Congressional Report: May 6-May 12, 2018
Major Votes: None.
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.
Major Votes: None
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.
Major Votes: None
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.”