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Tracking and Legislation

  • Congressional Report: July 1 – July 7, 2018 July 12, 2018 @ 10:24 am

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: 

    None

    Other Activity

    July 2: Rep. Turner is a House conferee for the National Defense Authorization Act. He will negotiate the differences in the version passed by the House and that passed by the Senate. According to his Facebook and Twitter postings, he will work to maintain the House’s $182 million for an expansion project at WPAFB. He also will fight to keep provisions that expedite hiring and help the Air Force Research Lab work with small businesses.

    July 5, 6, 7: No comments on Pruitt resignation found.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    July 2: In an op-ed for the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, “Congress Taking Action to Combat the Growing
    Influx of Fentanyl,” Senator Portman promoted his Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention Act or
    STOP Act. The bipartisan legislation passed the House in June and the full Senate will vote very soon. It
    will help identify and stop synthetics from being shipped (mainly from China) through the US Post Office
    to traffickers in the United States.

    July 3: In a press release, the Senator announced that on June 29, he introduced the bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act to deal with almost $12 billion of deferred maintenance backlog at the National Park Service. Ohio has $103 million in maintenance backlog for our 8 national parks. Locally, $1.8 million is needed by the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park; almost $2 million is required by Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce.

    July 5, 6, 7: No comments on Pruitt resignation found.

    July 6: During the holiday week, the Senator toured the new PreventionFirst facility in his home base of Cincinnati. He also held an Opioid Roundtable with local religious leaders, officials, and law enforcement.

    July 6: Senator Portman reiterated his opposition to immigrant family separation on Twitter and voiced support for the Keep Families Together & Enforce the Law Act. Also on Twitter, he linked the 213,00 new jobs reported this week to the tax cut and said wages are rising as well. Other reports seem to be contradicting the idea of any meaningful wage increases for Ohioans.

    July 6: Senator Portman attended the swearing in ceremony of 73 citizens at the Cincinnati naturalization ceremony and expressed his congratulations to these new Americans.

    Senator Brown

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    July 2: Senator Brown visited the Life Revitalization Center in Toledo to discuss the shortage of Ohio workers created by the addiction epidemic. He is leading bipartisan legislation to combine federal workforce and job training grants to deal with these shortages. Employers cannot fill jobs right now because workers cannot pass the drug tests. This combining of resources is a provision in the Senate’s Opioid Crises Response Act which is based on his CARE Act.

    July 2: In a press release and on Twitter (July 4), the Senator praised the FBI for their arrest of the terror suspect in the Cleveland incident. He said Clevelanders should be grateful to the FBI and all law enforcement for their work on this case and stated that these members of law enforcement are certainly working hard to keep us safe and secure from homegrown terrorists, too.

    July 3: As ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, Senator Brown blasted the Federal Reserve for having private conversations with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and offering them a deal that allows them to maintain their capital payouts and receive “conditional non-objection” stress test grades instead of failing the tests. In a release, as well as on Twitter and Facebook, the Senator said, “In the past, bank stress tests were real stress tests. These days, it is more like a cozy conversation between friends.”

    July 5: Senator Brown issued a statement on the Pruitt resignation. (In the past, Senator Brown called for this because of reliable reports of the misuse of taxpayer monies.) In the release, the Senator stated that Pruitt used our dollars to benefit himself while “working to gut Lake Erie cleanup & the Renewable Fuel Standard.” Many Ohio jobs depend on these programs. He emphasized that Pruitt should never have been confirmed in the first place.

    July 6: The Senator led a bipartisan group in writing a letter to the CDC calling for the Center to furnish better resources and support for medical examiners, coroners, and toxicologists who are involved in and often overwhelmed by the addiction crisis. The letter points to the terrible strain, both physical and emotional, placed on these people. Read the full text of the letter on Senator Brown’s website under Press Releases.

    July 6: Senator Brown, co-chair of the House & Senate Joint Select Committee on Pensions. announced that he and Committee Member Senator Portman will host a hearing at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus
    on Friday, July 13, on “Understanding What’s at Stake for Current Workers and Retirees.” The meeting is in the Richard H. Finan Hearing Room 126 at 2:00 p.m. The members of Congress will hear from workers and retirees affected by a pension crisis that will involve 1.3 million Americans and thousands of small businesses. Ohio pensions nearing bankruptcy without Congressional action include Central States Teamsters Pension Plan, The United Mine Workers Pension Plan, Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Plan, the
    Ohio Southwest Carpenters Pension Plan, and Bakers and Confectioners Pension Plan. Check out Brown’s website for further information. Any solution the Committee produces would be guaranteed an expedited Senate vote without amendments.

  • Congressional Report: June 25 – June 29, 2018 July 12, 2018 @ 10:20 am

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: 

    This week Rep. Turner voted “yea” on five bills that passed: HR 299 (Blue Navy Vietnam Veterans Act); HR 5783 (Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies and Watch Act); HR 4294 (Prevention of Private Information Dissemination Act of 2017); HR 2083 (Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Act); and HR 5841 (Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act).

    Rep. Turner also voted “yea” on HR 6136 (Border Security and Immigration Reform Act). This “more moderate” bill would have provided money for the border wall and protection for DACA recipients; however, HR 6136 would have reduced both legal migration and family migration. The bill failed.

    Other Activity

    At the end of the week, Rep. Turner was appointed to the House delegation that will work with senators to reconcile two versions of the bill to fund defense, the National Defense Authorization Act.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: 

    Sen. Portman voted in favor of the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill which passed 86-11. The Senate Farm Bill is less objectionable than the House version but could still limit the number of Ohioans eligible for SNAP benefits.

    Other Activity

    This week Sen. Portman’s newsletter touts several bipartisan efforts. With Sen. Brown, he secured language in the Energy and Water Appropriations Act which will prohibit the dumping of toxic materials dredged from the Cuyahoga River into Lake Erie.

    Ohio’s two senators along with Reps. Turner, Fudge, and Beatty secured land grant status for Central State in an amendment to the Farm Bill.

    With senators of both parties, Sen. Portman introduced legislation to partially fund deferred maintenance in our national parks.

    Sen. Portman continued to heap praise on the tax bill and spoke to that issue on the floor. He also expressed support for several bills that provide for more defense spending.

  • Congressional Report: June 18-June 22, 2018 June 27, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

    Notes: Six proposals to end the separation of families crossing the border illegally are before Congress (4 Republican, 2 Democrat).  The Republican majority does not have the votes to pass their proposals, and voting has been postponed.

     

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: 

    Turner voted yea on the SOUND Disposal and Packaging Act-H.R. 5687 directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to work with manufacturers to establish programs for efficient return or destruction of unused Schedule II or III opioids. These methods could include mail-back pouches to secure facilities for incineration, or methods to inactivate immediately or render unattractive unused drugs. The measure passed overwhelmingly.

    Turner voted yeah on the H.R. 5676: SENIOR Communities Protection Act – allows Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans to suspend payments to a provider or supplier pending an investigation of a credible allegation of fraud against the provider or supplier. The measure passed overwhelmingly.

    Turner voted yea on H.R. 5797: Individuals in Medicaid Deserve Care that is Appropriate and Responsible in its Execution Act. H.R. 5797 allows state Medicaid programs to remove the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion for Medicaid beneficiaries aged 21 to 64 with an opioid use disorder for fiscal years 2019 to 2023. By removing the exclusion, Medicaid would pay for up to 30 total days of care in an IMD during a 12-month period for eligible individuals. Passed.

    Turner voted nay on  H.R. 6082, which amends the Public Health Service Act to permit substance use disorder (SUD) records to be shared among covered entities and Part 2 programs in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), for the purposes of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. Failed.

    Other Activity

    6/20: issued a statement regarding Trump’s executive order on separation of families:

    “Today at the White House, I met with the President and other Members of Congress. We urged the President to end the separation of families at the border. I supported his announcement and subsequent signing of an executive order to that effect. I strongly support the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, the immigration bill, that will be on the House floor tomorrow that keeps families together, strengthens border security, implements a merit-based immigration system, and allows DACA recipients stay in the U.S. Immigration is the heart of our country. Our system has been broken for too long, and I strongly support the changes in this bill to improve our laws.”

    6/21: after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a report examining the health effects of exposure to Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA): “Today, the draft report of the study has been released to the public. As I said to both Administrator Pruitt and Secretary Azar, this is a matter of public health and safety. Based on this information, I encourage federal, state, and local environmental regulators to examine whether they are appropriately communicating the risks presented by and adequately addressing the presence of PFOS and PFOA in drinking water. We must ensure agencies at all levels are using the most reliable data and best available science to ensure our drinking water remains safe…”

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: 

    Voted yea to approve amendment 2943 to H.R. 5895: To increase funds for a nuclear demonstration program. Passed.

    Voted yea to approve amendment  2985 (Tammy Baldwin) to H.R. 5895.  Purpose: to set aside funds for cooperative agreements and laboratory support to accelerate the domestic production of Molybdenum-99. Passed.

    Voted yea on the national defense Authorization Act of F/Y 2019, which notably reinstates the ZTE sales ban and trade sanctions. Many experts view the Chinese telecom giant as a security threat.

    Voted yea on a vote related to a bill titled H.R. 3: Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act. Rejected.

    Other Activity

    6/20: Portman joined a group of senators in sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling on him to stop the practice of separating families who have illegally crossed the US-Mexico border. The letter urges the administration to stop the family separations while Congress works on a legislation solution.

    6/20: Portman urged the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, to use different measures than Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act to enforce trade infractions from foreign countries like China. Section 232 is a measure used in conditions of national security, and Portman stressed the fact that misuse could result in trade wars with America’s top trade allies.  Instead he urged the administration to use the tools at their disposal, such as the Leveling the Playing Field Act and the ENFORCE Actwhich are working to crack down on foreign competitors that launder products through other countries to try to get around our trade laws.

    Senator Brown

    Major Votes: 

    Voted yea on the national defense Authorization Act of F/Y 2019, which notably reinstates the ZTE sales ban and trade sanctions. Many experts view the Chinese telecom giant as a security threat.

    Other Activity

    6/18:  Brown  announced that his bipartisan measure to strengthen the tools the U.S. uses to block national security threats posed by investments from China and other countries has passed the Senate as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). He said, “No country has been more aggressive than China in going after American technology in sectors like aviation, robotics, new energy vehicles, and others where the U.S. has established ourselves as a global leader.”  He added, “Our bipartisan bill will give CFIUS and our export control agencies the tools they need to ensure that these types of investments don’t slip through the cracks.”

    6/20:  Senators Brown and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee which has oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, introduced the SAVE VOTERS Act to protect the constitutional rights of Americans from voter “purges.” The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Ohio’s voter purge, Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, last week said states are allowed to remove registered voters from voting rolls for a failure to vote in multiple federal elections and a failure to return a mailed address confirmation form. The SAVE VOTERS Act would amend the National Voter Registration Act to clarify that a state may not use someone’s failure to vote or respond to a State notice as reason to target them for removal from active voter rolls, protecting American voters from voter “purges” that pose serious consequences to those who may be serving overseas, sick, traveling, homeless or otherwise unable to vote on Election Day.

    6/20:  Brown demanded answers from the Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) following media reports that staff at border detention facilities may be prohibited from comforting traumatized children who’ve been ripped from their parents. While urging the Administration to immediately end its policy of separating children from their families at the border, Brown is also asking these agencies to outline what policies are in place to care for the mental, physical and emotional well-being of severely traumatized children in their custody.

    6/21: Brown and Portman helped secure the release this week of a draft federal study regarding the levels of certain toxic chemicals that are safe for exposure. According to recent news reports, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been blocking the Dept of Health and Human Services (HHS) from releasing the study on Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances or PFAS chemicals, which are used in manufacturing and have been linked to a variety of serious health conditions.

    6/22:  Brown released the following statement in response to news reports that General Motors plans to build the new Chevrolet Blazer in Mexico. Brown is criticizing the move by GM to send jobs to Mexico as the second shift at the GM facility in Lordstown ends today. “GM’s timing on this outrageous decision could not have been worse,” said Brown. “On the same day GM is laying off workers in Youngstown, the company is bypassing American workers and sending more jobs to Mexico. GM should reverse this irresponsible decision, and use its tax windfall to invest in American workers.”  In April, following the announced layoffs in Lordstown, Brown wrote a letter to CEO Marry Barra, condemning the announced layoffs and urged GM to reverse their decisions, and use the tax windfall the company got from recent tax cuts to invest in its facility and the workers in Lordstown.

     

  • Congressional Report: June 10-June 17, 2018 June 18, 2018 @ 8:51 pm

    Representative Turner

    Per Turner.house.gov site, 5 bills cosponsored by Turner were passed this week, aimed at combating the opioid epidemic.

    He cosponsored the following bills that passed:
    H.R. 5735, Transitional Housing for Recovery in Viable Environments Demonstration Program Act: Creates a demonstration housing assistance program to provide low-income individuals recovering from opioid/other substance use disorders with a clean, safe, and structured environment.  It establishes a demonstration program to set aside Section 8 housing vouchers for supportive and transitional housing for individuals recovering from substance use disorders. 
    H.R. 2851, Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act: Creates a new schedule – Schedule A – to address the problem of synthetic chemical analogues of already-controlled substances, which threaten public health.
    H.R. 5788, Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act of 2018: Imposes additional requirements on the United States Postal Service and Customs & Border Protection to address the opioid crisis by securing international mail, which is often a means for smuggling dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl into the U.S.
    H.R. 5102, Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act of 2018: Creates a capped loan repayment program for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment providers in exchange for up to 6 years of work as a SUD treatment professional in areas most in need of such services. 
    H.R. 2147, Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act: Directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to hire at least 50 Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) specialists, place each one at an eligible VA medical center, and ensure that each serves as part of a justice team in a veterans treatment court or other veteran-focused court.
    Senator Portman:
    Senators Portman and Sherrod Brown led a bipartisan group of 10 Senators in demanding the administration release the results of a study regarding what levels of certain chemicals are safe in drinking water. According to recent news reports, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to block the release of results from a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study on the toxic Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS are a class of toxic chemicals used in manufacturing that have been linked to a variety of cancers and serious health conditions. 
    On N Korea summit, he commented:  “Following this historic summit I remain skeptical but hopeful that this new dialogue can translate into meaningful progress.  I strongly believe that the president’s maximum pressure campaign must remain in place until North Korea truly changes course and ends
    ‘;its dangerous nuclear weapons program.”
     
    As part of his ‘Results for the Middle-Class Tax Reform TourSen Portman visited Helping Hands Healthcare and participated in a roundtable discussion with other local small businesses to hear about tax reform and its positive impact on Ohio. 
    Senator Brown
    Sen Brown blasted the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Ohio’s efforts to purge voters from the state’s voter rolls. Last week, Brown announced he would not support Eric Murphy to serve as Judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in part because of Murphy’s defense of the Ohio voter purge as State Solicitor of Ohio.
    “Ohio should be working to make voting easier, not harder,” said Brown. “Instead, today’s decision empowers Ohio to further strip away the right to vote for thousands of Ohioans, threatening the integrity of our state’s election process. This ruling further shows why we can’t afford to pack our federal courts with judges who have a track record of hostility towards Ohioans’ most basic right.”
     
    Commenting on the N Korea summit:  “We all want these negotiations to succeed, and I’m glad the President had a positive meeting with Kim Jong Un. But we’ve heard empty promises from the North Koreans before, so we must continue to hold them accountable with tough sanctions until we see proof the North Koreans are taking real steps to dismantle their nuclear weapons program.”
     
    Brown introduced this bill with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). It would require drug companies and medical device makers to publicly disclose the payments that they make to nurse practitioners and physician assistants for promotional talks, consulting, and other interactions, just as they are required to for payments made to physicians and academic medical centers. 

    In support of Trumps tariffs against China, Brown said:   “China’s cheating has shuttered steel plants across our state, put Ohioans out of work, and distorted global markets. Today’s tariffs are an important step toward enforcing trade laws and making clear the U.S. will not allow China to cheat Americans out of their jobs.”  “We have more work to do to address the root of China’s cheating and reset our trade imbalance, and I will continue working with the Administration to push for long-term solutions.”

    To learn more about the recently passed farm bill, go here: Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act

  • Congressional Report: June 3-June 9, 2018 June 11, 2018 @ 12:38 pm

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    June 6: Rep. Turner and Rep Jenkins’ (R-WV-3) CRIB Act was modified in collaboration with the Senate. It will help cover treatment of NAS (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome) which involves withdrawal conditions experienced by newborns of addicted mothers. A matching bill has been reintroduced into the House.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    June 2 and June 8: The DAYTON DAILY NEWS reported that Senator Portman opposes the steel tariffs on Mexico and Canada. He voiced concern over the harm that will be done to AK Steel which is the last grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) producer in North America (needed for our electric grid). AK Steel has said it will have to shut down production of GOES if there is no tariff modification. The company has about 2,400 full-time employees in Middletown and West Chester Township.

    June 5: Senator Portman testified before the ITC urging that agency to protect Ohio workers from South Korea’s unfair dumping or underselling of tapered roller bearings as called for in Senator Brown’s Leveling the Playing Field Act.

    June 6-7: On June 6, Portman, as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), presented a majority report saying the last administration secretly granted a license allowing the conversion of Iranian assets using the U.S. financial system. This was in order to secure a deal with Iran. Portman’s report said that when asked by the government, a couple U.S. banks declined to deal with Iran in this matter. His report calls for recommendations to prevent this access to the financial system in the future. He had many interviews on this subject on these two days and also spoke on the Senate floor. Check website for more details.

    June 7: With McCaskill (D-MO), the Senator introduced the Federal Permitting Reform and Jobs Act to improve the federal permitting process for some of the largest infrastructure projects. (Amends the FAST Act)

    Senator Brown

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    June 1: Senators Brown and Reed (D-RI) announced that their Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research Act of 2017 (STAR Act) has now passed the House (May 22) and the Senators are urging that the bill be signed quickly. The act will “expand the scope of childhood cancer research.” It will also support providing families with ways to prevent and treat childhood cancers.

    June 1: “We Make Customer Service in America, Too” is Senator Brown’s new episode of CANARYCAST, his podcast. This one features Communication Workers of America (CWA) members and deals with the outsourcing of call centers. This is Episode 4.

    June 2: The Dayton DAILY NEWS reported that the Senator backs the Administration’s raising of steel tariffs on imports. He stated that he is open to “carving out allies who are not part of the problem but steel overcapacity is a global problem that needs a global response.”

    June 5: Senator Brown testified before the International Trade Commission (ITC) concerning South Korea’s illegally dumping of steel bearings. This hurts 15,000 workers and 1400 Ohioans working for the Timken Company. His Leveling the Playing Field Act was passed in 2015 and makes it easier for companies to bring and win cases like this one.

    June 6: Senator Sherrod Brown voiced alarm at the efforts of the Federal Reserve, SEC, FDIC, OCC, and CFTC to weaken the Volcker Rule. In a floor speech, he said this is another bow to Wall Street and it weakens taxpayer protections from big banks. Get ready for another future big bailout of too-big-to-fail financials, folks.

    June 6: Brown’s provisions to improve veteran care were signed into law. The VA Mission Bill includes his provisions supporting expansion of caregiver benefits to veterans of all eras, training doctors outside the VA on how to address the unique needs of veterans, and insuring veterans safe opioid prescribing procedures outside the VA system.

    June 6: On the Senate floor, Senator Brown described threats posed by some foreign investments and promoted his bipartisan measures that are included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The measures strengthen the tools the U.S. uses to block national security threats from China and other countries.

    June 6: As ranking member of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Brown denounced CFPB Acting Director Mulvaney’s disbanding of the CFPB Advisory Board. Statutorily, the Advisory Board has 25 consumer advocates and experts who inform the CFPB about consumer practices, products, and trends and share consumer analysis and recommendations. Consumers may soon lose protection and again be helpless in fighting financial scams.

    June 7: The Senator denounced the administration’s support of the Chinese company ZTE which will put Chinese jobs ahead of American jobs and Chinese interests over our national security. ZTE has been penalized for persistently violating our sanctions against Iran and North Korea and then lying about it many times.

    June 7: Following a Brown speech calling for a “comprehensive, co-ordinated, and sustained public health campaign,” the Administration announced a new public service ad campaign to warn young people against the dangers of opioid use.

    June 8: Senator Brown announced he would NOT support Chad Readler and Eric Murphy for 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges.  Readler and Murphy have records revealing their work to undermine the rights of Ohioans concerning our right to vote, to quality education, and to marriage equality. Readler worked to strip out of the Ohio Constitution students’ rights to a “thorough and efficient education” and to gut the CFPB. Murphy supports Ohio voter purging as proposed and is against marriage equality.

  • Congressional Report: May 28 – June 1 June 5, 2018 @ 8:56 am

    The Senate has a state work period until June 4, and the House is on recess until June 5.

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    Rep. Turner has been MIA this week! (Where’s Mike???) On his website there are no postings
    at all for the week. On Twitter he thanked veterans and congratulated himself for helping to
    secure funding for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, but like Sen. Portman, did not comment
    on common sense gun safety measures that could save lives here in Ohio and throughout our
    country.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    This week Sen. Portman has been all around Ohio focusing on his actions connected to the
    opioid crisis with a few nods to the “good news” that he relates to the tax legislation. Although
    he found time to tweet about FC Cincinnati, the Cavs, and Jack Nicklaus’s golf tournament,
    there are no tweets or postings this week about moving forward with common sense gun safety
    measures even though the rash of school shootings continues.

  • Congressional Report: May 20-May 26, 2018 May 29, 2018 @ 1:22 pm

    Notes:

    There are currently 11 separate investigations underway against Scott Pruitt for allegations ranging from blatant corruption to waste of taxpayer funds. Many MOCs have requested in writing that he step down, including Brown. Portman and Turner have not.

    A petition to force a floor vote in the House on DACA has 197 out of the 218 signatures. Turner has not signed.

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes

    5/24/18 Turner voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019.

    Other Activity

    5/22/18 Turner calls on HHS to release a study on PFAS, the chemical formerly used at WPAFB that may be threatening local groundwater quality.

    5/22/18 Turner visited NASIC at WPAFB

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes

    5/20/18  Portman voted to support the VA MISSION Act, bipartisan legislation aimed at providing veterans with access to efficient, timely and quality health care and services in their own communities. The Senate passed the bill by an overwhelming vote of 92-5

    Other Activity

    Portman has been focused on opioids, the VA, jobs, and Habitat for Humanity this week. He has not, however, issued one word on common sense, gun safety legislation or how we reduce gun violence since the most recent school shooting.

     

  • Congressional Report: May 13-May 19, 2018 May 21, 2018 @ 2:51 pm

    Congressional Report: May 13-May 19, 2018

    Representative Turner

    Major Votes: None

    Other Activity

    5/15/18 Turner urges Pruitt and the EPA to publicly release toxicology study. Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces wrote to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and the White House calling for an immediate public release of a water contamination study conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

    The study, according to Politico’s reporting, identifies a new and significantly lower safe rate of chemicals in drinking water than the EPA has been adhering to. Previously, Military Times reported at least 126 military installations, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, found the chemicals at the subject of this study in their communities’ drinking water. Congress has already taken action to stop the Department of Defense from using these chemicals in the future.

    Senator Portman

    Major Votes

    5/17/18. Bill No. 1857. Portman voted  YEA for Gina Haskell to be Director of the CIA. The issue passed.

    5/16/18.  Bill SJ Res 52. Portman voted NAY on this joint resolution to restore Internet Neutrality.  The bill passed 52-47.  In this surprising vote on the 16th, the Senate voted to restore net neutrality thanks to a handful of Republicans joining Democrats in a last ditch effort. Thanks to Susan Collins {R} Maine, John Kennedy {R{ LA and Lisa Murkowski {R} Alaska, whose votes proved instrumental in this 52-47 vote.

    Senator Brown

    Major Votes

    5/17/18. Bill No. 1857. Brown voted NAY for Gina Haskell to be Director of the CIA. The issue passed.

    5/16/18.  Bill SJ Res 52. Brown voted YEA on this joint resolution to restore Internet Neutrality.  The bill passed 52-47.

  • 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.