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Tracking and Legislation

  • Congressional Report: May 6-May 12, 2018 May 18, 2018 @ 2:42 pm

    Congressional Report: May 6-May 12, 2018

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: None.

    Other Activity

    May 8: Turner released a statement saying the Iran Deal was deeply flawed but he thought it was a mistake to fully withdraw from the deal without proof that Iran was in violation of the agreement. He stated that the US now needs to work with our allies to fix the flawed agreement.

    May 9: The Director of Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has recommended cutting benefits of federal workers. Turner is in strong disagreement. He has 30,000 federal workers (and voters) in his district. Around 27,000 are at Wright-Patterson.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    May 8: The Senate passed the Portman and Whitehouse (D-RI) bill Improving Access to Behavioral Health Information Technology Act. This authorizes Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to offer incentives for behavioral health providers to implement electronic health technology and improve coordination and quality of behavioral health concerns (including addiction and mental health issues).

    May 9: Senator Portman announced the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 which includes bipartisan legislation to protect the Great Lakes.

    May 9: The Senator introduced a bill with Senator Casey (D-PA) to help seniors and the disabled in the fight against opioids. Medicare Beneficiary Opioid Addiction Treatment Act (S. 2704) provides coverage for methadone under Medicare Part B and allows these groups to receive the medication in their doctors’ offices.

    May 10: On BLOOMBERG, Senator Portman discussed the release of the 3 hostages from North Korea and voiced support for Gina Haspel for CIA Director. He also supported the withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal. Note: Portman seems always loyal to the administration.

    Senator Brown

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    May 8: Senator Brown sent letters to Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo asking their plans to help their American workers and to bring back offshore jobs since they have received massive tax cuts. With the tax cuts in place, the banks are now increasing CEO pay and dividends and making record profits. The nation’s largest banks have cut at least 8,000 jobs in the second half of 2017 and are outsourcing work to overseas facilities. The 6 letters are specific to each bank and all 6 can be read on his website.
    May 8: Senator Brown released a statement on the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Agreement. “Everyone agrees we must prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and the President has only made it harder to hold Iran accountable.” He continues, “By walking away from the most intrusive inspections program in history, the President could be giving Iran an excuse to restart nuclear activities that even his own advisers agree have been halted under this agreement.” Brown noted that the president did not share any strategy to ensure that Iran does not restart its nuclear programs.
    May 9: Senator Brown objected to Mick Mulvaney’s intention to dissolve the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Students and Young Consumers which supports the mission of the Student Loan Ombudsman. This Student Loan Ombudsman empowers and informs students of SAFER financial products and options including student loans.
    May 10: On the Senate Floor, Brown called for restoration of Net Neutrality Rules to protect a free and open internet from corporate interference. He filed a petition to force a Senate vote on restoring rules repealed by the FCC. “Are my colleagues going to allow corporate special interests to shut down the free and open internet, or for once, is this body going to stand up for the people we serve?”
    May 10: Senator Brown asked the president to support legislative efforts to bring down drug prices. The president is making a speech on Friday about prescription drug prices. (As of this date and time, Brown has not responded to the speech. Think we know pretty much what he will say?)
    May 10: Brown and 21 other Senators called on Office of Management and Budget Director Mulvaney to make available records pertaining to his scheduling policies at OMB and CFPB since his confirmation in early 2017. They want to see if he has continued his “pay to play” policy since he now is in the Administration. In a speech to bank lobbyist, Mulvaney said, ‘“We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress. If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.” The Senators have said they are supportive of meeting with constituents but stated: “However, we strongly disagree with your policy of accepting meetings based on whether a lobbyist has made campaign contributions.”
  • Congressional Report: April 30-May 4, 2018 May 9, 2018 @ 12:53 pm

    Congressional Report: April 30-May 4, 2018

    Congress has been in recess this week, and Sen. Portman, Sen. Brown, and Rep. Turner have been in Ohio.

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: None.

    Other Activity

    This week Rep. Turner has been in and around the Miami Valley. He deserves credit for his part in the bipartisan effort to combat sexual assault in the military and allow for expedited base transfers for any military victim of sexual assault – PERSISTagainstMSTact. He tweeted about working with Rep. Tsongas (D-MA) to encourage timely investigation of aircraft mishaps. And while he held press conferences at the Dayton International Airport and Wright-Patt, he still could not find time to allow his constituents to question him at a town hall.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    Sen. Portman spent the week traveling across the state touting his efforts on controlling sex trafficking as well as the supposed benefits of the tax “reform” legislation although Friday’s employment report included a less-than-exciting jobs number and no significant increase in wages.

    Senator Brown

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    Sen. Brown tweeted his support for the continuing bipartisan efforts to preserve funding for preserving the Great Lakes, for his support of veterans and the VA, and for the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He called on General Motors to reconsider their plans to reduce capacity and lay off as many as 1,500 at the Lordstown Assembly Complex – especially since under the terms of the new tax legislation they could immediately write off the costs of retooling the plant. And on World Press Freedom Day he expressed his gratitude to reporters.
  • Congressional Report: April 22-April 28, 2018 May 9, 2018 @ 12:48 pm

    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.
  • Congressional Report: April 16-April 20, 2018 April 24, 2018 @ 1:42 pm

    Congressional Report: April 16-April 20, 2018

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: None.

    Other Activity

    4/17 – Turner’s Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act had a hearing by the House Subcommittee on  Housing and Insurance.  It is meant to address situations where foster care youths age out of the system but have few resources to find safe, stable housing. Turner said the bill would fix it, with no increase in federal dollars.

    4/19 – Portman, Brown, and Turner joined forces to urge the Pentagon to relocate the F35 product support organization to WPAFB, which would result in the addition of 400+ jobs.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes

    4/19 – Portman voted to confirm Rep James Brindenstine (R-OK) to NASA Administrator, along a 50-49 party line vote.  NASA does a lot of climate change research.  Bridenstine is a climate skeptic.

    Other Activity

    4/18 – Portman introduced S.2113 Construction Consensus Procurement Improvement Act of 2017, to improve the manner in which Federal contracts for design and construction services are awarded.

     4/18 – The Portman/Hassan Hack DHS Act unanimously passed. It establishes a program that uses “ethical” hackers to identify vulnerabilities in Dept of Homeland Security networks.

    4/19 – Portman called on the  Senate to pass the Synthetics Trafficking Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act. It would seek to keep synthetic drugs from China out of the US. He also highlighted the need for a 3 day opioid prescribing limit.

    4/19 – Portman announced $26 million in new funding to help combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemics.

    4/19 – Portman, Brown, and Turner joined forces to urge the Pentagon to relocate the F35 product support organization to WPAFB, which would result in the addition of 400+ jobs.

    Senator Brown

    Major Votes

    4/19 – Brown voted against the confirmation of Rep James Brindenstine (R-OK) to NASA Administrator, along a 50-49 party line vote.  NASA does a lot of climate change research.  Bridenstine is a climate skeptic. He was confirmed by the Senate.

    Other Activity

    4/16 – Brown introduced the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act, to improve maternity care for women and newborns, by increasing quality standards for CHIP. Also develops new strategies to improve maternity and infant care between insurers, providers, and government.
    4/16 – Brown demanded answers from the GM CEO after they announced the layoff of 1500 workers at the Lordstown plant. He urged GM to reverse the decision and said it was galling after GM received massive tax cuts, and said the tax savings are not flowing to American workers, as promised by Republicans.
    4/17 – Brown introduced the Elderly Poverty relief Act, to increase benefits to vulnerable seniors who count on Social Security or SSI for basic needs.
    4/17 – Brown announced that Trump signed a declaration bringing some financial relief to OH areas affected by floods last month.
    4/18 – Brown said VA Administrator nominee Ronny Jackson committed to him privately to oppose VA privatization.  He called on him to oppose it publicly during confirmation hearings. It has been speculated his predecessor was forced out because he resisted Trump administration efforts to privatize the VA.
    4/18 – Brown decried the use of the Congressional Review Act to repeal and weaken the Consumer Protection Bureau’s indirect auto lending guidance (S.J. Res 57).  It was designed to outline auto lenders responsibility to avoid discriminatory lending practices.The repeal passed along party lines, 50-49. Observation: just another removal of an important consumer protection by the Republicans. Portman Yea, Brown Nay.
    4/18 – Brown helped block a provision that sought to weaken protections to keep invasive species out of Lake Erie.
    4/19 – Portman, Brown, and Turner joined forces to urge the Pentagon to relocate the F35 product support organization to WPAFB, which would result in the addition of 400+ jobs.
    4/19 – Brown sent a letter to the VA Chief of Staff outlining concerns about consequences of VA’s hiring freeze on OH vets seeking care and benefits.
    4/20 – Brown said “on the heels of the Senate voting to repeal the CFPB’s Fair Auto Lending Guidance, I’m glad to see the CFPB’s case against Wells Fargo for it’s auto and mortgage loan abuses move forward.” Wells Fargo was fined $500 million by the CFPB and $500 million by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for forcing consumers into unnecessary auto insurance and for charging mortgage borrowers unfair fees. A rare victory for consumers in this toxic environment…although this is a mere drop in the bucket for Wells Fargo.

     

  • Congressional Report: April 8-April 14, 2018 April 17, 2018 @ 9:04 am

    Congressional Report: April 8-April 14, 2018

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: None.

    Other Activity

    April 13: Turner wished Thomas Jefferson a Happy Birthday

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    April 12: Portman and McCaskill introduced the Promoting Hydropower Development & Jobs Act.

    Portman’s bipartisan SESTA bill was also signed into law.

    April 13: Portman comments on the GM Lordstown plant laying off one of its shifts: “We will also do everything we can to help workers who are laid off with the appropriate resources during this transition. GM has a great resource in this plant and these workers, and I hope the company will reinvest in the plant and in the workforce.” We thought Trump had taken care of all that…

     

  • Congressional Report: April 2-April 6, 2018 April 17, 2018 @ 8:52 am

    Congressional Report: April 2-April 6, 2018

    The House and Senate were not in session this week. The Senate returns April 9 and the House, April 10.

    Special Notes:

    The President has called for the deployment of our military to the US/Mexico border. Each governor has to to authorize the dispatching of the national guard, so we can express our concerns to Gov. Kasich about the militarization of our border. (http://www.governor.ohio.gov/
    Contact/Contact-the-Governor)

    We definitely have to be concerned about Sinclair Broadcasting. The corporation dictates that identical ultra-conservative statements crafted on the corporate level be read by local news anchors. And a proposed merger between Sinclair and Tribune Media would broaden Sinclair’s reach to almost 3 out of 4 households in the US. In Dayton, WFEF22 (comments@abc22now.com) and Fox45 (comments@fox45now.com) are Sinclair stations. As individuals we can express our concerns by contacting both the local stations and Sinclair’s corporate headquarters (sbgi.net/). You can find mailing addresses online. If we  choose to personally boycott the stations’ local and/or national advertisers, we could state our intentions in our letters/messages.

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: None.

    Other Activity

    Apr. 3: Interviewed on ABC 22 and Fox 45; updated Greene County Commission on congressional action to confront the opioid crisis; congratulated CSU honors students.

    Apr. 4: Announced a US DOT grant to the RTA for new buses; interviewed by Cox Media.

    Apr. 5: Interviewed on WDTN about opioid epidemic; toured Kroc Center and 4C for Children to learn about their contributions especially in the area of early childhood education.

    Apr. 6: With Rep. Castro (D-TX), Rep. Turner introduced the Stand with US Against Russia Violations Act in hoped of “signaling resolve with a strong response.”

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    Sen. Portman spent this week traveling through the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Germany. In Ukraine, Portman presented a copy of the July Russia sanctions bill intended “to hold #Russia accountable for its aggression in #Ukraine and US election meddling” to the speaker of the Parliament. He also visited a US regiment stationed in Germany. He praised the tanks and armored vehicles manufactured in Lima and spent time with Ohio troops and their families stationed in Germany.

    On the 50th anniversary of MLK’s death, Sen. Portman tweeted “As we take time on #MLK50 to remember his life and legacy, we should also recommit ourselves to doing our part to help all Americans achieve their God-given potential.”

    Apr. 6: Sen. Portman praised the DOJ’s actions against Backpage as “great news for victims and survivors of online sex trafficking”.

     

     

  • Congressional Report: March 25-March 31, 2018 April 3, 2018 @ 9:42 am

    Congressional Report: March 25-March 31, 2018

    The House and Senate were not in session this week. The Senate returns April 9 and the House, April 10.

    Special Note: Since both Rep. Turner and Sen. Portman have been very quiet in responding to the March for Our Lives event of March 24, we called their offices on March 29. A live person in each office responded that no statement on this issue has been released by their Congressman at this time. Rep. Turner’s assistant said that Rep. Turner might want to issue a statement and asked for my opinion on the issue. Senator Portman’s aide said that the Senator supports the bipartisan work on beefing up background checks and school safety (in the omnibus spending bill). He also asked for my opinion. Neither had any other comments to share.

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: None.

    Other Activity

    March 26: Rep. Turner expressed support for the proposed FCC rule prohibiting certain telecom carriers from buying products from Huawei Technologies, a company with close ties to the Chinese government. Any carrier that accesses the Universal Service Fund (subsidizes small and rural carriers) will be prohibited from purchasing products from companies that pose a national security threat.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    Week of March 26: Mr. Portman kicked off an Ohio “Results for the Middle-Class Tax Reform Tour” in Lima. He is spending time on his break visiting many small businesses to tout the benefits of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. We have not found any reference to deficit concern.

    March 27: In a letter, Senator Portman and Rep. Langevin (D-RI) asked Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to discharge Parent PLUS Loans taken out by parents on behalf of students who then became totally and permanently disabled (average loan in 2016-17 data is $15,880 and this money is desperately needed for the care of their children). Federal law already recognizes the need for students to be forgiven these loans but parents also deserve the same access to debt relief. Portman sponsored Domenics Law (S. 2258) in December and Langevin introduced a similar bill in the House (May 2017).

    March 30: Senator Portman posted a video with remarks he made after the Senate passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) on March 21. (Vote: 97-2)

     

    Senator Brown

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    March 23: Senator Brown issued a statement that the omnibus spending package recently passed includes commonsense measures to keep Ohioans safe and support research on gun violence.

    His bipartisan bill Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act is cosponsored by Senator Rob Portman and others. The spending bill includes funds for school security improvements and early intervention and prevention programs to curtail the violence before it happens. There is language in the bill clarifying that the Dickey Amendment does not prevent the CDC “from conducting or supporting research into firearm safety and gun violence protection.” However, Senator Brown still wants a repeal of this amendment.

    March 24: On Facebook, the Senator supported and praised students from Stoneman Douglas who met with his team in his office in the past week. He believes their activism is making an “incredible difference” in the fight to enact common sense gun control laws.

    March 28: Senator Brown stated that he supports the administration’s work to renegotiate the Korea-US Trade Agreement to block Korean steel dumping.

    March 29: The Senator hosted a news conference call with college newspapers and radio stations to discuss his fight to restore net neutrality (the FCC gutted the rules in December). “Internet providers should not be able to slow down your internet access or charge you more based on the shows you watch, the teams you cheer for, or the politicians you support. The Internet doesn’t belong to a wealthy few—it belongs to you, to Ohio students and ordinary people across this country.”

  • Congressional Report: March 18-March -24, 2018 March 26, 2018 @ 8:49 pm

    Congressional Report: March 18-March -24, 2018

    Representative Turner

    Major Vote

    None.

    Other Activity

    March 19: Turner issued a statement supporting a change to a law that prevents Medicaid from paying for care at certain treatment facilities with more than 16 beds, including facilities with incarcerated patients. He said incarcerated individuals need the treatment the most, and the TREAT Act would address that. (Turner.house.gov)

     

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes

    None

    Other Activity

    March 19: Portman and others sent a letter to Senate leadership urging inclusion of the Retirement Security Preservation Act in the FY 2018 budget. It was noted that if congress does not fix the issue, approx. 200,000 Americans could lose their pension benefits. Sen Brown co-chairs the house/senate committee formed to solve the crisis. (Portman and Brown senate.gov sites)

    March 20: Portman voted yea (to table vote) to direct the removal of US Armed Forces from hostilities in Yemen, which has turned into a massive humanitarian crisis. Brown voted to nay, to not table it. (votesmart.org) The senate ultimately voted to table it, 55-44.

    March 22: Portman and Brown both announced on their senate.gov sites the FY 2018 appropriations bill includes full funding of $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration initiative, which the Trump administration had originally proposed

    Senator Brown

    Major Votes

    None

    Other Activity

    March 21: Brown held a news conference discussing his work with Trump Administration for World Trade Organization reform. Brown has been advocating for a crackdown on unfair steel imports that have hurt the US steel sector. He called for a long term strategy to reset the US trade imbalance with China. He also called for a review of some foreign investments to determine if they are in the economic interest of the US, and not foreign governments.

    March 21: Brown announced Ohio will be among the first in line to receive opioid funding secured in the omnibus spending package released today. The package also includes $65 million to fund opioid detection devices and equipment called for in Brown’s INTERDICT Act, which President Trump signed into law earlier this year. The devices will help Customs and Border Agents detect and stop dangerous drugs like fentanyl before they enter the U.S.

    March 22: Portman and Brown both announced on their senate.gov sites the FY 2018 appropriations bill includes full funding of $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration initiative, which the Trump administration had originally proposed

  • Congressional Report: March 11-March -17, 2018 March 19, 2018 @ 5:52 am

    Congressional Report: March 11-March -17, 2018

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes

    March 13: Along with other Republicans, Turner voted to abandon the House investigation into Russia. House Republicans claimed that they found no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, despite intelligence findings that show Russia had a clear preference for Trump during the election.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes

    None

    Other Activity

    March 16: Portman visited Dayton and spoke before the Chamber of Commerce, where he urged them to step up the fight against opioids. Portman is backing the legislation that would impose a 3-day limit on initial opioid prescriptions.

  • Congressional Report: March 4-March 10, 2018 March 17, 2018 @ 9:55 am

    Congressional Report: March 4-March 10, 2018

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes

    None

    Other Activity

    March 5: Rep. Turner began the week by presenting the Black History Month Congressional Award for Community Service to Prof. Jeremy Winston, Chorus Director at Central State University.

    March 7: Turner introduced a bill that would change the government funding deadline from October 1 to January 1.

    Rep. Turner continues to tout his support for increased military spending.

    March 8:  Turner introduced legislation that would amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to ensure that politically funded information cannot be used as evidence to monitor a U.S. citizen. This proposal follows the disputed use of the FISA process to obtain a warrant in the Russia investigation and could be part of an effort to cast doubt on that investigation and its findings; however, people on both sides of the aisle do have concerns about the possible impact of the FISA process on our privacy rights.

    Turner expressed support for two bills (TREAT Act, CRIB act) that would allow programs treating addicted newborns and people who are incarcerated to receive Medicaid funding.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes

    None

    Other Activity

    Sen. Portman began the week by praising the bill that will roll back some Dodd-Frank requirements for banks and stressing the regulatory relief for Ohio’s community banks and credit unions. (Obviously there are concerns about what less stringent regulation could mean for the future.)

    The Homeland Security Committee passed two amendments to the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act which were offered by Sen. Portman and Sen. Peters (D-MI) which will help protect Jewish Community Centers.

    On the Senate floor, he spoke in favor of SESTA, an proposed act designed to curtail sex trafficking. With a bipartisan group of senators, he introduced a bill aimed at reducing recidivism rates in the juvenile justice system.

    At a meeting of the Joint Economic Committee, Sen. Portman continued to praise the tax bill and the long-term growth it will supposedly bring. The transcript is on Sen. Portman’s website.

    With Sen. Brown he announced an award by the  transportation Department to the city of Akron of more than $8 million dollars to fund the Main Street corridor project.

    Sen. Portman spoke at the Great Lakes Day Congressional Breakfast. He has been working with Sen. Brown and other senators from states that border the lake to prevent the massive cuts to projects designed to protect the lakes that were part of the proposed budget. This issue is really important to Ohio!

    As the week ended, Sen. Portman made the following statement on the President’s tariff announcement: “Action is needed to address the worldwide overcapacity of steel, but I believe we should take a more targeted approach….I am concerned that broad-based tariffs will have unintended consequences…AK Steel is unlikely to fully benefit from the remedy proposed by the President…”. The full statement is available on the senator’s website.

    With Sen. Brown and Sen. Casey (D-PA), he sent a letter to the President voicing concerns about the impact of the tariffs on AKSteel. See the senator’s website for the full text of the letter.

    And finally, Sen. Portman stated his pleasure at the strong jobs report that was issued on Friday.