Yesterday, the president signed into law legislation not just to re-open the federal government, but to extend – for six years – funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the longest extension of CHIP ever authorized. Portman has long called for a long-term funding solution for CHIP in order to provide certainty and stability to the 8.9 million American children—and the 219,000 Ohio children—enrolled in CHIP. Here is a look at how Senator Portman fought to get the long-term CHIP extension into law:

  • In October, Senator Portman, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, voted in favor of the bipartisan Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act, legislation to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Portman delivered remarks at a Finance Committee hearing on the importance of CHIP, saying “it’s urgent that we do move quickly and extend this funding to ensure these low-income kids continue to have access to high quality health coverage.”
  • In December, Portman delivered remarks on the Senate floor to address the need for bipartisan cooperation to enact a long-term funding solution for CHIP to help some the most vulnerable members of society, children in need. Said Portman in his speech: “Funding it should be a top priority. Regardless of your partisan position, regardless of the political climate, it should be out of the political fray.”
  • Last week, Portman again delivered remarks on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to act. CHIP, Portman said, “should not be a bargaining chip for other political purposes.”
  • On Friday night, Portman voted to keep the government open and provide six years of certainty and stability to the 8.9 million American children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • On Sunday night, Portman delivered a speech on the Senate floor urging his Democratic colleagues to re-open the federal government and support this long-term CHIP extension.

After Senate Democrats relented yesterday, the House and Senate voted to re-open the federal government and reauthorize the CHIP program for six years. This is an important day for families and children in Ohio who have been waiting for Congress to renew the program. Senator Portman helped lead the effort to do just that.

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