongoing work left undone. The National Council rejects this proposal and will work hard to ensure proper funding of this important office.

The proposal was rebuked by both Republican and Democrats on Capitol Hill last week. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) – who has authored and championed legislation and laws that aim to curb the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic – told the Washington Post, “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.”

The Acting Director of the ONDCP, Rich Baum, called the proposal in an email, “frankly heartbreaking” saying that “if carried out, [these cuts] would cause us to lose many good people who contribute greatly to ONDCP’s mission and core activities. I don’t want to see this happen.”

The document offers insight into the White House’s rationale for such drastic cuts, citing duplicative efforts at both the state and federal level. When questioned about the leaked document, the White House assured advocates that the President remains committed to combatting the opioid epidemic in FY2018 and that this priority will be addressed elsewhere in his budget request.

“It would be premature for us to comment — or anyone to report — on any aspect of this ever-changing, internal discussion before the publication of the document,” the White House said in a statement. “The President and his cabinet are working collaboratively to create a leaner, more efficient government that does more with less of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.”

The President’s official budget request for FY2018 is set to be released on May 23rd.