Rob’s Rundown: Week of June 10 – June 14, 2019
This week, Senator Rob Portman sent a letter urging President Trump to act swiftly on Governor Mike DeWine’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 10 Ohio counties impacted by the recent tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding. This declaration will help ensure that the impacted counties can access important federal assistance and resources to recover.
In addition, on the Senate floor, Portman delivered remarks highlighting the strength of the U.S. economy, with job creation and wage growth surpassing expectations of economists. But he also outlined additional steps needed to strengthen our economy by addressing the shortage of skilled workers, improving skills training by passing his JOBS Act legislation, helping ex-offenders as they re-enter society, and combating the opioid and crystal meth crisis that is undermining workforce participation and hurting our economy.
The House and Senate passed bipartisan IRS reform legislation that includes key Portman priorities included in his Protecting Taxpayers Act measure introduced with Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) last year. Senator Portman applauded the Senate confirmations of several Ohioans including; Akron-native Ryan T. Holte as Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Sarah Morrison to serve as U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of Ohio, Pam Barker to serve as U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, and Cleveland-native Ed Crawford as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.
Lastly, Portman attended several events in Ohio today. He participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for OneFifteen, a nonprofit health care ecosystem dedicated to the full and sustained recovery of people suffering from addiction. He joined local leaders and Smithsonian officials in announcing that the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibition Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission has chosen Cincinnati for its fifth and final stop. The exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission and explores the birth and development of the American space program and space race. It will open at the Cincinnati Museum Center on September 29. Finally, he participated in an Opportunity Zone roundtable hosted by the Uptown Consortium, an organization dedicated to the long-term sustainability and growth of Uptown Cincinnati’s five core neighborhoods.
For a more detailed look at Senator Portman’s week, please see the following:
Monday, June 10
Portman, Bennet Reintroduce Bill to Reduce Overall Carbon Emissions and Boost Domestic Energy Production
Senators Portman and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today reintroduced a bill to make it easier for power plants and industrial facilities to finance the purchase and installation of carbon capture, utilization, and storage equipment.
“This bill is a win-win for jobs and the environment, and I’m proud to continue my work on this issue with Senator Bennet,” said Portman. “Carbon capture is a common-sense solution that will allow states like Ohio to continue to utilize our natural resources while protecting our environment at the same time. This bipartisan measure is supported by business groups, energy groups, and environmental groups alike, and I urge all of my colleagues to support it.”
The Carbon Capture Improvement Act would allow businesses to use private activity bonds (PABs) issued by local or state governments to finance a carbon capture project. These bonds are beneficial to consumers and businesses because they are tax-exempt and can be paid back over a longer period of time. If more than 65 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from a given facility are captured and injected underground, then 100 percent of the eligible equipment can be financed with PABs. If less than 65 percent is captured and sequestered, then tax-exempt financing is permitted on a pro-rated basis. PABs have been used for decades to finance pollution control equipment at U.S. power and industrial facilities; capturing carbon dioxide is a logical next step.
House Passes Significant Portman Legislative Priorities in IRS Reform Package
Portman applauded the House of Representatives for passing bipartisan IRS reform legislation – the Taxpayer First Act – that includes a number of Portman legislative priorities that were included as part of the Protecting Taxpayers Act that he introduced with Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) last year. The measure passed the House by voice vote earlier this afternoon. Portman issued the following statement:
“The House-passed bill includes many of the provisions from my Protecting Taxpayers Act, the IRS reform bill I introduced with Senator Cardin last year,” Senator Portman said. “In particular, this bill includes provisions that establish an Independent Office of Appeals and strengthen taxpayers’ right to an appeal, an important taxpayer right first established in the 1998 IRS reform legislation that I authored in the House. The bill also preserves the IRS Oversight Board, giving the IRS and Congress a chance to revitalize the Board so that it may achieve its original purpose, acting as a board of directors for the agency.”
“This bill represents the most significant reform to the IRS in two decades and is an important first step toward restoring full faith in one of our government’s most important agencies.” Portman continued. “There is still plenty of work that we can do to continue to modernize and strengthen the agency so that it better serves American taxpayers, and I look forward to Senate Finance consideration of additional IRS reform initiatives now that a new Commissioner is fully in place. I would urge my Senate colleagues to join me in passing this bipartisan, bicameral legislation so that it can be sent to the president’s desk for his signature.”
Portman Praises Senate Confirmation of Ryan T. Holte as Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
Portman released the following statement on the confirmation of Akron-native Ryan T. Holte as Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims:
“Ryan Holte has the experience and temperament necessary to make an outstanding judge. Throughout the nomination process I’ve been impressed with Ryan’s demeanor, credentials and earnest desire to serve his country. I’m confident that Ryan will make a terrific judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.”
Tuesday, June 11
Portman, Brown Urge President Trump to Swiftly Approve Ohio’s Request for Major Disaster Declaration
Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today urged President Trump to act swiftly on Governor Mike DeWine’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 10 Ohio counties impacted by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding, including Auglaize, Darke, Greene, Hocking, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Muskingum, Perry, and Pickaway Counties. This declaration will help ensure that the impacted counties can access important federal assistance and resources to recover.
“Tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and landslides in Ohio led to significant damage, causing widespread destruction of homes, apartments, and businesses. The State and local governments in the affected areas do not have the capability to sufficiently respond to this major disaster, and therefore, federal assistance is necessary to supplement recovery efforts,” wrote Portman and Brown in a letter to President Trump today.
Portman, Brown Applaud Senate Confirmation of Sarah Morrison for U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the Southern District in Columbus, Ohio
Senators Portman and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded the confirmation of Sarah Morrison to serve as U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of Ohio. Portman and Brown recommended the nomination of Administrator Morrison for the vacancy in Columbus, Ohio, which was created upon the retirement of the Honorable Gregory L. Frost. The Southern District has court locations in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton, and serves more than five million Ohioans in 48 counties.
“Sarah Morrison has the right experience and qualifications to serve as Columbus’s newest federal judge, and I’m pleased to see the Senate confirm her in a bipartisan fashion,” said Portman. “Administrator Morrison brings significant experience in both the public and private sectors, including her time as CEO of Ohio’s Bureau of Workers Compensation, to her new role as U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of Ohio. She will make Ohio proud.”
House Passes Bipartisan Portman-Hassan Bill Bolstering “Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams”
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed companion legislation to the bipartisan Portman-Hassan Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act.
The bill, introduced by Senators Rob Portman and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) would bolster cybersecurity by requiring DHS to make permanent the “cyber hunt” and “cyber incident response” teams that work to help prevent cyberattacks on federal agencies and the private sector, and help mitigate the impact of such attacks when they occur.
“Our cyber response teams play an important role in protecting against cyber threats, reducing cybersecurity risks, and helping to get our cyber infrastructure back up and running after an attack occurs,” Senator Portman said. “I am glad the House passed the companion to our bipartisan legislation and I urge the full Senate to act on this bill quickly to strengthen our response efforts in the event of a cyberattack.”
Portman, Duckworth Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Address Predatory Phone Rates in Criminal Justice System
U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today introduced the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act to strengthen the nation’s criminal justice system. This bipartisan bill would help families keep in touch with their incarcerated family members, which studies have shown can help reduce recidivism rates and thereby save taxpayer dollars. This targeted legislation would address long-standing concerns about the prohibitively expensive and predatory price of phone calls that incarcerated individuals at correctional facilities across the U.S. are forced to pay if they want contact their family or friends. The bipartisan legislation would affirm the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to address a market failure to protect family, clergy and counsel who communicate with prisoners, inmates and detainees. The legislation also makes clear that the obligations of fairness in inmate communications apply to all individuals, including those living with a disability.
“This bill is designed to strengthen families and reduce recidivism. Outrageously high prison phone call rates create an often insurmountable barrier between those in prison and their families,” said Portman. “While Ohio has done a good job of tackling this problem, this bill fills a void by helping to solve this problem nationwide. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this common-sense, bipartisan solution.”
Wednesday, June 12
On Bloomberg, Portman Discusses the Importance of Passing USMCA & U.S.-China Trade Talks
In an interview with Bloomberg’s Daybreak, Senator Portman highlighted the importance of passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement in order to strengthen our economy and support Ohio’s farmers and manufacturers. He also discussed the ongoing U.S.-China trade discussions and the need to hold the country accountable for violating international trade laws. Lastly, he discussed the escalating tensions in Hong Kong.
Portman, Brown Applaud Senate Confirmation of Pam Barker for U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio
Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today praised Senate confirmation of Pam Barker to serve as U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio. Portman and Brown recommended the nomination of Judge Barker for the vacancy in Cleveland, Ohio, which was created when the Honorable Donald C. Nugent took senior status. The Northern District has court locations in Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, and Youngstown and serves approximately 5.9 million citizens of the 40 most northern counties in Ohio.
“Pam Barker has the necessary experience and sound judgement to be a great federal judge,” said Portman. “Her time presiding over the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas has prepared her to hit the ground running and honorably serve the people of Ohio. I know she will make Ohio proud in this new role.”
At Hearing, Senator Portman Expresses Concern About China’s Influence Abroad
At a Senate Finance Trade Subcommittee hearing, Portman (R-OH) questioned four China experts on the impacts of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Made up of the sea lanes and overland routes made famous by the Silk Road, the BRI represents China’s global investment strategy to expand Chinese economic power and national security might.
Excerpts of his questioning can be found here and a video can be found .
Thursday, June 13
At Hearing, Senator Portman Presses FEMA Nominee to Expedite Disaster Relief for Ohio
At a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Portman questioned the nominee to be Administrator of FEMA, Jeffrey Byard, on his commitment to ensuring a quick response to Major Disaster Declarations from states that suffer from natural disasters. Recently, 21 tornadoes struck Ohio, causing severe damage and Senators Portman and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have sent a letter the President Trump urging him to quickly approve Governor DeWine’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration.
Portman also asked Mr. Byard to commit to supporting the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to ensure nonprofit and faith-based organizations have the support they need to be protected from acts of domestic terrorism.
Portman recently introduced the Protecting Faith-Based and Nonprofit Organizations from Terrorism Act that would codify the Nonprofit Security Grant Program to ensure that faith-based and nonprofit organizations have the resources they need to protect themselves and their facilities.
Excerpts of his questioning can be found here and a video can be found .
Portman Praises Senate Confirmation of Ed Crawford to be U.S. Ambassador to Ireland
Portman released the following statement on the confirmation of Cleveland-native Ed Crawford as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland:
“Ed Crawford has a deep love for Ireland and the Irish people. He has long history of philanthropy and entrepreneurship in Cleveland and he has a keen business background that will be helpful in maintaining and strengthening our economic relationships with Ireland. Ed is a good friend, he is highly qualified, and I am confident that he will serve with dignity and distinction in this role.”
On Senate Floor, Portman Highlights His Efforts to Enhance Workforce Participation
On the Senate floor, Senator Rob Portman delivered remarks highlighting the strength of the U.S. economy, with job creation and wage growth surpassing expectations of economists. But he also outlined additional steps needed to strengthen our economy by addressing the shortage of skilled workers, improving skills training by passing his JOBS Act legislation, helping ex-offenders as they re-enter society, and combating the opioid and crystal meth crisis that is undermining workforce participation and hurting our economy.
Friday, June 14
Senate Approves Key Portman Legislative Priorities in IRS Reform Package
Portman praised the Senate for passing bipartisan IRS reform legislation that includes key Portman priorities included in his Protecting Taxpayers Act measure introduced with Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) last year. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent last night; it passed the House by voice vote on Monday. Portman issued the following statement:
“This bipartisan legislation includes many of the initiatives from my Protecting Taxpayers Act, the IRS reform bill I introduced with Senator Cardin last year,” Senator Portman said. “In particular, this bill includes reforms that establish an Independent Office of Appeals and strengthen taxpayers’ right to an appeal, an important taxpayer right first established in the 1998 IRS reform legislation that I authored in the House. The bill also preserves the IRS Oversight Board, giving the IRS and Congress a chance to revitalize the Board so that it may achieve its original purpose, acting as a board of directors for the agency.”
“This measure represents the most significant reform to the IRS in two decades and is an important first step toward restoring full faith in one of our government’s most important agencies.” Portman continued. “There is still plenty of work that we can do to continue to modernize and strengthen the agency so that it better serves American taxpayers, and I look forward to Senate Finance consideration of additional IRS reform initiatives now that Congress has passed this legislation and that a new IRS Commissioner is fully in place. I look forward to seeing the president sign this bipartisan, bicameral legislation into law.”
In Dayton, Portman Participates in OneFifteen Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Portman participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for OneFifteen, a nonprofit health care ecosystem dedicated to the full and sustained recovery of people suffering from addiction.
“I was honored to participate in today’s grand opening of the OneFifteen ecosystem. OneFifteen will provide much-needed wraparound services dedicated to the recovery of those suffering from opioid addiction,” said Portman. “This approach to addressing addiction and its grip on our communities is exactly what is needed to help turn the tide of the opioid epidemic in the Dayton region and Ohio. I am working to help ensure local groups like this one have the support they need to continue their good work.”
Senator Portman has led efforts in the U.S. Senate to provide more resources to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. His CARA law authorized an additional $181 million annually in discretionary spending for new programs to support evidenced-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs. Over the last three years, Ohio has received roughly $32 million from Portman’s CARA legislation. The most recent bipartisan funding agreement actually funded these CARA programs at $647 million, much higher than the authorized amount. Portman’s CARA 2.0 Act would increase these authorization levels further. In addition, Portman worked to secure $1 billion in new funding for state grants to fight opioid abuse in the 21st Century CURES Act. He’s also fought for more overall opioid funding, and helped secure approximately $3 billion in new opioid funding in the most recent bipartisan funding agreement.
Photos from the event are here.
Portman’s PSI Report Spurs Increased Federal Scrutiny of Foreign Influence at U.S. Colleges & Universities
In response to an eight-month long investigation by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), chaired by Senator Portman, the U.S. Department of Education is increasing scrutiny of American colleges and universities and whether they are accurately reporting funding they receive foreign governments. The Associated Press provides more on this story.
Portman Helps Bring Smithsonian Exhibition “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission” to Cincinnati Museum Center
Portman joined local leaders and Smithsonian officials in announcing that the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibition Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission has chosen Cincinnati for its fifth and final stop. The exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission and explores the birth and development of the American space program and space race. It will open at the Cincinnati Museum Center on September 29.
“It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to share the historic journey of the Apollo 11 crew in Cincinnati, a place Neil Armstrong called home,” said Portman. “This exhibit will showcase original objects that flew aboard Apollo 11 as well as interactive exhibits from the National Air and Space Museum collection. This is exciting news for the Cincinnati Museum Center, and we are honored to host this traveling exhibit.”
In December 2018, Portman wrote a letter to the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and Smithsonian Affiliates Director Myriam Springuel to urge her to bring the Destination Moon exhibit to Cincinnati. He also called Director Springuel to personally advocate for the Cincinnati Museum Center. Neil Armstrong was born in Ohio and lived in Cincinnati after retiring from the astronaut corps. Portman was a friend to Neil Armstrong and his family and delivered the eulogy at his funeral in 2012.
Photos from the event are here.
Portman, Murkowski, Manchin, and Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Efficiency in Federal Buildings
Senators Rob Portman, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Joe Manchin (D-WV), yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation to formally authorize the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and establish energy and water usage reduction goals for federal buildings. S.1857, the Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act of 2019, is also cosponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
“Promoting greater energy efficiency helps create jobs and protect the environment, and that’s why I’m proud to support this bipartisan bill. This measure will help reduce the federal government’s energy and water consumption and increase energy efficiency in federal buildings. The FEMP program has already saved the federal government $50 billion in energy costs, and codifying this important program will ensure continued savings in energy and water use. I look forward to continuing working with my colleagues on ways to improve energy efficiency and move this legislation forward,” Portman said.
Portman, Peters Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Shine Light on Security Risks Posed by Foreign Ownership of Federally-Leased Properties
Senators Rob Portman and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced bipartisan legislation to determine if office space leased by the federal government is owned by federal entities. The Secure Federal Leases from Espionage And Suspicious Entanglements Act (Secure Federal LEASEs Act) will require the identification of all individuals who own or benefit from partial ownership of a property that will be leased by the federal government for high-security use. The bill, which will encourage federal agencies to better evaluate and anticipate the security risks of leasing foreign-owned property, was drafted in response to a 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which indicated that federal agencies were vulnerable to espionage and other cyber intrusions because foreign actors could gain unauthorized access to spaces used for classified operations or to store sensitive data.
“I am glad to partner with Senator Peters to introduce the Secure Federal LEASEs Act, which will address a serious national security risk,” said Senator Portman. “Our federal agencies need to know who owns the properties that house their personnel and sensitive information so they can take appropriate steps to mitigate the risk of espionage and unauthorized cyber and physical access to buildings. Our bill will ensure that the federal government has access to leased properties’ ownership information so we can better protect our people and information.”
Trump administration reviewing foreign money to US colleges
The U.S. Education Department has opened investigations into foreign funding at Georgetown University and Texas A&M University as part of a broader push to monitor international money flowing to American colleges.
Both universities are being ordered to disclose years of financial records amid concerns they have not fully reported their foreign gifts and contracts to the federal government, according to letters sent to the schools Thursday and obtained by The Associated Press.
The inquiries are part of a broader campaign to scrutinize foreign funding going to universities and to improve reporting by schools, according to a Trump administration official familiar with the effort.
More schools probably will face questioning as federal officials focus on an issue they see as crucial to transparency and national security, according to the official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigations and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Federal law requires U.S. colleges to report contracts and donations from foreign sources totaling $250,000 or more, but past filings from Georgetown and Texas A&M “may not fully capture” that information, according to the letters.
As an example, department officials wrote, both schools should have reported funding related to branch campuses they operate in Qatar, an oil-rich nation in the Mideast that hosts the outposts of several U.S. colleges.
The records being sought by investigators go far beyond Qatar, though, and include dealings with China, Russia and Saudi Arabia, and specific companies in those nations.
Investigators ordered both schools to disclose funding from Huawei or ZTE, the Chinese tech giants that some U.S. officials call a threat to national security. Georgetown is being asked to detail money it received from any sources in Saudi Arabia or Russia, including Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity company.
The letters warn that Georgetown and Texas A&M could face legal action and financial penalties if they’re found to have broken the rules.
If investigators find a violation, it can be referred to the U.S. attorney general’s office for action “to compel compliance and to recover the full costs’” of the investigation and enforcement, according to the letters.
Georgetown officials said the school is reviewing the letter and will cooperate with the inquiry. The university said in a statement that it “takes seriously its reporting obligations and provides all information as required by the Department of Education every six months.”
Texas A&M issued a statement saying it takes compliance and security seriously. “We just received the document today from the U.S. Department of Education and are reviewing it. We are fully cooperating with the inquiry.”
The crackdown follows complaints from some lawmakers that the Education Department hasn’t done enough to review foreign funding to colleges. The issue has gained attention amid heightened tensions with China and some other nations.
In February, a bipartisan panel in Congress urged U.S. colleges to cut ties with the Confucius Institute, a Chinese language program funded by a branch of the Chinese government. Some critics say it is a threat to U.S. national security and academic freedom.
The same panel found that 70% of U.S. schools receiving $250,000 or more from China to operate Confucius Institutes failed to report the funding, and that the Education Department failed to provide adequate oversight.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, chairman of the panel, told the department in January to issue updated guidance and improve its oversight practices. On Thursday, he applauded the agency for taking action.
“When U.S. schools take money from foreign governments, the American people deserve to know about it,” he said.
Colleges have complained that the rules are unclear. In January, the American Council on Education, which represents dozens of college chiefs, asked for clarity on several aspects of the law and noted that the last guidance on the topic was issued in 2004.
The group said schools have been given no guidance on how to correct errors in their filings, for example, and said it is unclear if university foundations, which often house colleges’ endowments, are subject to the rules. The letters to Georgetown and Texas A&M both say the schools should have reported funding from their foundations and other nonprofits they control.
Foreign funding information that schools submit to the Education Department often provides little detail about where the money comes from and none about how it’s used. Typically schools report only the amount of money, the date of the agreement, the country it came from and, sometimes, a specific source within that country.
According to data submitted by Georgetown, the school has received more than $415 million from abroad since 2012, including $36 million last year.
Nearly all of Georgetown’s foreign money reported for 2018 came from sources in Qatar, including $33 million from the Qatar Foundation, a nonprofit that has a partnership with Georgetown to support the school’s campus in Qatar.
Data filed by Texas A&M show that the school has received $285 million from foreign sources since 2014, including $6.1 million last year. All of Texas A&M’s reported funding from last year also came through a partnership with the Qatar Foundation.
(Associated Press, Trump administration reviewing foreign money to US colleges, June 13, 2019)
Gov. DeWine formally requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for 10 counties
A letter from Governor Mike DeWine is on its way to President Donald Trump's desk, asking for federal assistance for several counties impacted by tornadoes.
Across the state, 21 tornadoes touched down on Memorial Day night, 15 of them in the Miami Valley. "These storms resulted in a disaster of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capability of the State of Ohio and affected local governments," DeWine said.
DeWine said federal assistance is necessary to help supplement state and local efforts. FEMA teams, the Small Business Administration and Ohio Emergency Management Agency did a preliminary damage assessment and identified 942 homes and buildings that were either destroyed or significantly damaged, the governor said. The groups also found 837 homes and buildings that had minor damage.
"The widespread destruction of homes, apartments, and businesses, particularly in the Dayton urban areas, is tragic and will require a recovery process that could stretch over a number of years."
Governor DeWine requested assistance for Auglaize, Darke, Greene, Hocking, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Muskingum, Perry and Pickaway counties.
Individual Assistance Program
Crisis Counseling Assistance Program
Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program
Disaster Case Management Program
Disaster Legal Services Program
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
Ohio Senators Rob Portman (R) and Sherrod Brown (D) are both urging the President to mobilize quickly on Governor DeWine's request for federal assistance in a joint letter.
Tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and landslides in Ohio led to significant damage, causing widespread destruction of homes, apartments, and businesses. The State and local governments in the affected areas do not have the capability to sufficiently respond to this major disaster, and therefore, federal assistance is necessary to supplement recovery efforts.
(Fox 45 Now, Gov. DeWine formally requests Presidential Disaster Declaration for 10 counties, June 12, 2019)