Pubdate: Fri, 09 Nov 2001
Source: Inquirer (PA)
Copyright: 2001 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Author: Reuters
Bookmark: (Walters, John)


WASHINGTON - Despite objections from former first lady Betty Ford and 
drug-treatment authorities, a divided Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday 
approved the nomination of John Walters as the administration's drug czar.

The panel, on a 14-5 vote, sent the nomination to the Senate floor, 
rejecting concerns by Ford, founder of a noted drug- and alcohol- treatment 
center, and others that Walters has shown contempt for drug treatment.

The full Democratic-led Senate is expected to quickly confirm Walters, 
giving President Bush his final cabinet member 10 months after taking office.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the committee chairman who was among the 
five Democrats who voted against Walters, promised to monitor Walters' 
reign as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy to make 
sure he keeps a promise to provide a balanced approach that mixes law 
enforcement with education and treatment.

Four Democrats joined the panel's Republicans in approving the nomination. 
Walters served nearly a decade ago in the drug-control office during the 
administration of Bush's father. During his tenure, supporters pointed out, 
illegal drug use declined nationwide.

Much of the criticism of Walters has been based on his past writings and 
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