Rob’s Rundown: Week of August 1 – August 5, 2022 – Senator Rob Portman

rob’s-rundown:-week-of-august-1-–-august-5,-2022-–-senator-rob-portman

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August 5, 2022

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Rob's Rundown

Senator Portman was back in Washington this week where he spoke on the Senate floor for the 20th consecutive session week regarding the situation in Ukraine. Senator Portman discussed the progress made over the last five months since Russia has waged its war against innocent Ukrainians. Portman laid out how Russia has a long history of oppressing Ukrainian identity, language, and culture going back hundreds of years, and how that oppression continues today in its brutal war against Ukraine. Heeding bipartisan calls from Congress, the United States has sent Ukraine over a dozen High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems or HIMARS to strike Russian forces from long distances. These weapons have been crucial to Ukraine’s attempts to slow Russia’s advance in the Donbas and to liberate territory in the south.

On Tuesday, Senator Portman joined FOX Business’ Cavuto: Coast to Coast to discuss the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Senator Portman, who visited Taiwan in April as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation, voiced his support for the visit. Portman also touched on the Democrats’ new tax and spending bill, which includes $326 billion in new taxes and is pro-inflationary. Portman explained that this is exactly the opposite of what Congress should be doing right now, with the country being in a recession.

On Tuesday evening, Senator Portman spoke on the Senate floor where he delivered remarks outlining the harmful consequences of the tax on manufacturing, or “book tax,” in the Democrats’ new reckless tax and spending proposal. Portman discussed his concerns with the new tax hike, including the fact that it undermines business investment and job creation and raises prices for working families already facing skyrocketing inflation.

On Wednesday afternoon, Senator Portman joined his fellow Senate Finance Committee Republicans at a press conference to discuss the Democrats’ new reckless tax and spend proposal, the Inflation Reduction Act – which will raise taxes for millions of lower and middle-income Americans amid high inflation and economic stagnation. Portman discussed his concerns with the new book tax proposed in this bill, which will place a massive burden on manufacturers all around the country – leading to a decrease in domestic business investment and job creation and an increase in prices for working families already facing skyrocketing inflation.

On Thursday, Senator Portman joined Senator Brown to ask unanimous consent for the Senate to pass their bipartisan, bicameral Susan Muffley Act, to restore retirement benefits to over 20,000 Delphi Salaried Retirees. Their request was blocked.

Also on Thursday, Portman along with Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), James Lankford (R-OK), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) introduced the bipartisan Border Patrol Enhancement Act to establish the Border Patrol Reserve and provide a much-needed pay raise to our Border Patrol agents during this current border crisis. This bill would create a 2,500 agent reserve force, increase the number of total Border Patrol agents to 20,500, and raise Border Patrol pay by 14 percent.

Senator Portman detailed his concerns with a new tax on manufacturing, or “book tax” in the Democrats’ latest reckless tax and spending bill in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. Portman discussed the far-reaching consequences of the tax on manufacturing in his op-ed, notably that about 200 American companies that employ nearly 20 million Americans will be affected by the book tax should it become law, which translates into lower wages at a time when wages are already struggling to keep up with inflation.

For a more detailed look at Senator Portman’s week, please see the following:

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Portman, Senate Colleagues Support Visit to Taiwan by Speaker Pelosi

Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman and 23 of his colleagues issued the following joint statement in support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stopping in Taiwan during her diplomatic trip to Asia.

“We support Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. For decades, members of the United States Congress, including a previous Speaker of the House, have traveled to Taiwan. This travel is consistent with the United States’ One China policy to which we are committed. We are also committed now, more than ever, to all elements of the Taiwan Relations Act.”

Joining Portman were Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Thune (R-SD), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jim Risch (R-ID), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Barrasso (R-WY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Todd Young (R-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Richard Burr (R-NC), John Boozman (R-AR), and Tim Scott (R-SC).

Portman, Brown Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Study Feasibility of Ohio’s Buckeye Trail Becoming a National Scenic Trail

U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation to authorize a feasibility study to determine if the Buckeye Trail – a more than 1,400 mile trail that circles the state of Ohio – is eligible to be designated as part of the National Scenic Trails System.

“The Buckeye Trail provides Ohioans from all across the state access to world-class outdoor recreation, whether it is in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Hocking Hills region, my home in Cincinnati, or in Northwestern Ohio,” said Senator Portman. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to see if the Buckeye Trail is eligible to become a National Scenic Trail, so that we may encourage Ohioans and Americans across the country to experience the beauty Ohio has to offer.”

“The Buckeye Trail is one of Ohio’s great treasures – extending across Ohio from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, from the farmland of northwest Ohio to the hills of Appalachia and the Bluegrass region of southwest Ohio,” said Senator Brown. “Establishing it as a National Scenic Trail and giving it national recognition will support our tourism economy and help maintain the trail for families across our state.”

“The Buckeye Trail Association enthusiastically supports The Buckeye National Scenic Trail Feasibility Act of 2022. Ohio’s Buckeye Trail maximizes outdoor recreation potential and conservation and enjoyment of the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, and cultural qualities by physically connecting, highlighting, and stewarding sites around the Buckeye State in one unified trail experience. The Buckeye Trail is inspiring and deserving of national consideration. We are pleased that Senators Portman and Brown have been inspired by the trail in their backyards that connects their constituents to the rest of the Buckeye State, and the National Trail System, to elevate Ohio’s treasure for consideration,” said Andrew Bashaw, Executive Director, Buckeye Trail Association.

The Buckeye Trail is located entirely within Ohio. The first 20 miles of the trail were dedicated in 1959 in Hocking County, and the trail was completed in 1980. The trail touches 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties, looping around the entire state, and is Ohio’s longest hiking trail. Each year, the Buckeye Trail welcomes more than four million visitors in the Hocking Hills region and an additional million visitors in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

On FOX Business, Portman Discusses Speaker Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan, Democrats’ Tax & Spending Spree

Senator Portman joined FOX Business’ Cavuto: Coast to Coast this afternoon to discuss Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Senator Portman, who visited Taiwan in April as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation, voiced his support of the visit, saying it is important to show leadership in the region and not back down in the face of China’s increasing aggression.

Senator Portman also touched on the Democrats’ new tax and spending bill, which includes $326 billion in new taxes and is pro-inflationary. Portman explained that this is exactly the opposite of what Congress should be doing right now, with the country being in a recession. This bill will inevitably burden American workers and consumers, who are already struggling due to record-high inflation, and does not address the inflationary mismatch between the demand and supply of our economy.

You can watch the interview here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Portman: Biden Administration’s New NEPA Rule is Wrong Approach in Face of Soaring Inflation

At a press conference yesterday, Senator Portman discussed his support for S.J. Res. 55, a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), to nullify the Biden administration’s new regulation, “National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Regulations Revisions”. These regulations, authored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), undermine important provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act intended to streamline key elements of our broken federal permitting process. Senator Portman served as the chief Republican negotiator for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which invested hundreds of billions of dollars in repairing, upgrading and modernizing our nation’s roads, bridges, ports, and included Portman’s Federal Permitting Reform and Jobs Act to make FAST-41 permanent, improve the federal permitting process for some of the largest infrastructure projects, and build on efforts to update this process created in 2015. 

A video of Senator Portman’s remarks can be found here.

On Senate Floor, Portman Discusses Tax on Manufacturing in Democrats’ “Inflation Reduction Act”   

Last night, U.S. Senator Rob Portman delivered remarks on the Senate floor outlining the harmful consequences of the tax on manufacturing, or “book tax,” in the Democrats’ new reckless tax and spending proposal. Portman discussed his concerns with the new tax hike, including the fact that it undermines business investment and job creation and raises prices for working families already facing skyrocketing inflation.

Senator Portman delivered remarks on the Senate floor last year when the Democrats were considering their original Build Back Better proposal, and will continue to discuss the harmful effects of the Democrats’ inflationary tax and spend policies that will only hurt Ohio families.

A video of Senator Portman’s remarks can be found here.

Portman Op-Ed for Wall Street Journal: “Schumer-Manchin Throws the Book Tax at U.S. Companies”

In a new Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Senator Portman, senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, details concerns with a new tax on manufacturing, or “book tax” in the Democrats’ latest reckless tax and spending bill. Portman discussed his concerns with the new tax hike, including the fact that it undermines business investment and job creation and raises prices for working families already facing skyrocketing inflation. Portman notes that the Democrats’ spending bill will negatively impact Americans in every tax bracket, with more than half the new taxes being levied on people making less than $400,000 a year, the threshold under which Democrats promised they would not raise taxes.

Portman discusses the far-reaching consequences of the tax on manufacturing in his op-ed, notably that about 200 American companies that employ nearly 20 million Americans will be affected by the book tax should it become law, which translates into lower wages at a time when wages are already struggling to keep up with inflation.

Read the full op-ed here.

At Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, Portman Presses Nominee on Role in U.S. Cyber Defense

Today during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) questioned Nathaniel Fink, nominee for Ambassador at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, about what his role would be in U.S. cyber defense organizational structure. In addition, Senator Portman highlighted the need for accountability for cybersecurity in the federal government to ensure a more effective national defense against cyberattacks. He has continuously called on the federal government to provide a single point of accountability for federal cybersecurity.

Earlier this year the Senate passed a landmark legislative package, the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act, authored by Senators Portman and Gary Peters (D-MI), as Ranking Member and Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to significantly enhance our nation’s ability to combat ongoing cybersecurity threats against our critical infrastructure and the federal government. The legislation combines language from three bills Portman and Peters authored and advanced out of their Committee – the Cyber Incident Reporting Act, the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2021, and the Federal Secure Cloud Improvement and Jobs Act. The combined bill will update current federal government cybersecurity laws to improve coordination between federal agencies, require the government to take a risk-based approach to cybersecurity, as well as require all civilian agencies to report all cyberattacks to CISA, and update the threshold for agencies to report cyber incidents to Congress.

A video can be found here.

Portman, Casey Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Invest in Children’s Mental Health

U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Bob Casey (D-PA) have introduced their bipartisan legislation Investing in Kids’ Mental Health Now Act (S.4747) – to address growing concerns surrounding children’s mental health in the United States.

To help address the severe toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children’s mental health, the bill provides pediatric mental health care providers with additional resources – a one-year Medicaid funding increase through an enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP). Pediatric mental, emotional, and behavioral health care providers serving Medicaid patients in participating states will have access to this funding.

“We have a duty to ensure that our nation’s children have the necessary resources to address any mental, emotional, or behavior issues they may experience,” said Senator Portman. “I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Casey, to address this gap in pediatric mental health funding, and hope my colleagues in the Senate will join us in this effort.”

“For many young people navigating mental health or substance use disorders, the pandemic exacerbated the everyday challenges they face. We owe it to our children to ensure they’re getting the mental health care they need as they navigate childhood and adolescence. This bill will break down barriers to mental health for children around the country,” said Senator Casey.

“We are in the midst of a behavioral health crisis among our youth and simply do not have the workforce or resources to meet demand. Investing in Kids' Mental Health is critical to the success of our children's future. We applaud Senators Portman and Casey for taking bipartisan action to support families in desperate need our help,” said Nick Lashutka, President & CEO, Ohio Children’s Hospital Association.

“Ohio's children are suffering from a mental health crisis; our emergency room overflows daily with kids that need help. For more than two decades, Senator Portman has been a champion in supporting pediatric mental health. On behalf of the team and patients at Cincinnati Children's, we are grateful that in his final months in office, he continues to put the children and families of Ohio first. Short term relief in the Medicaid program will have an immediate impact on patients, families and staff. Thank you, Senator Portman, for your action today and for your ongoing support,” said Steve Davis, MD, President & CEO, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.          

In addition, within one year of enactment, the legislation directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to:

  • Issue guidance on how to expand mental, emotional and behavioral telehealth services nationwide.
  • Issue guidance on best practices to support children in crisis or in need of intensive mental, emotional, or behavioral services.

Text of the bill can be found here. A one-pager can be found here.

At Press Conference, Portman Criticizes Democrats’ Latest Reckless Tax & Spending Spree

At a press conference earlier today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman joined his fellow Senate Finance Committee Republicans in discussing the Democrats’ new reckless tax and spend proposal – dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act” – which will raise taxes for millions of lower and middle-income Americans amid high inflation and economic stagnation. Portman discussed his concerns with the new book tax proposed in this bill, which will place a massive burden on manufacturers all around the country – leading to a decrease in domestic business investment and job creation and an increase in prices for working families already facing skyrocketing inflation.

A transcript of his remarks can be found below and a video can be found here.

On Senate Floor, Portman Highlights Russia’s Long History of Oppression of Ukraine, Ukrainian Artillery Strikes on Russian Forces, NATO Vote, & Urges Continued Support of Ukrainian People

This afternoon, U.S. Senator Rob Portman delivered remarks on the Senate floor in support of Ukraine for the 20th consecutive week before the Senate breaks for the August district work period, joining Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Portman discussed the progress made over these last five months that Russia has waged its war against innocent Ukrainians. Portman laid out how Russia has a long history of oppressing Ukrainian identity, language, and culture going back hundreds of years, and how that oppression continues today in its brutal war against Ukraine.

Heeding bipartisan calls from Congress, the United States has sent Ukraine over a dozen High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems or HIMARS to strike Russian forces from long distances. These weapons have been crucial to Ukraine’s attempts to slow Russia’s advance in the Donbas and to liberate territory in the south.

Senator Portman also highlighted his intent to vote to bring Finland and Sweden into NATO in defiance of Russia’s threats. As Co-Chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus and member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Portman has been a staunch defender of Ukraine and has spoken consistently on the Senate floor since before the Russian invasion began.

A transcript of his remarks can be found below and a video can be found here.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

On the Senate Floor, Portman Fights to Restore Retirement Benefits for Delphi Salaried Retirees

Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) asked unanimous consent for the Senate to pass their bipartisan, bicameral Susan Muffley Act. This legislation would restore retirement benefits to over 20,000 Delphi Salaried Retirees. Their request was blocked.

When General Motors (GM) filed for bankruptcy in 2009, the Obama administration terminated the pension plan for 20,000 Delphi salaried employees, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) then cut their retirement benefits by as much as 70 percent. This includes more than 5,000 retirees in Ohio. The PBGC assumed responsibility for the terminated benefits but could not pay an individual more than a statutory maximum benefit. Therefore, salaried retirees suffered significant losses to their benefits, with devastating impacts on many lives.

This bipartisan legislation would restore the terminated pensions, making these hardworking retirees whole. The bill would make up the difference between the pension benefits earned by Delphi Salaried Retirees and what they received following the GM bankruptcy in 2009. This means beneficiaries who have already begun receiving benefits will receive a lump sum payment of the difference between what was actually paid by PBGC and would have been paid without the limitations, plus six percent interest. Retirees may pay income taxes on this lump sum over three years to ease the tax burden. All beneficiaries will receive their full earned benefit amount moving forward.

A video can be found here.

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