Portman Participates in the First Annual Taft Day and Tours the William Howard Taft National Historic Site

September 14, 2018 | Press Releases

Portman’s Bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act Would Help Address the $2.1 Million Backlog in Long-Delayed Maintenance Projects for the William Howard Taft National Historic Site 

CINCINNATI, O.H. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) participated in the First Annual Taft Day breakfast celebrating the birthday of President William Howard Taft, the only U.S. president born and raised in Cincinnati. Following the breakfast celebration, Portman toured the William Howard Taft National Historic Site to see firsthand the $2.1 million in long-delayed maintenance needs at the site.

 Recently, Senator Portman introduced the Restore Our Parks Act, bipartisan legislation that would help address the nearly $12 billion backlog in long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service (NPS). The bill, which has been praised by key stakeholders, would establish the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund” from existing unobligated revenues the government receives from on and offshore energy development to fund deferred maintenance projects at NPS sites across the country.  Notably, the measure would help tackle the more than $100 million maintenance backlog at Ohio’s eight national park sites.  Specifically, the William Howard Taft National Historical Site has $2.1 million in unmet maintenance needs such as building renovations and infrastructure improvements. 

“Today I visited the birthplace of the only U.S. president born and raised in Cincinnati, the William Howard Taft National Historic Site, and was able to see firsthand the unmet maintenance needs that need attention.  While the house remains in good condition there are still infrastructure upgrades that must be made like repairing the roof and restoring the woodwork in the house,” said Portman. “I’m committed to protecting our parks and that’s why I recently introduced the bipartisan Restore Our Parks Act to help address the nearly $12 billion backlog of long-delayed maintenance projects at the National Park Service.  This includes more than $100 million in deferred maintenance at Ohio’s eight national parks, and $2.1 million here at the Taft National Historic Site. These parks are national treasures and we must do our part to ensure that these parks can be enjoyed for many generations to come.” 

Portman, a lifelong outdoorsman and a frequent visitor to Ohio’s national parks, has long been a leader in the U.S. Senate in efforts to protect our national parks. He is the author of the National Park Service Centennial Act, legislation signed into law in 2016 that authorizes the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund and the Second Century Endowment Fund, two public-private partnerships that are providing additional funding to help preserve our national parks for generations to come.  Last year, Portman received the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Champion Award for his work on the National Park Service Centennial Act. He has previously received the 2012 NPCA Centennial Award, the 2015 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award, and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Centennial Leader Award

Photos from the event are below: 

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