Tags: Bush | Taps | Hard-liner | for | Drug | Czar

Bush Taps Hard-liner for Drug Czar

Wednesday, 09 May 2001 12:00 AM

Bush plans to announce Walters' appointment this morning at the White House, government sources said. The planned announcement follows Bush's move Wednesday to name

Walters, who was the No. 2 official in the White House anti-drug office during the previous Bush administration, was a frequent critic of the Clinton administration's approach to drug policy, which he said neglected interdiction efforts.

"The president recognizes to fight the war on drugs you have to fight it from multiple fronts, and the people he has selected to do so, whether it's the drug czar or the head of the DEA, are committed to do that," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

Walters also supports a law requiring U.S. certification of anti-drug efforts by countries with a known narcotics trade, like Colombia and Mexico, which risk losing U.S. aid if given a poor rating. That stance could put the Bush administration at odds with Mexico, which has called for an and to the policy, and perhaps other Latin American countries where Bush is seeking trade deals, such as Colombia.

Both nominations face Senate confirmation.

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Senate judiciary committee, said he thought Hutchison would win congressional approval unless something unforeseen arose in confirmation hearings.

"Asa Hutchinson I know very well," Leahy said. In "all my dealings with Congressman Hutchinson I found him to be totally honest, even though we disagreed on issues."

Asked about Bush's pick for drug czar, Leahy said, "I don't know Mr. Walters at all, and so I can't speak to that."

Walters heads a charitable foundation called Philanthropy Roundtable.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Bush plans to announce Walters' appointment this morning at the White House, government sources said. The planned announcement follows Bush's move Wednesday to name Walters, who was the No. 2 official in the White House anti-drug office during the previous Bush...
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Wednesday, 09 May 2001 12:00 AM
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