Rob’s Rundown: Week of December 9 – December 13, 2019

December 13, 2019 | Rob's Rundown

This week, Senator Portman delivered remarks on the Senate floor highlighting the economic benefits of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement, which will strengthen our economy and support American workers, farmers, and manufacturers. Portman supports the USMCA because it will create new jobs, expand opportunities for agricultural trade, encourage new opportunities for auto jobs in America, and add a new section on digital trade to make online sales easier. Portman has actively called for Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats to bring USMCA to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and he released a statement earlier this week after a deal was reached to bring USMCA to a vote in the House.

In addition, Portman issued a statement following the announcement of a phase one trade agreement between the United States and China. He looks forward to reviewing the specifics, as this is a promising step towards addressing the inequities and imbalances in our trade relationship with China.

Also, Portman announced that the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report will include $120.9 million in funding to upgrade the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; $1.7 billion for Abrams tanks and $917 million for Stryker vehicles which will increase production at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima. The FY 2020 NDAA also includes the Otto Warmbier Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea (BRINK) Act, which Portman co-sponsored, to strengthen and expand mandatory sanctions on foreign banks and companies that facilitate illicit financial transactions for North Korea.

Finally, Portman introduced bipartisan legislation to address the national housing crisis crippling millions of Americans who are struggling to rise into the middle class. The Eviction Crisis Act will shed light on the root causes of the eviction crisis, reduce preventable evictions, and limit the devastation to families when eviction is unavoidable.

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

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Portman Statement on the Agreement to Vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Portman issued the following statement on the agreement reached today to bring the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to a vote in the U.S House of Representatives: 

“I’m pleased to see that U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer and Speaker Pelosi have reached an agreement on USMCA, paving the way for a vote in the House of Representatives. This long-awaited agreement is a significant improvement over the status quo of NAFTA. By opening more markets, it is good for American workers, farmers, and manufacturers, and it will create thousands of new jobs here in the United States.  

“Ohio’s two top trading partners are Canada and Mexico. The new USMCA is particularly good for Ohio by expanding market access for Ohio farm products and incentivizing more auto production in Ohio, and making online sales easier for Ohio companies. 

“This agreement has been the result of painstaking bipartisan negotiations over the past year, and would not have been possible if not for the willingness of President Trump to work patiently with Democrats to get something done that he knew was in the best interests of American workers, farmers and manufacturers. I applaud President Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer for their persistence and their determination to finalize this historic new trade agreement.  I encourage all of my colleagues in the House and Senate to approve USMCA.  A vote for USMCA is a vote for improved market access, more U.S. manufacturing, and a more level playing field for American workers, farmers, and service providers. After USMCA is passed by the House, I’m confident that the Senate will approve it as well.”

How Senator Portman Has Worked to Preserve and Protect the Environment

Portman continues to be a leader in Washington in bipartisan efforts to protect and preserve the environment.  Whether it is promoting energy efficiency legislation, protecting our national parks, or improving the health of Lake Erie and the Great Lakes, Portman continues to deliver results for Ohio.

Here’s a brief summary of Portman’s record of delivering results this Congress that help protect and preserve our environment.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

On CNBC, Portman Highlights Importance of Passing USMCA to Strengthen Economy & Create Jobs

In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Senator Portman highlighted the economic benefits of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement, which will strengthen our economy and support American workers, farmers, and manufacturers. Portman supports the USMCA because it will create new jobs, expand opportunities for agricultural trade, encourage new opportunities for auto jobs in America, and add a new section on digital trade to make online sales easier. Portman has actively called for Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats to bring USMCA to a vote in the House and he released a statement yesterday on the announcement that a deal has been reached to bring USMCA to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.  

Senator Portman also discussed upcoming impeachment proceedings against President Trump in the Senate and that he plans to listen to both sides as a juror on the case, but based on what has been presented there is nothing that rises to the level of impeachment. Portman believes that impeachment overturns an election and is the most extreme measure possible. Meanwhile in Ohio, early voting in the presidential primary begins mid-February and the general election is less than a year away, so those who want to remove the president from office should do it through the democratic election process. In the meantime, Portman believes Congress should get back to passing bipartisan legislation on pressing issues facing Americans like the job-creating USMCA trade agreement.

Excerpts of his interview can be found here and a video can be found here.

Portman, Finance Committee Senators Statement after Briefing on Multiemployer Pension Problems

Senate Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy Chairman Portman and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown and Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Ron Wyden issued the following joint statement after Finance Committee members received a bipartisan briefing on the health of multiemployer pensions plans.  

Today’s briefing affirms the concerns we’ve all had about the health of some multiemployer pension plans. More than 100 funds are expected to become insolvent in the next 10 to 20 years, putting the financial security of over one million workers and retirees in jeopardy and hurting our economy by potentially forcing thousands of small businesses to close. It’s a financial crisis stemming from economic shocks, declining membership in some plans, and the so-called orphan liabilities left by employers who withdrew from plans without paying their full share of the liabilities. 

“There are hundreds of thousands of Americans whose retirement security is at risk because of these problems. We take the issue very seriously and are working to find a bipartisan solution that puts plans at risk of failure on a secure financial footing and protects the structure that insures them so retirees get the benefits they earned.” 

This morning, Senate Finance Committee members were briefed by government experts, including the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation (PBGC)—which is the federal government entity that insures pension plans.

National Association of Attorneys General Endorse Portman’s FIGHT Fentanyl Act to Help Stop Deadly Fentanyl Overdoses

All 56 state and territorial attorneys general issued a letter endorsing Portman’s bipartisan Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act.  

In February 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a temporary scheduling order to criminalize fentanyl-related substances that has allowed federal law enforcement authorities to bring criminal actions against individuals who manufacture, distribute, or handle fentanyl-related substances. This scheduling order is set to expire on February 6, 2020. Portman’s bipartisan FIGHT Fentanyl Act will permanently list fentanyl-related substances as criminally scheduled drugs.     

“I appreciate Ohio Attorney General Yost and Michigan Attorney General Nessel leading all of our country’s attorneys general in urging Congress to pass the FIGHT Fentanyl Act, my bipartisan legislation to permanently criminalize fentanyl-related substances in the United States,” said Portman. “Fentanyl knows no zip code and is devastating individuals and families all across the country. This bipartisan legislation is vital to our efforts to keep fentanyl out of our communities and I urge my colleagues in Congress listen to our attorneys general and join in supporting this common-sense legislation.”

Portman Announces NDAA Conference Report Includes Funding for Wright Patterson Air Force Base’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center

Portman announced the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report will include $120.9 million in funding to upgrade the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Last year’s NDAA conference report authorized $182 million for the modernization effort at NASIC.  This measure, which is expected to pass the Senate in the next week, authorizes the remaining $120.9 million to finish construction. NASIC’s main campus facilities are overcrowded and require modernization to meet today’s missions. With significant total force growth that has outpaced their facility growth, NASIC has been forced to utilize antiquated World War II-era facilities on base and temporary structures. This investment in NASIC infrastructure will provide the command with much-needed secure spaces that meet the demands of the growing workforce and the associated information technology requirements of modern facilities. The bill is expected to pass both chambers later this week. Once passed by the Senate, the conference report will head to the president’s desk for signature. Portman released the following statement: 

“I am pleased the Senate conference report will support the mission of NASIC and Wright-Patt by providing the funding they need to continue to upgrade their facilities and do their important work. I believe it will make a difference to our Airmen and Air Force Civilians at Wright-Patt and to our troops around the world who rely on NASIC for accurate and timely intelligence. I’ve had the opportunity to visit the base and meet with the men and women serving in the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. I’ve seen firsthand NASIC’s most recent military construction project for their Foreign Military Exploitation mission, as well as some of the groundbreaking analysis they are doing to keep our skies and our country safe from foreign threats. However, I also saw many of our intelligence professionals performing highly technical, 21st-century work in World War II-era facilities. NASIC plays a critical role in helping the leadership of our country understand foreign threats to U.S. air and space operations and deserves modern facilities reflective of its work.”

Portman Announces NDAA Conference Report Includes Sanctions Against North Korea

Portman announced that the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report includes the Otto Warmbier Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea (BRINK) Act to strengthen and expand mandatory sanctions on foreign banks and companies that facilitate illicit financial transactions for North Korea. This will hold North Korea accountable for their actions and human rights abuses against Cincinnati-native Otto Warmbier as well as other illegally held prisoners. Portman traveled to the demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea earlier this year and invoked the memory of Otto Warmbier on several occasions, including in the demilitarized zone, with South Korean government officials, and with a North Korean defector, with whom he met to discuss North Korean human rights abuses. Portman is a cosponsor of the Otto Warmbier BRINK Act along with Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). The conference report is expected to pass the Senate in the next week. 

This bipartisan sanctions legislation will help hold North Korea accountable for their actions and human rights abuses against Cincinnati-native Otto Warmbier, who would have turned 25 tomorrow, as well as others they’ve illegally held captive. I’m glad these sanctions were included in the NDAA conference report and we must continue to work together to confront the threat that North Korea poses. Fred and Cindi Warmbier and their family have been through so much.  I’m proud to be their friend and support their efforts to hold North Korea accountable and ensure that Otto is never forgotten.”

Portman Announces NDAA Conference Report Includes Funding for Abrams Tanks and Stryker Vehicles

Portman announced the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report, which includes $1.7 billion in funding to upgrade 165 Abrams tanks, will increase the production of the upgraded Abrams tanks at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima in order to ensure that our forward deployed soldiers have tanks with the most cutting-edge capabilities. The bill, which is expected to pass the Senate in the next week, also includes $394 million for upgrading Stryker Vehicles and $523 million for purchasing 152 top of the line Stryker A1 Vehicles.  Portman has been a strong advocate for both Lima and the Abrams and Stryker programs, ensuring that our men and women of the military have the best and most lethal weapons systems while keeping good, high-paying jobs in Lima. The bill is expected to pass both chambers later this week. Once passed by the Senate, the conference report will head to the president’s desk for signature. Portman released the following statement: 

“This funding is a big win for Lima and the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, which supports our troops both at home and around the globe. The newest Abrams tank is a vital investment for our soldiers to meet the realities highlighted in the latest National Defense Strategy and they come off the line at JSMC in Lima. This increased funding will ensure that more tanks are upgraded at Lima and get to our forward deployed soldiers. This is a significant improvement when not long ago the workforce was only funded for one tank per month. This is important for our armored formations and for Lima and its irreplaceable workforce.”  

“I am also pleased the NDAA conference report will increase funding for producing Stryker A1 vehicles and upgrading older vehicles to the A1 standard. This authorization will help provide long-term stability to the industrial base and ensure our soldiers are rapidly provided with the most capable and survivable vehicle coming off the line.”  

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Portman, Bennet Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Tackle the Eviction Crisis

Senators Portman and Michael Bennet introduced the Eviction Crisis Act to address the national housing crisis crippling millions of Americans who are struggling to rise into the middle class. The bipartisan legislation will shed light on the root causes of the eviction crisis, reduce preventable evictions, and limit the devastation to families when eviction is unavoidable. 

“Stable housing is a vital part of getting people back on their feet. I’ve long worked on efforts to address homelessness and increase the supply of housing and I’m proud to partner with Senator Bennet on this new bipartisan initiative. This legislation will help prevent avoidable evictions, reduce homelessness, and make it easier for people to escape poverty by keeping a roof over their heads,” said Senator Portman.

Portman on Passing USMCA: “The United States of America Will Have Another Victory”

Portman delivered remarks on the Senate floor highlighting the economic benefits of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement, which will strengthen our economy and support American workers, farmers, and manufacturers. Portman supports the USMCA because it will create new jobs, expand opportunities for agricultural trade, encourage new opportunities for auto jobs in America, and add a new section on digital trade to make online sales easier. Portman has actively called for Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats to bring USMCA to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and he released a statement earlier this week after a deal was reached to bring USMCA to a vote in the House.

“[USMCA] is a good agreement, good for jobs, good for small business…good for farmers, good for workers, good for our economy. It’s important we get it done,” said Portman. “I’m glad that the House is going to go ahead and vote on it here in the next week. I wish we could vote here in the Senate right away, too, but under the process called Trade Promotion Authority, we do have some process we need to go through so probably best to have it happen after the holidays. But right after the holidays my hope is that here on the floor of the United States Senate that members look at this for what it is. This is not a Democrat or a Republican victory. This is an American victory. And again I appreciate the efforts of President Donald Trump because he was persistent and tough in the negotiation and then he was persistent and patient in working with the U.S. Congress…And as a result, we now have the ability on a bipartisan basis to get this done.” 

A transcript of his remarks is here and a video can be found here:

Portman Statement on Phase One Trade Agreement With China

Portman issued the following statement on the announcement of a phase one trade agreement between the United States and China: 

“I’m encouraged by the news that the Trump administration has reached an agreement in principle with China on a phase one trade pact. I applaud President Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer for their resolve and steadfast efforts to ensure our workers have a level playing field with China and protect the interests of the American people. This week, between the USMCA and this tentative trade agreement, we have demonstrated that America is a partner that can get to yes on a challenging trade agreement. While I look forward to reviewing the specifics, this is a promising step towards addressing the inequities and imbalances in our trade relationship with China. I’m pleased to see that tariffs and penalties will be reduced as a part of this agreement. However, if China does not comply with this agreement, the administration has the ability to reapply tariffs.  I will continue to work with the administration and support their efforts to fight for American workers and strengthen our economy.”

Friday, December 13, 2019

Portman, Brown, Turner, Beatty Letter Urges House & Senate Appropriations Committee Leaders to Extend Funding for Dayton’s National Aviation Heritage Area

U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown and Representatives Michael Turner and Joyce Beatty sent a letter to U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and U.S. Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations, requesting the inclusion of an authorization to extend Dayton’s National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA) in the final appropriations package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. Senators Portman and Brown recently introduced legislation to reauthorize funding for Dayton’s National Aviation Heritage Area (NAHA) through FY2022.

NAHA spans eight counties throughout western Ohio, with a large presence in Dayton, the home of the Wright Brothers. There are a variety of cultural sites within the NAHA, including the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park, Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Huffman Prairie Flying Field, and Grimes Flying Field, as well as resources related to the Wright Brothers.

“The National Aviation Heritage Area has over 2 million visitors per year, generating $35 million dollars in economic impact and supporting 1,500 jobs in the area. Additionally, the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, the management entity of the National Aviation Heritage Area, has consistently exceeded the overall 50 percent match requirement,” the Members wrote. “We therefore urge you to include a reauthorization of the National Aviation Heritage Area in a final appropriations package so that it can continue to be a successful public-private partnership that preserves America’s aviation heritage and enriches local communities through economic development and education.

As of April 2018, the National Aviation Heritage Area has more than two million visitors annually, generating $35 million in economic impact and supporting 1,500 jobs in the region.

Read the full letter here.

Portman, Brown Release Video Alerting Ohioans of REAL ID October 2020 Deadline

Senators Portman and Brown released a joint video informing Ohioans of the upcoming October 1, 2020 deadline to obtain a REAL ID to travel domestically as well as enter any federal building or military installation that requires an ID. The REAL ID is a federally compliant state ID card as required by the REAL ID Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005 and enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”  

To obtain a REAL ID at Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) locations, Ohioans will need to prove the following: full legal name, date of birth, proof of U.S. legal presence, Social Security number, proof of address, legal name change (if applicable). 

Watch the video here.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

 

Trump Aides and Democrats Agree on Trade Pact With Mexico and Canada

The White House and House Democrats reached an agreement to strengthen labor, environmental, pharmaceutical and enforcement provisions in President Trump’s North American trade pact, a significant development that made it all but certain that the signature trade deal would become law.

The agreement on a revised United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was announced on Tuesday by Speaker Nancy Pelosi after months of negotiations, handing Mr. Trump one of his biggest legislative victories less than an hour after she unveiled articles of impeachment.

Ms. Pelosi went from a news conference on impeachment to another on the trade deal, where she and top Democrats, including Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, pointed to concessions they had secured in closed-door negotiations with the administration.

“We’re declaring victory for the American worker,” Ms. Pelosi said. “It is infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.”

The timing of the handshake agreement offers Mr. Trump a crucial victory to promote on the campaign trail during his re-election bid and House Democrats tangible proof that they are able to legislate while preparing to vote on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against the president.

Mr. Trump, who spent weeks blaming Ms. Pelosi for standing in the way of a trade deal that he said would help workers, played up the progress and suggested the House speaker did so to “smother the impeachment crap.”

“We’ve been waiting a long time for Nancy Pelosi to announce U.S.M.C.A.,” he said at a rally on Tuesday night in Hershey, Pa. “And she did it on the same day that they announced that they are going to impeach the 45th president of the United States, and your favorite president.”

In a statement, Mr. Trump’s top trade adviser, Robert E. Lighthizer, called the announcement a victory for Mr. Trump.

“After working with Republicans, Democrats, and many other stakeholders for the past two years, we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers and ranchers for years to come,” he said.

Ms. Pelosi repeatedly rebuffed Republican suggestions that Democrats had timed the announcement to try to minimize any negative fallout from the impeachment proceedings.

“Not any one of us is important enough to hold up a trade agreement that is important for American workers,” she said.

The administration agreed with Canada and Mexico on revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement one year ago, but the deal requires the approval of Congress, including the Democratic-controlled House. Ms. Pelosi and her colleagues have used that vote as leverage to secure long-sought policy changes to a long-maligned trade deal.

“Make no mistake,” Representative Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, said Tuesday. “This is a Democrat’s agreement that we fought for, and it’s going to be the template going forward for writing new trade agreements.”

Ms. Pelosi was more candid in a private meeting with her caucus on Tuesday morning. “These have been the fights,” she said, referring to the changes they secured. “And we stayed on this and we ate their lunch.”

Mr. Neal, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said he remained hopeful that the House could vote on the agreement before the end of the year. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said that the Senate would not bring the deal for a vote before Dec. 20, when lawmakers are scheduled to leave for a holiday break.

“That’ll have to come up, in all likelihood, after a trial is finished in the Senate,” he said, referring to the impeachment proceedings.

Among the biggest victories was an agreement to remove intellectual property protections for the pharmaceutical industry, which Democrats warned could undermine efforts to make health care more affordable. Democrats also persuaded the White House to strengthen the deal’s enforcement provisions, and obtained commitments to ensure Mexico is adhering to labor reforms.

Those changes were critical to winning the support of labor unions, including the influential AFL-CIO, which endorsed the revised pact just moments before Ms. Pelosi’s announcement.

In fact, the deal addressed so many of the Democrats’ concerns that some Republicans appeared skeptical of the final agreement and suggested that Mr.  Lighthizer had given away too much.

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, voiced concern that Mr. Lighthizer had potentially spent more time talking with House Democrats than Republicans on the final product. And Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania and one of the most ardent critics of the deal, railed against both the original deal and the new changes, including the removal of the pharmaceutical provision.

“It’s clearly moved way to the left,” Mr. Toomey told reporters. “It seemed to be just a one-way direction in the direction of Democrats.”

The changes must now be woven into implementing legislation that the House and Senate will both vote on. The pact will also need to secure the president’s signature and the final approval of the Mexican and Canadian legislatures.

In Mexico City, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador attended a signing agreement at the National Palace. The event was attended by Mr. Lighthizer and Jared Kushner, the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law, as well as Chrystia Freeland, who negotiated the pact on behalf of Canada.

Mr. Lighthizer called the agreement “the first truly bipartisan agreement,” saying it was “nothing short of a miracle that we have all come together.”

Mr. Lighthizer on Tuesday briefed groups of House and Senate Republicans by phone on the changes. While some expressed concern, most Republicans appeared to maintain their support for the new trade pact, even with the new changes negotiated by Democrats.

Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, declared “relief” in an interview, and noted that such a compromise in a divided government “is a rare feat around here, and we should celebrate it.”

And as Mr. Neal left the news conference, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the Republican whip, shook his hand. A spokeswoman said Mr. Scalise had promised Mr. Lighthizer strong Republican support for the deal.

“There’s a Republican leader saying it was good,” Mr. Neal said as he entered an elevator. “That wasn’t staged.”

The agreement came as a huge relief to industries that have grown up around NAFTA and rely on tariff-free trade across Canada, Mexico and the United States. The lack of movement in Congress, combined with Mr. Trump’s threats to walk away from the original NAFTA pact, had created crippling uncertainty among businesses.

“This is finally good news on the trade front after a long, hard year,” said Rufus H. Yerxa, the president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents major exporters. “We believe this agreement will further strengthen the North American region, bringing about the commercial stability and certainty that our companies need to remain competitive in the global economy.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Robert Lighthizer, the trade representative, said that they were confident that the legislation would become law.

(Trump Aides and Democrats Agree on Trade Pact With Mexico and Canada. New York Times. December 10, 2019)

 

Letter: I stand by my record

I have long advocated for effective environmental stewardship and common-sense climate change solutions that don’t harm our economy or working families in Ohio.

The Sunday Dispatch editorial “As leaders fail, environmental threats grow graver” noted my ongoing leadership of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that protects Lake Erie. In both the Obama and Trump administrations, I successfully fought against cuts to this effective public-private partnership. But in taking a predictable swipe at me and all Republicans, the editorial ignored the long list of my legislative initiatives over the years to help protect both our environment and respond to climate change in a responsible way.

These bipartisan initiatives, such as my Tropical Forests Conservation Act, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act and the Carbon Capture Improvement Act spur innovation, create jobs and significantly reduce carbon emissions — a win-win-win for taxpayers.

The foreign debt-for-nature swaps in my Tropical Forest bill have already protected 67 million acres and are estimated to have cut carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to taking 11.8 million cars off the road.

My energy efficiency bill, ESIC, has passed the Senate before and parts of it are law. It was reported from committee again this year and is ready to pass. ESIC’s carbon dioxide savings is the equivalent of taking nearly 13 million cars off the road.

Most recently, I have introduced bipartisan legislation to increase recycling, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions and landfill waste. I also wrote the last major national parks law and the historic new Restore Our Parks Act to protect our national parks.

Unlike some of the heavy-handed approaches favored by The Dispatch editorial board, none of these bipartisan bills would destroy American jobs or harm average Ohioans.

I will continue to work to protect the environment in a responsible way.

(Letter: I stand by my record. Columbus Dispatch. December 11, 2019)

 

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