Rob Portman is a United States Senator from the state of Ohio, a position he has held since he was first elected in 2010, running a campaign that focused on common-sense conservative ideas to help create jobs for working families and help the most vulnerable in our society. Rob won with a margin of 57 to 39 percent, winning 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties. In 2016, he was re-elected, winning by an even larger margin of 58 to 37 percent and winning 84 of Ohio’s 88 counties. 

Rob was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he still lives today with his wife, Jane. Together they have three children: Jed, Will, and Sally. Rob grew up in a small-business family, where he learned early on the value of hard work, leadership, and fiscal responsibility. When Rob was young, his dad, Bill Portman, borrowed money to start Portman Equipment Company, where Rob and his brother and sister all worked while growing up. His father, and then his brother, built the family business from a small forklift truck dealership with five employees, with Rob's mom as the bookkeeper, to one that employed more than 300 people. Rob became a lawyer and developed his own private practice, representing Portman Equipment Company and other small businesses. 

In 1993, Rob was first elected to Congress, where he represented the diverse, seven county Second District in southern Ohio. He was proud to serve the Second District for 12 years, and in seven elections, he never received less than 70 percent of the vote. 

During his time in the House, Rob earned a reputation as a thoughtful leader who focused on delivering results. In 1996, Rob founded the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati, now known as PreventionFIRST!, to help keep young people from substance abuse.  He authored the Drug-Free Communities Act, which has provided more than $1 billion to community coalitions around the country in its more than two decades as law of the land. 

Rob also authored several federal laws to increase retirement savings, reform the IRS, add more than 50 new taxpayer rights, curb unfunded mandates, reduce taxes, and expand land conservation efforts. He also authored the original Second Chance Act with the late-Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones in 2005, and it was later signed into law in 2008. Since 2009, more than 850 Second Chance Act grant awards have been made to government agencies and nonprofit organizations from 49 states for re-entry programs serving adults and juveniles. More than 164,000 individuals have participated in these programs. Ohio has received more than $39 million in Second Chance Act grants. 

In 2005, Rob left Congress when he was asked to serve as the United States Trade Representative, the Cabinet-level official responsible for implementing and enforcing U.S. trade policy. As America’s Trade Representative, Rob was successful in reducing barriers to U.S. exports and increasing enforcement of trade laws to help level the playing field for American farmers, workers, and service providers. Under his leadership, American exports increased and the U.S. brought successful legal challenges against international trade law violations—including against China. 

Following his accomplishments as Trade Representative, Rob was asked to serve in another Cabinet post, this time as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Rob made his mark by proposing a balanced budget, fighting irresponsible earmarks, and putting in place new transparency measures for all federal spending. 

Since his election to the Senate, Rob has continued the work he started in the House to combat addiction. In 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, bipartisan legislation he authored, was signed into law. It provides resources for evidence-based prevention, treatment, and—for the first time in federal law—recovery programs to combat addiction. In 2018, the STOP Act, bipartisan legislation he authored, became law as part of larger opioid legislation. The STOP Act closes the loophole in our international mail screening that overseas drug traffickers have exploited to ship dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil into the United States. 

Rob is the co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking. He is the author of five federal anti-trafficking laws signed by President Obama and has long championed efforts to stop sex trafficking. He also authored the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), which was signed into law by President Trump in 2018. SESTA was the result of a bipartisan investigation into Backpage.com that culminated in a bipartisan report exposing the company for knowingly facilitating criminal sex trafficking of vulnerable women and young girls and covering up evidence of these crimes in order to increase its own profits. SESTA allows victims to get the justice they deserve and allows prosecutors to hold websites accountable for knowingly facilitating criminal sex trafficking. It is already making a difference in curbing online sex trafficking. 

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax issues, as well as the House-Senate committee that negotiated the final 2017 tax reform law, Rob played a pivotal role during the tax reform debate and its final negotiations. He helped preserve the New Markets Tax Credit and Historic Tax Credit, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, higher education tax incentives, and fought to ensure the final tax reform law focused on lowering taxes for middle-class families and making American workers and businesses more competitive so they can create more jobs and increase paychecks. He also authored amendments to assist the craft beverage industry, to preserve workers retirement security, eliminate unfair taxes on student loans for the families of students who die or are disabled, and more. 

As co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, Rob is working to align the 21st century education system with the 21st century workforce. His bipartisan Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act was signed into law in 2018 to allow states and localities to use Perkins grant funding to establish CTE-focused academies and promote partnerships between local businesses, regional industries, and other community stakeholders to create work-based learning opportunities for students. He also authored the CAREER Act, federal law that helps Ohioans train for and find the jobs that are available today. 

Rob has continued fighting to expand U.S. exports and crack down on unfair and illegal imports from the U.S. Senate. He co-authored the bipartisan Leveling the Playing Field Act, which was signed into law by President Obama and gives the federal government better tools to fight unfair imports. He also co-authored the ENFORCE Act, which President Obama signed into law and helps the federal government crack down on countries like China that try to evade our trade laws. Rob also been a staunch advocate for Ohio jobs in dozens of cases at the International Trade Commission. He has supported cases involving solar products in Toledo, agriculture products like wheat grown throughout the state, specialty paper in Dayton, rebar in Cincinnati and Marion, hot-rolled steel in Cleveland, high-density pipe in Columbus, roller bearings in Canton, and others. 

Rob is also a leader in the U.S. Senate in the effort to preserve our environment. He authored several federal laws to protect Lake Erie from harmful algal blooms through scientific research prioritizing bodies of fresh water and to stop the use of microbeads, which pollute Lake Erie and harm fish and other wildlife. His bipartisan Tropical Forest Conservation Act was originally signed into law in 1998, and the reauthorization legislation was signed into law by President Trump in 2019. Since 1998, the law has saved more than 67 million acres of tropical forest by allowing developing countries that meet certain criteria to be relieved of debt owed to the United States in exchange for their conservation efforts.   

He is also the author of the National Park Service Centennial Act, which President Obama signed into law in December of 2016. This law provides additional resources to the National Park Service in order to help reduce its maintenance backlog and continue keeping America beautiful. 

During his Senate tenure, Rob has successfully enacted 149 of his legislative priorities, including 106 bills and 43 amendments.  

Rob is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Committee on Foreign Relations. He is also Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. 

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