Portman Statement on Senate Passing Final FY 2018 Appropriations Bill

March 23, 2018 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statement on the Senate passing the final FY 2018 appropriations bill. The legislation includes key Portman priorities, such as a significant increase in resources for our men and women in uniform and additional funding for the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima as well as the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo. Also included in the bill is approximately $3 billion in new funding to combat the opioid epidemic. Senator Portman recently introduced the CARA 2.0 Act to provide a road map for how these additional funds can be used effectively and build on the successes of his Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which became law in 2016.

“I am pleased that members of both parties came together to support this bill that funds our critical programs at home and abroad, addresses some of the most pressing issues facing our country, and avoids a government shutdown. The bill provides much needed resources for our men and women in uniform, increases our tools to combat the opioid epidemic gripping Ohio, protects our natural resources like the Great Lakes and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, and makes common-sense changes to strengthen the background check system for firearm purchases—helping to protect our schools, children, and communities without infringing on Second Amendment rights. This legislation includes a significant number of key wins for Ohio, and I’m pleased it was the product of bipartisan consensus.”

Below are Senator Portman’s statements on some of his priorities included in the final FY 2018 appropriations bill:

Portman on New Opioid Funding

“This is good news for Ohio and good news for the millions of Americans who continue to struggle with addiction. One of our goals in introducing CARA 2.0 was to provide appropriators with a road map for how best to increase funding for evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery programs that work. I’m particularly pleased that the bill includes $60 million for states to develop an infant plan of safe care to help newborns exposed to opioids and their families. This is what we asked for in CARA 2.0, and I am thankful that appropriators addressed our concerns on this issue. I’m also pleased that there is $500 million for the National Institutes of Health to further research opioid addiction and new non-addictive pain therapies. We are making progress in increasing resources for CARA programs that we know work, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on important legislation like CARA 2.0, the STOP Act, and other common-sense solutions to effectively respond to this crisis.”

Portman on Increased Funding to Upgrade Abrams Tanks and Modernize Stryker Vehicles

“The final FY 2018 appropriations bill recognizes the harsh realities of the threats we face in the world and the steps we need to take to confront them. We must invest in our men and women in uniform and give them the tools they need now and in the future to do their jobs. I’m pleased the final FY 2018 appropriations bill funds an important down payment on those needed investments. 

“The newest Abrams tank and the modernized Stryker vehicle are a few of those vital investments. Countries around the world, including potential adversaries, continue to invest in armor and anti-armor systems that challenge the strength and supremacy of our armor brigades. The newest Abrams tank, designed to combat these advancements, has started coming off the line at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima. As the Army plans to continue to grow their armor formations, the increased production funded in this bill will be enormously important. It’s also vital that we will continue to field improved Stryker vehicles to our soldiers in Europe and elsewhere. These upgrades will improve the survivability of our soldiers and enhance their battlefield effectiveness. 

“I am pleased that the final FY 2018 appropriations bill supports the skilled JSMC employees and in turn, the Lima area. Combined with the proposals we have seen in the FY 2019 president’s budget, I believe it will make a difference for our military and allow JSMC to continue assisting our men and women in uniform.”

Portman on $15 Million for New Toledo Air Base Hangars

This is a huge win for the Airmen of the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo who are carrying out one of our nation’s most important homeland defense missions: protecting our skies through the Aerospace Control Alert (ACA). Defending the homeland remains the number one national security mission for our military, so it is critical that the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo has the best resources available. The current ACA hangars are outdated and don’t provide the protection needed for the aircraft and the airmen maintaining them. Now that the final FY 2018 appropriations bill has provided the funding to replace these outdated hangers, the men and women serving our country in Toledo will be able to better perform their critical national security mission. I look forward to returning to the 180th soon to see these hangars fully operational.”

Portman Statement on Bipartisan Background Check & School Safety Legislation

“I’m pleased that the final FY 2018 funding bill includes two bipartisan initiatives I’ve cosponsored to provide common-sense reforms to strengthen the federal background check system and improve school safety. We need to improve our background check system—that means requiring federal agencies to share terror data on individuals attempting to buy a firearm and ensuring relevant records, for mental health and more, are included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System in a timely manner. The bill also provides more federal resources for school counselors, alarm systems, security cameras, and crisis intervention training to better protect America’s schools and children. These bills will improve overall safety for all Americans while protecting our Second Amendment rights.”

Portman on Provisions to Counter Russian Influence, Support Allies

The inclusion of this important bipartisan legislation is an important step in holding Russia accountable for its aggression against U.S. allies and its efforts to undermine faith in our democratic institutions and values. Russia’s destabilizing actions must have consequences, and with this legislation, we are fully funding $250 million from the International Affairs budget to counter Russian disinformation, corruption, and malign influence. This effort sends a clear signal that the United States will stand up for its allies and interests and hold Russia accountable for its behavior. I am particularly pleased about the boost this funding will provide to the Global Engagement Center, which will now be better able to resource some of its programs countering Russian disinformation.”

Portman on Full Funding for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

“The Great Lakes are an invaluable resource to Ohio, and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a successful public-private partnership that helps protect both our environment and our economy. I am pleased that the final bipartisan funding agreement fully funds this critical program, and I will continue to work to protect and preserve Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes.” 

Portman on Language to Protect Cleveland Harbor from Toxic Sediment, Prevent Asian Carp from Entering Great Lakes

“I am pleased that this bill requires the Corps to make every effort to complete its Chief’s Report on the Brandon Road Study by February 2019. As co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, I have urged the Corps to complete this study to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes, which is critical to protecting the Great Lakes’ $7 billion fishing industry.  In addition, the Cleveland Harbor project is vital to all of Ohio and we must ensure that the dredged material is not inappropriately disposed of by dumping it into Lake Erie without approval by Ohio EPA. I will continue to fight to protect the health and ecosystem of the lake while ensuring that the shipping channel is fully dredged, which supports thousands of jobs in the region.”

Portman on Funds for Cleanup of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant

“The cleanup and redevelopment of this plant is critical for jobs, economic development, and the future of Southern Ohio, and I’m pleased to announce this funding is in the final FY 2018 appropriations bill.  The barter program has resulted in funding uncertainty for the cleanup of the Piketon site, and is not a long-term solution. I’m committed to ensuring there are sufficient resources for the cleanup work at Portsmouth and am pleased that Secretary Perry is committed to supporting long term, stable funding for Piketon.  I want to thank Secretary Perry for keeping his commitments thus far, including visiting the site with me last fall, committing to its cleanup, and reconsidering the Obama administration’s decision to end the domestic uranium enrichment demonstration program.  I will continue to work with my colleagues and the administration to secure the funding necessary to get the site cleaned up and ready for redevelopment.”

Portman on Tax Provisions to Support U.S. Agriculture

“I am pleased that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle worked together to make this change and support our agriculture industry. When Congress worked through last year’s historic tax reforms, our intent was to help companies of all sizes across all industries to hire more workers, make new investments, and grow their businesses. With this change, American farmers selling their crops and those who buy from them will benefit equally under the law, making good on our promise to help American businesses—be they farms or factories—to compete and succeed on the global stage.”