Tom Marino

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Tom Marino
Tom Marino Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 23, 2019
Preceded byChris Carney
Succeeded byFred Keller
Constituency10th district (2011–2019)
12th district (2019)
United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
In office
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byDavid Barasch
Succeeded byMartin Carlson
District Attorney of Lycoming County
In office
Preceded byBrett Feese
Succeeded byMichael Dinges
Personal details
Thomas Anthony Marino

(1952-08-13) August 13, 1952 (age 69)
Williamsport, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Edie Marino
EducationPennsylvania College of Technology
Lycoming College (BA)
Dickinson School of Law (JD)

Thomas Anthony Marino (born August 13, 1952) is an American politician and attorney. He served four terms and a minor part of his fifth term as a United States Representative from Pennsylvania, for Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district from January 3, 2011, to January 3, 2019, and for Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district from January 3 to January 23, 2019. A member of the Republican Party, Marino was the United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in his early career.

On September 1, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Marino to be Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, commonly known as the "drug czar".[1] He withdrew on October 17, 2017, following reports that he had been the chief architect behind a bill that protected pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors and crippled the DEA's ability to combat the U.S. opioid epidemic.[2] Two weeks after being sworn in for his fifth term, Marino announced his resignation from Congress, effective January 23, 2019, to work in the private sector.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Marino was born on August 13, 1952,[4] and raised in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.[5] After graduating from high school, Marino went to work in the factories of central Pennsylvania. At age 30, Marino enrolled in the former Williamsport Area Community College (now Pennsylvania College of Technology). Marino would then transfer to Lycoming College, where he graduated magna cum laude, before completing his J.D. degree at Dickinson School of Law.[6]

Law career[edit]

After beginning his legal career in private practice, Marino served as a Lycoming County District Attorney from 1992 to 2002. In 2002, Marino was appointed the United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania by President George W. Bush. During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Marino led the prosecution of executives of Rite Aid for criminal fraud. The company's former president pleaded guilty to conspiring to inflate income by $1.6 billion and conspiring to obstruct justice.[1]

In 2007, Marino resigned from his role as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In 2007, the new U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Peter Smith, confirmed that neither Marino, nor his office, were ever under review or investigation.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district, located in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, includes Bradford County, Juniata County, Lycoming County, Mifflin County, Pike County, Snyder County, Sullivan County, Susquehanna County, Union County, Wayne County, and portions of Perry County, Tioga County, Lackawanna County, Monroe County, and Northumberland County.



In 2010, Marino decided to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Congressman Chris Carney of Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district. He won the three-candidate Republican primary with 41% of the vote, defeating Dave Madeira (31%) and Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk (28%).[8] On November 2, 2010, Marino defeated Carney 55-45%.

2010 Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Tom Marino 109,603 55
Democratic Chris Carney (incumbent) 89,170 45

In 2012, Marino won re-election to a second term, defeating Democratic nominee Philip Scollo 66%–34%.[9]

2012 Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Tom Marino (incumbent) 179,563 65.6
Democratic Phil Scollo 94,227 34.4

In 2014, Marino faced off against Independent Nick Troiano and Democrat Scott Brion. Marino garnered 62% of the vote with Troiano received 13% and Brion received 25%.[10]

2014 Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district elections
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Tom Marino (incumbent) 112,851 62.6
Democratic Scott Brion 44,737 24.8
Nick Troiano 22,734 12.6


Marino ranked third among Pennsylvania's congressional delegation in Americans for Prosperity's 2012 scorecard (70%) and fifth in the Club for Growth's 2012 scorecard (63%).[11]


Marino was a member of the House Baltic Caucus.[12]


After a court-ordered redistricting, Marino's district was renumbered as the 12th District ahead of the 2018 elections. It lost its suburban territory closer to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, in the process losing its last connection to longtime congressman Joseph McDade, who represented the district from 1961 to 1999. To make up for the loss in population, it was pushed slightly westward to take in State College, home to Penn State.

The new district was no less Republican than its predecessor, and Marino easily won a fifth term, defeating Democrat Marc Friedenberg with 66 percent of the vote. On January 17, 2019, two weeks after being sworn in for a new term, Marino announced his resignation from the House, to be effective January 23, 2019.[13] Marino described his decision to resign as follows: "Having spent over two decades serving the public, I have chosen to take a position in the private sector where I can use both my legal and business experience to create jobs around the nation."[14] Marino's resignation required a special election to be called by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf via a writ of election within 10 days of Marino's resignation becoming effective on January 23, 2019. Per Pennsylvania law, the special election had to occur no fewer than 60 days following the gubernatorial proclamation being made.[15] On May 21, 2019, Republican state representative Fred Keller won the special election with 68.1% of the vote, defeating Marino's 2018 Democratic opponent Marc Friedenberg, and succeeded Marino in Congress.[16]

Political positions[edit]

Marino supported the death penalty. He believed that the mentally ill and criminals should not be able to obtain guns.[17]

In July 2013, Marino voted against Justin Amash's amendment #413 to H.R. 2397 "To end authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act and bar the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215."[18]

In 2011, Marino became a co-sponsor of Bill H.R.3261, also known as the Stop Online Piracy Act.[19]


In October 2017, The Washington Post and 60 Minutes reported that Marino was the chief advocate of a 2016 bill that hobbled the ability of the Drug Enforcement Administration to combat the opioid epidemic.[20] Marino introduced the bill, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, in 2014 and again in 2015; it failed both times. The 2014 version was opposed by the DEA and the Justice Department, but the 2015 version was sold as an attempt to "work with the pharmaceutical companies" and was subject to heavy lobbying. A similar version introduced in the Senate by Orrin Hatch passed both houses of Congress by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 19, 2016.[21] The legislation aimed to weaken the DEA's authority to take enforcement action against drug distributors who supplied unscrupulous physician and pharmacists with opioids for diversion to the black market.[20] Previously, the DEA had fined individuals who profited on suspicious sales of painkillers and repeatedly ignored warnings that the painkillers were sold illegally.[20] The new legislation would have made it "virtually impossible" for the DEA to stop these sales, according to internal agency documents, Justice Department documents, and the DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney II.[20] Marino, whose district was heavily affected by the opioid epidemic, declined to comment on the reports.[20] The drug industry spent at least $102 million lobbying Congress on the legislation between 2014 and 2016.[20] McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health spent $13 million lobbying in support of the bill.[22] When Joseph Rannazzisi, the chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)'s Office of Diversion Control, strongly criticized the bill, Marino and his cosponsor Marsha Blackburn demanded that the drug diversion enforcer be investigated by the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General.[22] Nothing came of the investigation but Rannazzisi was removed from his position in August and retired in October 2015.[22][23][24] According to The New York Times, Blackburn's best known legislation was that bill which revised the legal standard that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had used to establish that "a significant and present risk of death or serious bodily harm that is more likely than not to occur," rather than the previous tougher standard of "imminent danger," before suspending the manufacturer's opioid drug shipments.[20] The legislation was criticized in internal Justice Department documents, and by the DEA's chief administrative law judge, as hampering DEA enforcement actions against drug distribution companies engaging in black-market sales.[20] Rannazzisi said he informed Blackburn's staffers precisely what the effects would be as a result of the passage of a 2016 law the two sponsored, as national awareness grew regarding a crisis in the prescriptions of opioids in the United States. Blackburn admitted her bill had what she characterized as unforeseen “unintended consequences,” but Rannazzisi said they should have been anticipated. He said that during a July 2014 conference call he informed congressional staffers the bill would cause more difficulties for the DEA if it pursued corporations which were illegally distributing such drugs.[25]

Office of National Drug Control Policy[edit]

In September 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Marino to serve as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy ("drug czar").[26][1] In October, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) called on Trump to withdraw Marino's nomination.[27] Trump said he would "look into" reports about Marino, putting his nomination in question.[28] On October 17, 2017, Marino withdrew his nomination.[2]

2016 Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee[edit]

In 2016, Marino was announced as a member of then President-Elect Donald Trump's presidential transition team. The transition team was a group of around 100 aides, policy experts, government affairs officials, and former government officials who were tasked with vetting, interviewing, and recommending individuals for top cabinet and staff roles in Trump's administration.[29] According to Fox News, he was part of the team's executive committee.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Marino resides outside Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Edie, and his two children.[31] In February 2019, Marino said health issues led to his January resignation from Congress. Multiple battles with kidney cancer have left Marino with only part of one kidney, and after another kidney problem required surgery, he made his decision to resign.[32]


  1. ^ a b c Straehley, Steve; Wallechinsky, David (September 19, 2017). "Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy: Who Is Tom Marino?". AllGov. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Chappell, Bill (October 17, 2017). "Tom Marino, Trump's Pick As Drug Czar, Withdraws After Damaging Opioid Report". NPR. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  3. ^ DeBonis, Mike (January 17, 2019). "Republican Rep. Marino of Pennsylvania to resign from Congress". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  4. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). CQ Roll Call. November 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 8, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  5. ^ "Marino wants less government, lower taxes". The Daily Item. October 12, 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  6. ^ "MARINO, Thomas A., (1952 – )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  7. ^ Scarcella, Francis. "Marino calls accusations 'lies'". Sunbury Daily Item. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  8. ^ "PA – District 10 – R Primary Race – May 18, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  9. ^ "PA – District 10 Race – Nov 06, 2012". Our Campaigns. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "2014 Pennsylvania House Election Results". Politico. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  11. ^ "Exclusive: Bradford Commissioner Might Primary Marino". PoliticsPA. March 5, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  12. ^ "Members". House Baltic Caucus. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  13. ^ "Unofficial Candidate Listing". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  14. ^ Cioffi, Chris; Tully-McManus, Katherine; Cioffi, Chris; Tully-McManus, Katherine (2019-01-17). "Two weeks after being sworn in, Tom Marino announces resignation from Congress". Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  15. ^ Gonzales, Nathan L. (January 17, 2019). "Pennsylvania 12 special election: Is Marino's seat at risk?". Roll Call. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  16. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah; Lee, Jasmine C. (2019-05-21). "Pennsylvania Election Results". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  17. ^ Brady, Chris (March 26, 2013). "Marino: Keep guns away from mentally ill, felons". Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  18. ^ "H.Amdt. 413 (Amash) to H.R. 2397: Amendment sought to end authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot..." July 24, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  19. ^ Bill H.R.3261
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h "How Congress allied with drug company lobbyists to derail the DEA's war on opioids". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-10-15. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  21. ^ Higham, Scott (October 15, 2017). "The drug industry's triumph over the DEA". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  22. ^ a b c Lenny Bernstein; Scott Higham (October 22, 2016). "Investigation: The DEA slowed enforcement while the opioid epidemic grew out of control". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  23. ^ "Meet 60 Minutes, Washington Post DEA Whistleblower". CBS News. October 15, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  24. ^ "Too many pills". Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting. October 21, 2017.
  25. ^ Ex-DEA official says Blackburn had warning on opioid law, Jonathan Mattise, October 26, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  26. ^ "How Congress allied with drug company lobbyists to derail the DEA's war on opioids". Washington Post. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  27. ^ "Senator: Trump should withdraw Marino nomination". Citizen's Voice. October 16, 2017. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  28. ^ O'Keefe, Ed (October 16, 2017). "Trump promises to 'look into' report on drug czar nominee Marino in wake of Post-'60 Minutes' probe". Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2017.
  29. ^ "Tom Marino". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  30. ^ "Who's who in the new Trump transition team line-up". Fox News. 2016-11-11. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  31. ^ "Marino for US Congress". Archived from the original on November 30, 2010.
  32. ^ "Ex-Congressman Marino Now Cites Health for Resigning". US News & World Report. Associated Press. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by District Attorney of Lycoming County
Succeeded by
Michael Dinges
Preceded by
David Barasch
United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Martin Carlson
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 10th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by