December 04, 2017

Warren Presses White House to Clarify Kellyanne Conway's Role in Administration's Efforts to Combat Opioid Crisis

Senator Requests Information on Conway's Experience and Duties; Asks When President will Appoint ONDCP Director and DEA Administrator

Text of the letter available here (PDF)

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly requesting clarification on Kellyanne Conway's role in leading the Trump Administration's efforts to combat the opioid crisis.  The letter, which follows a press conference last week in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that Ms. Conway would "coordinate and lead" the White House's efforts to combat the epidemic, also requests information on when the Administration would appoint a Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

In her letter to Chief of Staff Kelly, Senator Warren highlights the severity of the opioid crisis and asks a series of questions about Ms. Conway's new role, her public health experience, and the Administration's plans to address the crisis.  Ms. Conway currently serves as Counselor to the President.

"This crisis requires swift, decisive action from the Trump Administration to support addiction patients, their families, and their communities that are struggling to find long-term solutions," wrote Senator Warren.  "While the White House has made numerous announcements about the opioid crisis... these steps are not adequate without critical funding and strong, experienced leadership."  

Senator Warren wrote that "I hope that Ms. Conway can provide that leadership," and sought the following information from the White House:

  • Ms. Conway's current duties at the White House and what additional duties she will take on in her new role as coordinator and leader of White House opioid efforts.
  • Whether Ms. Conway has led or coordinated any interagency efforts to address the opioid epidemic.
  • Whether Ms. Conway has any experience working in public health, or working with drug or addiction policy.
  • Details on the Administration's plan to provide evidence-based treatment to Americans suffering from opioid addiction.
  • Whether the Administration plans to make requests to Congress for federal funding to combat the opioid crisis and what the Administration's position is on cutting Medicaid programs critical to patients receiving addiction treatment.
  • Whether the Administration agrees with Ms. Conway's assessment of the opioid crisis as a "war".
  • The Administration's timeline for nominating a White House ONDCP Director.
  • The Administration's timeline for nominating a DEA Administrator.











Photo Credit: Wendy, Licensed under Creative Commons.