Congressional Report: February 25-March 3, 2018
February 27: Voted Yea on HR 1865. Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). This allows the government to prosecute websites which knowingly help or promote sex trafficking and will allow lawsuits against these websites. (backpage.com and similar sites are big targets of this bill). The bill passed 388-25. Now it is up to the Senate where it does have bipartisan support.
February 24: Turner, a member of the House Intelligence Committee stated in response to Adam Schiff’s (CA-28) memo release: “As I stated multiple times in the business meeting to release this memo, and as House Intel Democrats acknowledged and agreed five times in that meeting, Mr. Schiff’s memo does not disprove that politically funded documents were used as evidence in court. In this case, the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for dirt on its opponent, which was then used in a court as evidence to survey a citizen of the United States. This was an abuse of FISA. Politically funded documents from either side should not be used as evidence in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts.” HE CONVENIENTLY DOES NOT MENTION THAT THERE WAS OTHER EVIDENCE SCREAMING FOR A LOOK INTO CARTER PAGE’S ACTIVITIES. THIS OTHER EVIDENCE OFTEN PRE-DATED WHAT TURNER SAYS ARE OBJECTIONABLE DOCUMENTS.
February 26: The Senator touted his Ohio Tax Reform Tour on Bloomberg’s DAYBREAK AMERICA. It seems his tour consisted of visits to small Ohio businesses. He did not mention what the tax cuts will do to the deficit, the time limits on personal tax cuts for families and singles, or the cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that are coming because of the out-of-control deficits. On gun control, he stated: “I think that Congress will act, and I am a cosponsor of legislation to tighten the background checks.” He also mentioned the missed signs of trouble in Florida and the need to tighten up the enforcement side.
February 26: He and Sen. Murphy (D-CT) gave their support to the DOD and State Department’s Memorandum of Agreement to put into operation a Global Engagement Center (GEC) to counter foreign propaganda.
February 27: Sen. Portman and a large group of bipartisan Senators commended the House for passing SESTA to help fight online sex trafficking.
February 27: Portman introduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery (CARA) 2.0 Act to increase funding levels for programs started in the 2016 CARA.
February 27: Senator Sherrod Brown has succeeded in creating the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multi-employer Pension Plans. (50,000 Ohioans’ pensions are endangered.) On this day, Mitch McConnell appointed Senator Portman to the 16-member committee.
February 27: Portman joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in asking the Administration to immediately discharge outstanding federal student loans for fatally injured and permanently disabled Americans including veterans (this was part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).
March 3: Senator Portman announced on Twitter that he is Co-Chair of the International Conservation Caucus to protect threatened species. His activities need to be watched closely considering the recent Republican attacks on the environment and his usual strict adherence to the party line.