On Monday, Senator Portman delivered remarks on the role of energy in giving Ohio and American manufacturers opportunities to grow and be more competitive at the groundbreaking of Timken Company’s $225 million expansion at its Faircrest Steel Plant in Canton.

Portman cosponsored the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, a measure that would reaffirm the United States’ “unwavering commitment” to Israel’s security and support for its right to self-defense. Portman also released a statement on Israel’s Independence Day, a day that should serve as a reminder of the unique kinship between our nations and a call to rise to the challenges that lie ahead. Portman met with students from the Jewish Federation of Cleveland to discuss the security issues facing Israel and the importance of standing beside our ally that has stood with us through decades of challenges.

Portman was glad to see that support for the American Centrifuge Project in Piketon, a project critical to our national security interests, is gaining momentum in both the House and Senate. Signaling support for the development of domestic enrichment technologies is what the Administration asked of Congress. Portman is now encouraging the Department of Energy to move forward with providing support in Fiscal Year 2012 for the effort. 

Portman released a statement on the postal reform vote, noting that “although Post Office closures have been tough for a lot of hardworking Ohio postal employees and the communities they serve, USPS as currently structured is losing billions of dollars every year, and it must be reformed to preserve this important public service while restoring long-term fiscal sustainability.”

While Portman believes reforms must be made, he could not support this version of the bill because it violated the Budget Control Act Congress passed last August. At a time of trillion-dollar deficits and a record $15 trillion debt, members of Congress at the very least must live by the spending restraint rules they put in place. 

Portman also issued a statement on the three-year anniversary of the failure of Senate Democrats to offer a budget, saying that during this time, the federal government has spent more than $10 trillion and pushed us more than $4 trillion further into the red. Working without a budget is no way to run a business and certainly no way to run the world's biggest government.

Portman joined a group of freshman Republican Senators in calling on President Obama to fulfill his commitment to modernize the U.S. nuclear complex and strategic delivery systems.  In a letter led by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and sent to the President, the senators noted that the Administration’s failure to commit to nuclear modernization, combined with the reductions mandated by New START, poses additional risk to U.S. and global security. 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging Senate leadership to take up the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000), authored by Portman and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The Portman-Shaheen bill would establish an energy efficiency strategy to increase the use of existing energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors of our economy.

Portman is urging his constituents to participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, an initiative to encourage people to safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs. With prescription drug abuse reaching epidemic proportions in Ohio and the U.S, we need to work together to fight this problem, which is why Portman is encouraging people to take advantage of this convenient opportunity to get rid of old or unnecessary prescription drugs before they fall into the wrong hands.

The National Take-Back Initiative will take place tomorrow from 10:00am - 2:00pm. You can find a collection site near you by visiting Portman’s website here. You can also listen to Senator Portman's public service announcement on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day here.

 

Sen. Rob Portman Talks To Right Turn

You can’t say the junior senator from Ohio isn’t in the center of the storm.

His immediate focus is on the budget, or rather the lack of one, in the Democratic-controlled Senate. “We’re in a time of trillion-dollar deficits and unsustainable debt. At a minimum, the American people deserve a budget.” He notes that at least President Obama sent up a budget, “although it was totally rejected [in the House] 414-0.” But the Senate Democrats, he points out, have no excuse.

The economic news today was grim, and Portman sees a connection between the government’s failure to get its fiscal house in order and the lousy economy. “We have a structural problem in our economy,” he asserts. He concedes that the president inherited a bad economy and that events in Iran and the European Union are factors, but he thinks the state of the economy “is in part due to self-inflicted wounds.”

He ticks off Obama’s policy failures in the past three years. “We are not doing tax reform.” He notes, “We have the highest [corporate tax] rate [in the world] and a complicated code. It is the same with individual rates.” On the spending side, he says, “Until we have some proof the president and Congress have a serious plan on spending, [the debt] will be a wet blanket on the economy.” He points to recent economic studies showing that excessive debt translates into a 1 to 2 percent drag on growth. And he points to the regulatory overreach and uncertainty in health care, energy and other sectors of the economy.

(“Sen. Rob Portman talks to Right Turn” by Jennifer Rubin. The Washington Post. April 20, 2012.)

 

Senators Moving To Stop Asian Carp

WASHINGTON, D.C. -

Scientists are worried the invasive Asian carp could starve out native fish in the Great Lakes, and lawmakers are sponsoring legislation to stop the carp from taking over.

When it comes to Asian carp legislation, the number 18 is important. There are 18 points of entry that lawmakers want protected, and they want it done in just 18 months.

"If the carp do get into the lake, as we have seen with zebra mussels, it is really difficult to get them out," says Ohio Senator Rob Portman.

That's why lawmakers are pushing the Army Corps of Engineers to speed up plans to permanently block Asian carp at all of the invasive species' potential entry points.

Lawmakers say shipping will continue while blocks to prevent Asian carp are put in place.

"It's a $7 billion industry, recreational and commercial. 450,000 go fishing in Lake Erie alone," Sen. Portman says.

(“Senators moving to stop Asian carp” by Jacqueline Policastro. ABC Toledo. April 24, 2012.)

 

Portman Bags Wild Turkey On First Day Of Season

Who says Rob Portman is too boring?

Hey, turkey season had barely started yesterday when he plugged a bird…

The Ohio Republican bagged his turkey at 6:45 a.m. in Guernsey County.

“Beautiful morning, great hunt,” Portman tweeted, then headed to Timken in Canton to meet with local business leaders. A spokesman confirmed that Portman, in fact, “got a beautiful bird.”

Portman said he cleaned the bird and plans to cook it when he can find time to gather some family or friends.

“They taste great,” he said.

(“Portman bags wild turkey on first day of season” by Jessica Wehrman. The Columbus Dispatch. April 24, 2012.)

 

Portman In Canton For Timken Expansion Announcement

CANTON, Ohio - …U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) joined Timken Company executives Monday morning to break ground on a $225 million expansion project at the Faircrest steel plant.

Timken announced last year a plan to increase specialty alloy steel production.

The expansion…will keep current jobs secure for the long term, according to Tim Timken, the chairman of the board.

"The more productive and profitable our steel business is, the more we'll invest in it going forward which could potentially increase employment, " Timken said.

During Monday's event, Kasich and Portman praised Timken for looking to the future.

"It also means a lot to suppliers. There are other companies, 1,800 I'm told, that are going to benefit from this expansion," Portman said.

(“Ohio Governor John Kasich in Canton for Timken expansion announcement” by Bob Jones. WEWS. April 23, 2012.)

 

You Can Help Save The 179th

An effort to save jobs at the 179th Airlift Wing is gaining momentum, but we need to keep up the pressure to let our legislators know we will not tolerate the flawed plan that has been proposed.

The U.S. Air Force is proposing the elimination of more than 800 positions at the 179th Airlift Wing and mothballing the C-27J program in Mansfield and other bases across the United States.

The planes already in service, as well as those still rolling of the assembly line, would be retired.

We are encouraged by the bipartisan support we've seen from our legislators. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has been particularly vocal in questioning the logic of the plan to scrap a taxpayer support military initiative that already has cost millions of dollars in favor of another even costlier and less effective program.

Our efforts to save jobs, ensure responsible government spending and protect our country is working. We must continue to push this effort forward.

(“You can help save the 179th” by Editorial Board. The Mansfield News Journal. April 23, 2012.)

 

$150M For Nuclear Plant Added To Bill

WASHINGTON — A proposed uranium enrichment plant received a boost Tuesday when a Senate subcommittee agreed to include $150 million in a federal spending bill for research and development at the plant, located about 90 miles southeast of Middletown.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he wants the Department of Energy to move forward with providing funding in fiscal 2012 for the plant despite the fact that Congress has yet to formally approve it.

“The agency can provide funding immediately through existing authorities, and I would urge them to do so before existing funding runs out and layoffs at the site begin,” he said.

(““$150M for nuclear plant added to bill” by Jessica Wehrman. The Dayton Daily News. April 26, 2012.)