President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday morning that Marino had pulled out of consideration to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a position commonly known as the “drug czar.”
However, “relative to the number of confirmed people, Trump’s percentage of failed nominations is very high,” Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, told CNN. Trump has 174 confirmed nominees; Obama, former President George W. Bush, and former President Bill Clinton all had well over 300 at this point in their first term.
The lag in successful nominations is bound to have a negative effect on the administration’s effectiveness, Stier said.
“It’s a very basic proposition, if you don’t have the full team on the field you can’t play as effectively as you can,” he said. “Running the US government is a team effort. The team that he has is going to have a much bigger impact. People should care, people should care who he’s nominating and how quickly they’re being put in place.”
“If it’s in the State Department, or on drug policy and dealing with the opioid crisis, President Trump can only do so much as an individual,” he added.
Trump has both complained about the slow pace of confirmation for his nominees and argued he is intentionally nominating fewer people to cull the size of government.
Marino’s position, as drug czar when the nation is dealing with an opioid crisis that Trump has promised to declare a national emergency, would seem to be one of the necessary ones. His withdrawal comes after a joint CBS-“60 Minutes” and Washington Post report revealed that Marino took nearly $100,000 from the pharmaceutical lobby while sponsoring a bill that made it easier for drug companies to distribute opioids across American communities and thwart the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Jamie McCourt turned down a nomination for Ambassador to Belgium but was subsequently nominated to a post as Ambassador to Monaco. That nomination is pending.
James Donovan withdrew from consideration as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Department after nine days, according to the Partnership for Public Service. The nominee for General Counsel to the Air Force, David Ehrhart, withdrew in September, as did the nominee for General Counsel to the Department of the Army, Ryan Dean Newman.
George Nesterczuk, the pick to head the Office of Personnel Management, bowed out after 69 days.
This story has been updated with additional context on how Clinger was counted.
CNN’s Aaron Kessler, Maegan Vazquez, Dan Merica, Manu Raju, Eli Watkins, Ryan Browne, Donna Borak and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.