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Congressional Report: April 22-April 28, 2018

Congressional Report: April 22-April 28, 2018

On April 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill to protect Mueller. The proposed legislation is designed to make it more difficult for any president to dismiss a special counsel. 4 Republicans (Grassley, R-IA; Graham, R-SC; Tillis, R-NC; Flake, R-AZ) voted with all 10 Democrats to send the bill to the Senate Floor. The bill allows a special counsel fired by the AG or other senior Justice official to challenge the firing in the District of Columbia’s U.S. District Court. It also would protect all documents relevant to the special counsel’s work during the challenge period. Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) said he will not allow a vote on the bill. Senator Grassley’s support puts pressure on McConnell and Grassley hopes the Leader will change his mind. FYI: The April 18 DDN reported that on CNN, Senator Portman said he opposes a bill preventing the President from firing Mueller since the President has the constitutional right to fire his employees. He says that this does not mean the President should do so, however.

Representative Turner

Major Votes

April 27: Voted YEA for the FAA Reauthorization Bill. Provides funding for the Federal Aviation Administration for 5 years. Passed with bipartisan support (393-13).

Other Activity

April 22: Rep. Turner appeared on CNN with Fredricka Whitfield to discuss national security, denuclearizing North Korea, and combating Russian aggression.

April 23: With Tonko (D, NY-20), Rep. Turner sponsored the Medicaid Reentry Act to allow state Medicaid programs to receive federal matching dollars for services to Medicaid-eligible incarcerated people during the 30 days prior to their release. The hope is that helping them stay off opioids on release may prevent
deadly overdoses. These people are 129 times more likely to die of an overdose the first 2 weeks of post release than the general population.

April 23: Rep. Turner was one of many House members to introduce the Brownfields Redevelopment Tax Incentive Reauthorization Act of 2018.

April 25: With Moulton (D, MA-6), Turner introduced Sharing Health Information to Ensure Lifesaving Drug Safety (SHIELDS) which closes a gap in the Department of Defense’s practice of reporting opioid prescriptions. The DOD does not have to report controlled substance prescriptions to any drug monitoring programs at present. This hurts the military and veterans.

April 25: With Tsongas (D, MA-3), Representative Turner introduced purposefully Expanding and Reinforcing the Statutes we insist Support Our Troops Against Military Sexual Trauma Act (PERSIST Against MST Act) to further combat sexual assault in the military. Crucial legislation but who names these things?

April 25: Rep. Turner was on CNN speaking about the North and South Korea meetings. He is a skeptic about the intentions of North Korea but supports the administrations pressure to shift more focus on China’s involvement. Concerning Russia, he said he has called for stronger sanctions in the past and is still firm in the imposition of more sanctions. He cleverly talked around sharing an opinion on the administration not following through with the last sanctions proposed.

Senator Portman

Major Votes

April 26: Voted YEA on confirming Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State.

Other Activity

April 24: During a Senate Finance Committee meeting, Senator Portman praised the positive impact of tax reform on small businesses. He stated this will make America more competitive and encourage businesses to move jobs home and invest here. No mention of how this added debt will affect Social Security, Medicare, and the lives of everyday Americans. The idea being pushed is that the economy will grow at such a rate that it will take care of problems.

April 24: As part of a bipartisan effort, Senator Portman co-introduced the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act to expand the training of teachers so that they are better able to prepare interested students for technical jobs.

April 25: On the Senate floor, Portman strongly recommended Mike Pompeo’s confirmation.

April 25: The Senator had an op-ed in THE HILL calling for unity in overcoming the opioid epidemic.

April 26 and 27: On the Senate floor Thursday, Portman discussed the 2 bills he had introduced earlier, (STOP Act and CARA 2.0 Act), which he believes are vital in fighting the drug epidemic. On Friday, he was back home in Cincinnati to speak at the Center for Addiction Treatment’s Annual Breakfast and also attended PreventionFirst!’s Annual Community Awards Luncheon.

Senator Brown

Major Votes

April 26: Voted NAY on PN 1761 to confirm Mike Pompeo as the new Secretary of State. Pompeo was confirmed (57-42).

Other Activity

April 25: Senator Brown introduced the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) Improvement and Innovation Act to improve risk coverage of farmers.
April 25: In a Senate hearing,Brown pressed Secretary of Agriculture Perdue to further conservation programs that protect water quality and help farmers prevent runoff in the Western Lake Erie Basin.
April 25: Brown called on Director of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Mick Mulvaney to RESIGN after he told banking executives on April 24, that they should press lawmakers hard to pursue their goals and, as a Congressman, he only met with lobbyist who contributed to his campaign. In other words, bankers must “pay to play”.
April 25: The Senator introduced the Providing Officers with Electronic Resources Act (POWER Act) to help law enforcement detect fentanyl and protect themselves from accidental overdoses using the same equipment as that of law enforcement at the U.S. border.
April 25: Brown introduced the Better Access to Technical Training, Learning, and Entrepreneurship for Servicemembers Act (BATTLE for Servicemembers Act).
April 26: The Senator called for a swift nomination for the head of the Department of Veteran Affairs. He wants someone who has the support of vets and who will stand up to the political pressure to dismantle and privatize the VA.
April 26: In response to Secretary of HUD Carson’s Rental Assistance Proposal, Senator Brown stated he strongly opposes the drastic increase in rental rates for some of the poorest households in America. 400,000 Ohio households spend more than 50% of their incomes on housing now—at a time when the rich
are getting large tax cuts.
April 27: With Senator Portman and the other Great Lake Senators, Brown sent a letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies to ask for critical funding of the GREAT LAKES RESTORATION INITIATIVE which is a huge priority for our state. These monies are vital in saving the drinking water for millions and for Ohio’s economy.
April 27: DAYTON DAILY NEWS – Senators Brown and Portman strongly support the retention of civilian jobs that are in danger of being cut by a House Republican proposal for next year’s defense bill. It seeks a 25% cut in the number of agencies that employ mostly civilians. Rep. Turner said that none of the agencies affected are headquartered at Wright Patterson. (Look out, Columbus and Cleveland areas.) Senator Brown says he doubts that such a measure can pass the Senate.

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