Philadelphia (CBS) – Congressman Ryan Costello from Pennsylvania was a co-sponsor of a bill that was the subject of a “60 Minutes” investigation that aired on CBS. The bill allegedly impeded the work of the Drug Enforcement Agency and made it easier for drug companies to distribute opioids.
Costello tells The Dom Giordano Program that this was a smear job by the state Democratic Party who’s peddling falsehood, not caring about facts, and just out to attack.
“The government accountability office issued a report that said the DEA does not have clear enforcement powers in order to stop pill mill dumping because the regulations were too ambiguous. So, they said that the recommendation was, pass a bill that provided more clarity in the rules that the DEA has the teeth to enforce it. Now you have, one guy who goes on ’60 Minutes,’ who no longer works for the DEA, and getting paid by trial lawyers to say this stuff. If this rule does not give DEA additional enforcement powers and we need to fix it. We will fix it. But the reason we did this, the reason that every single member of Congress, every single United States senator, President Obama and getting feedback from the Justice Department and the DEA all in connection with this. This was intended to help shut down what was happening and to help the DEA.”
Costello adds that no one in their right mind would try to take enforcement powers away from the DEA.
“I would like to see them have all the enforcement powers they need in order to do this. This is why we did it. I will continue to push back on that. Part of a bipartisan bill we passed last session was, I know people don’t want to spend more money on stuff, but this heroin and opiates issue is a big deal. We have $28 million more dollars annually in Pennsylvania to go back to fight back on this stuff, first responders, law enforcement, drug treatment, etc. There is still a lot more to be done and if we need to fix this law, we will fix it.”
The lead sponsor of the bill was Rep. Tom Marino from Pennsylvania who took in nearly $100,000 in campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies. Marino withdrew last week as President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the country’s drug czar.