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Congressional Report: Sept. 17-21, 2018

Senate – Sept. 17
Roll call vote on the Opioid Crisis Response Act which will implement more than 70 bipartisan proposals to “provide for opioid use disorder prevention, recovery, and treatment, and for other purposes.” The bill was originally passed by the House as H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. Both Sen. Brown and Sen. Portman voted in favor as this legislation passed 99-1.

Roll call vote on Senate bill 2554 which will “ensure that health insurance issuers and group health plans do not prohibit pharmacy providers from providing certain information to enrollees.” If this bill becomes law, pharmacists cannot be prohibited from informing consumers if they could save money by paying out-of-pocket rather than using their insurance. Both Sen. Brown and Sen. Portman voted in favor as this legislation passed 98-2.

Senate – Sept. 18
Approved by voice vote with an amendment: H.R. 46 – To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of Fort Ontario in the State of New York. Approved by voice vote: H.R. 698 – To require a land conveyance involving the Elkhorn Ranch and the White River National Forest in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes.

Approved by voice vote with an amendment: H.R. 1551 – To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the credit for production from advanced nuclear power facilities.

By a vote of 93-7, the Senate agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 6157 – Making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes. Both Sen. Brown and Sen. Portman voted in favor.

Approved by voice vote: S. 3479 – To amend title 38, United States Code, to extend certain expiring provisions of law administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.

Kavanaugh nomination
Sen. Brown has announced he will oppose this nomination.

Sen. Portman expressed his disappointment on Monday with the decision by the Senate Democrats “to [withhold] this information until the 11th hour, after all the scheduled hearings and within days of the final Judicial Committee vote.” On Wednesday, he said, ”I think we need to have a committee hearing that reviews these allegations, allowing [Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser] to be heard in a fair and respectful manner.”

Sen. Brown on Twitter:
This week Sen. Brown expressed his concern for those affected by Hurricane Florence and his thanks to those who are providing relief. He celebrated the passage of the CRIB Act which he and Sen. Portman co-sponsored. If this bill becomes law, Brigid’s Path here in Dayton will benefit. He also applauded the passage of the STOP Act, co-sponsored by Brown and Portman, which is intended to keep dangerous drugs out of the US. He expressed his concern about changes that remove lending protections for military personnel, about Navy veterans who are not yet receiving benefits related to exposure to Agent Orange, and about Wells Fargo’s plan to cut more that 26,000 jobs after the bank received significant tax cuts. And finally he celebrated the passage of the bill that will potentially cut drug costs by ending the “gag order” that prevented pharmacists from sharing information about costs and also the signing into law of the bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Portman that will protect Lake Erie. (@SenSherrodBrown)

Sen. Portman on Twitter
Sen. Portman also celebrated the passage of the STOP Act (about 25 times!) and the signing into law of provisions that will fund the cleanup of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, expedite facilities upgrades at Wright-Part, fund new facilities for the Ohio National Guard, and upgrade the Abrams tank and Stryker Vehicle manufacturing plant in Lima. Like Sen. Brown he applauded the protections for Lake Erie. He also mentioned “more good economic news” from Bloomberg News, his “very productive” tele-town hall” on Sept. 19, his support for the Pell Dual Enrollment programs that will benefit low-income students, his support for the Migratory Birds of the Americas Conservation Act, his support for the Responsibility for Unaccompanied Minors Act, and finally his support for the Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act that was signed into law earlier this year. (@senrobportman)

Rep. Turner on Twitter
Rep. Turner wished the U S Air Force a happy 71st birthday this week. He was interviewed on Fox News and Fox Business, and Bloomberg Radio and made comments on the International Day of Peace. You can watch those comments:

On Friday he presented a $5,725,000 check to the Dayton RTA to replace its old electric buses with new electric ones. (@RepMikeTurner)

The House was not in session this week.

Legislation to watch:
Violence against Women Act, HR 6545, is up for reauthorization.

Section 9101of the House Farm Bill cuts SNAP benefits and also restricts local communities from banning local use of dangerous pesticides.