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Congressional Report: July 29 – August 4, 2018

Representative Turner

Major Votes: None

Other Activity

July 29: On Facebook, Rep. Turner talked about his op-ed which called for the White House and Congress to work together with the international community for a permanent denuclearization plan for North Korea and verification mechanisms for such an agreement.

August 1: LOCAL TV INTERVIEWS. Twitter has an upload of his interview on WRGT FOX 45 and so does Youtube. He talked about the $182 million coming to WPAFB for a new building and to retain and expand the NASIC (National Air and Space Intelligence Center) program here. This is included in the NDAA passed by the Senate this week. Turner worked on the successful Conference Committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills. Also in the interview, he commented on the new stories about North Korea’s continued development of nuclear missiles and investment in weapons with which to threaten the United States. He supports use of sanctions and military capability in dealing with the problem. Lastly, he stated that he wanted information about the PFAS (per—and poly—fluoroalkyl sulfonate) made public so that an action plan can be developed. These are the chemicals of concern in a possible threat to the area’s drinking water.

Rep. Turner also appeared on Channel 2 WDTN in a similar interview with Mark Allan. He did add a discussion on foster care and the need for support for these children after they age out at 18. A huge number end up being homeless.

August 2-3: WPAFB SCARE. Rep. Turner praised the responders to the recent false alarm at WPAFB and is questioning the circumstances in which a gun was discharged during the perceived threat.

Senator Portman

Major Votes: 

Senator Portman voted yea for the NDAA and the Transportation Bill.

Other Activity

July 29: MEET THE PRESS. During an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Senator Rob Portman voiced strong support for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. He called him, “Incredible guy, humble, a good listener, compassionate.” He also said that he supported the current state of U.S. policy regarding Russia. On the Helsinki Summit, he voiced some concerns about “inconsistent public postures” toward Russia but thinks the administration is doing things policy-wise that are “appropriate and very tough.” He has questions about the sanctions and thinks they could be made more effective and targeted.

July 31: CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION. It was announced that Senator Portman and Kaine’s (D-VA) Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act to help insure students have access to quality CTE programs has been signed into law.

August 1: CYBER SECURITY. Senators Portman and Hassan (D-NH) introduced a bill, DHS Cyber Incident Response Teams Act, to bolster cybersecurity by requiring the Department of Homeland Security to make permanent the “cyber hunt” and “cyber incidence response” teams which help stop attacks on federal agencies and private sectors.

August 1: NDAA AND GLRI SUPPORT. In statements, the Senator praised the Senate passage of the NDAA Conference Report which includes funding for WPAFB’s NASIC and for the Abrams Tanks and Stryker Vehicles. In another matter, he also was very pleased to see that the Great Lakes Restorative Initiative will be fully funded. Portman and Brown work together closely on the GLRI.

August 1: TRADE AND TARIFFS. Along with (D-AL) Senator Doug Jones (yes, THAT Doug Jones), Senator Portman and Senator Ernst (R-IA) introduced the Trade Security Act to reform national security tariff processes and increase oversight by Congress. The bill is meant to address misuse of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and will require the Department of Defense to justify the national security basis for new tariffs and make sure American jobs and the U.S. economy are not needlessly harmed.

August 1: BLOOMBERG’S MARKETS: AMERICA. In an interview, the Senator discussed the newly introduced Trade Security Act and defended/lauded the Kavanaugh nomination. He also discussed improving Russian sanctions to increase pressure on that country for its actions, including the annexation of Crimea, the threat to eastern Ukraine, and the threat to our election security.

August 2: CNN INTERVIEW. Senator Portman appeared on AT THIS HOUR to discuss his Trade Security Act, the awesomeness of Kavanaugh, etc. He did say that the Mueller investigation was of importance in order to get to the bottom of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and to prevent such actions in future elections. He thinks the investigation should wrap up, however.

Senator Brown

Major Votes: 

Both the NDAA and the Transportation Bill were passed by the Senate. Brown supported both.

Other Activity

JULY 31: PAYDAY LENDING. Senator Sherrod Brown posted a strong, negative reaction to the Office of the Controller of the Currency’s (OCC) announcement that it will grant national charters to online money lenders. Their report recommends repealing the CFPB’s federal payday lending protections so that shady lenders will again have free rein. The charters will effectively repeal state efforts to regulate or supervise predatory lending.

AUGUST 1: CENTRAL STATE. Brown successfully inserted an amendment in the Senate Appropriations bill dealing with the U.S. Department of Agriculture funds in order to increase funding for the agricultural research at Central State and other historically black Land Grant colleges established in 1890.

AUGUST 1: AUTO INDUSTRY. Senator Brown announced that he has introduced legislation to support Ohio’s auto industry and keep auto jobs in the U.S. American Cars, American Jobs Act will give customers a $3500 discount when they buy cars made in the U.S. (that covers Ohio plants) and will revoke a special GOP tax cut on overseas profits for auto manufacturers that ship jobs overseas.

AUGUST 1: CFPB DIRECTOR NOMINEE. Watch the “Audio Video” recording on Brown’s website (under NEWS in the menu) to see Kathleen Kraninger’s evasive responses during questioning at her Senate Banking Committee hearing. She has no background in consumer protection or financial issues, according to Brown, and has not responded to several document requests.

AUGUST 1: GREAT LAKES RESTORATIVE INITIATIVE. Senator Brown has worked with Senator Portman on many aspects of this initiative. He was successful in securing $300 million for the GLRI, including $1.394 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $864 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. These monies will be in the final Senate bill for the appropriation of funds for the Department of Interior and the EPA.

AUGUST 1: TRANSPORTATION BILL. The Senate passed the Transportation Bill with provisions for investing in OSU bus testing, expanding autonomous vehicle testing sites, and promoting OSU’s Transportation Research Center (TRC) in West Liberty by adding it as a proving ground pilot site. Senator Brown was a leader in the fight for these funds.

AUGUST 1: TRANSPORTATION BILL, PART DEUX. The Senator was instrumental in securing $103 million in federal transportation funds for Ohio. The Transportation, Housing, & Urban Development appropriations bill passed the Senate and will provide significant federal investment in Ohio’s infrastructure: $94 million for roads and bridges; $9.3 for Ohio public transportation agencies; $1 billion for TIGER (will supply some funds for innovative transportation projects in communities in Ohio).

August 1: OHIO AND THE NDAA. Senator Brown secured the inclusion of $2.8 billion in the National Defense Authorization Act for Lima’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) programs. The bill passed this date and includes $363.4 million for Stryker Vehicle upgrades and modifications and $2.4+ billion for upgrades and modifications in Abrams Tanks. Also, due to his position on the NDAA Conference Committee, he helped write $13 million into the bill for use by Mansfield’s Air National Guard Base. Finally, he joined a bipartisan effort to include provisions to block national security threats posed through investments by China and other countries.

August 2: NDAA AND SERVICE MEMBERS. It was announced today that Senators Brown and Rounds (R-SD) succeeded in including language in the NDAA to help better connect service members with resources in order to secure a quality education and find good paying jobs as they transition to civilian life.

August 2: SNAP AND HEALTHY FOOD. Senator Brown secured $2.3 million in funds from the USDA for Produce Perks Midwest of Ohio. This will provide low income citizens on SNAP with funds to buy healthy local fruits and vegetables from almost 100 participating farmers’ markets in Ohio.

August 2: UNFAIR BANK OVERDRAFT FEES. Senators Brown and Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Stop Overdraft Profiteering Act of 2018 which will crack down on these exploitive fees.

August 3: LEAD POISONING. Senators Brown and Duckworth (D-IL) wrote to many administration officials asking for an update by August 8, on a promised new federal strategy to reduce childhood lead exposure. The update had been promised by June 2018.