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Congressional Report: August 26-September 1, 2018

Senator Brown

Major Votes: None

Other Activity

August 27: ECOT SWINDLE LEGISLATION. Senator Brown introduced the Putting Students First Act which calls for federal funds recovered from ECOT (and any other sham online educational company) be returned to the school districts that lost that money instead of putting the recovered funds into the U.S. Treasury’s general fund. ECOT closed in January and had received more than $130 million in federal funds.

August 27: NAFTA RENEGOTIATIONS. In a statement, the Senator said the the agreement with Mexico is an “important step forward” but it still needs to be reviewed and work remains to be done in bringing Canada into it. He said this work is continuing and he is consulting closely with USTR Bob Lighthizer, the top trade negotiator. This statement was made before Trump blew up the talks with the Canadians.

August 27: CFPB RESIGNATION. Seth Frotman resigned his position as head of the office in charge of protecting student borrowers from predatory lenders and financial schemes in the $1.5 trillion student loan market. Frotman’s title was Student Loan Ombudsman and Assistant Director for the Office for Student and Young Consumers. “Shady lenders and predatory for-profit schools gained an ally at the CFPB while students lost their chief watchdog.”

August 28: HOT SCHOOLS. Senator Brown asked the Senate to turn attention to the School Building Improvement Act in response to several schools across Ohio and the nation having to close due to no air conditioning and excessive heat. The act would provide $100 billion in grants and construction bonds over 10 years and require American-made products be used. The grants may possibly create 1.9 million jobs nationally.

August 29: MONTGOMERY COUNTY WINS. As part of Senator Brown’s work on opioid addiction, he announced a $125,000 grant for the Montgomery County Prevention Coalition to implement community strategies to fight the drug crisis and prevent use by our youth.

August 27-30: IN-STATE MEETINGS. Ones of note included an August 27 Roundtable with Vets in Athens, a August 28 Roundtable with Vets in Columbus, and an August 30 Farm Bill Roundtable with farmers and stakeholders in Brown County. He also met with Ohio miners and teamsters to continue the push to protect Ohio pensions. This pension fight has gone on for years and affects 60,000 Ohioans and 1.3 million people nationally.

August 31: NAFTA, AGAIN. The Senator announced that he is still pushing for the best deal he can get for Ohio workers. “My number one priority is to stop Ohio jobs from moving overseas, and that’s what I continue fighting for as negotiations with Canada continue.”

August 31: LABOR DAY ADDRESS. Senator Brown gave the Weekly Democratic Address which seems appropriate considering the work he does in his fight for Ohio working people. See his website for links to the entire address.

Senator Portman

Major Votes: None

Other Activity

August 27: TRADE SECURITY ACT. The WALL STREET JOURNAL Editorial Board endorsed Portman’s bipartisan act which will reform tariff processes under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and increase congressional oversight. It would require the Department of Defense NOT the Department of Commerce to justify a national security basis for any new Section 232 tariff and would address concerns that misuse of the law will harm jobs and the economy.

August 27: IRS REFORM. CNBC wrote the Portman-Kerrey Op-Ed, “The Time is Now for IRS Reform.” This is in support of the bipartisan Protecting Taxpayers Act that Portman, Cardin (D-MD), and Kerrey (D-NE) have proposed. The op-ed states that this act would help restore taxpayers’ faith in our system.

August 28: KAVANAUGH. Senator Portman will introduce Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, September 4. Portman supports him 166.7%.

August 28: SENATOR MCCAIN. Senator Portman delivered remarks honoring the late Senator on the Senate floor. A video and transcript is available on his website. Also see his Facebook page, if interested.

August 28: RURAL LIFE. Senators Portman and Masto (D-NV) introduced a bill to support rural communities by promoting economic prosperity and quality of life and encouraging use of technological innovations to help these areas overcome many challenges. Expanding availability of the Internet is one example of help to be offered. The bill creates a Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development.

August 29: OPIOID FIGHT. Senator Portman announced that 25 Drug Free Communities grant recipients were awarded to communities in Ohio. The program, which is over 20 years-old, is meant to reduce substance abuse among the country’s youth.

August 30-31: ROUNDTABLES. The Senator held an opioid crisis roundtable in Rootstown (Portage County) on Thursday and one in Massillon on Friday.

Representative Turner

Major Votes: None

House is still in recess. They will be back in session September 4

Other Activity

August 31: CANCELLED PAY RAISES. To pay for the tax cuts that overwhelmingly favored the rich and ultra-rich, the chief executive is cancelling federal worker pay raises. They are “inappropriate.” According to the DAYTON DAILY NEWS, Rep. Turner said such actions are “shortsighted.” He wrote a letter to McConnell and Ryan stating that balancing the budget cannot be “on the backs of federal civilian employees” and that the country cannot afford to make the federal government a work place that is less attractive and less competitive when compared to the private sector (which very often offers higher pay).

August 31: WRIGHT MUSEUM. Rep. Turner attended a special event at Carillon Park in which a drape was pulled back to reveal the new official sign designating the John W. Berry Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center as the WRIGHT BROTHERS NATIONAL MUSEUM. No press releases were found since August 3. Last video posted on website was 4 weeks ago. Facebook photos date from August 15. He has had appearances and photo ops around the area for TV and the DDN.

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