U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) returned to Washington, D.C. to continue his efforts to deliver results for the people of Ohio. In case you missed it, here is a rundown of Senator Portman’s record of delivering results in 2016, here is his op-ed recapping the past year.
On January 3, Senator Portman was sworn in for his second term as United States Senator from Ohio.
In a video recorded before the ceremony, Portman said: “Today is the swearing-in for the new Congress and I’m excited about it. It’s a new day, a new page, a fresh start with a new administration and new Congress. A chance to actually get this economy moving, to restore America’s place in the world, to actually break through some of the partisan gridlock and get some things done.”
After the ceremony, Portman discussed his readiness to work on boosting the economy and job creation, restoring American leadership in the world, and helping the most vulnerable in our society: “We just finished the swearing-in ceremony. It was really nice because we had the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Alito, to swear me in, who I have a lot of respect for, and then also my friend Bishop Larry Macon from Cleveland was here to give the invocation, and of course Jane Portman who was fantastic and spoke. And I was here really to thank the people who came in from Ohio for the event and really folks from around the country for all their help. We talked about the fact that we ran a positive campaign on the issues, and talked about the responsibility I now feel to earn the trust that the people have shown in me to actually get some things done to help improve the economy and give people more opportunity, restore American leadership around the world, and deal with people who have fallen between the cracks on issues like human trafficking and stopping the heroin epidemic in Ohio. It was a good opportunity to thank people and talk about the exciting agenda ahead and the opportunity to be able to serve.”
Portman Statement on Joining the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Portman issued the following statement after Senate Republican leaders announced committee assignments for the new Congress, including that Portman will join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
“I have been a consistent voice in support of restoring America’s leadership role in the world, and I’m pleased to have this opportunity to play a larger role in that effort. With this new role, I look forward to representing the interests of Ohioans on issues ranging from Russia’s continued aggression in Eastern Europe, standing up for our friend and ally Israel, and the troubling developments in the South China Sea. After eight years of failed foreign policy that has left America weaker, we now have the opportunity to restore America’s leadership role in the world and I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and with the Trump Administration to do just that.”
NOTE: In the new Congress, Senator Portman will serve on five committees. In addition to joining the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Portman will also join the Joint Economic Committee. Senator Portman will remain on the Senate Finance Committee, the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Energy & Natural Resources Committee.
Portman Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators to Introduce Senate Resolution Condemning Anti-Israel Efforts at United Nations.
Portman joined a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing a Senate resolution objecting to the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, as well as all efforts that undermine direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians for a secure and peaceful settlement.
“By allowing the UN Security Council to pass Resolution 2334, the Obama administration overturned nearly 40 years of bipartisan U.S. policy towards anti-Israel UNSC resolutions. As a result, President Obama has left a key regional ally exposed and has undermined faith in America’s commitment to stand by its allies,” said Portman. “I am pleased to join a bipartisan group of Senators who stand with Israel and to condemn the administration’s efforts to undermine Israel’s legitimacy and subvert direct peace negotiations. With this Senate Resolution, Congress is taking action against UN efforts to target Israel, while signaling that the UN is not the appropriate body to dictate negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues and the new administration to restore the bipartisan consensus on U.S. support for Israel.”
Portman Condemns Hateful Act at Hebrew Union College.
Portman issued the following statement following the anti-Semitic vandalism of a Hebrew Union College sign:
“I want to condemn the hateful act that took place at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. We must stand in solidarity with our friends at HUC-JIR and make clear there is no place for this in our society.”
Portman Delivers Floor Remarks on the Impact of Obamacare on Ohio Families.
Portman delivered remarks on the Senate floor Jan. 5 to discuss ObamaCare and the path forward to lower costs and better health care options for Ohio families. Portman outlined how the law has not kept its promises to the American people, imposing higher costs on millions of families already hurting from a weak economic recovery. In his speech, Portman shared stories from Ohioans who have been adversely effected by the rising costs and lack of choice that have resulted from Obamacare. “Republicans and Democrats alike,” said Portman, have to “figure out a way to [replace] it together to make sure the people we represent have a chance to get the health care they want for their families.”
NOTE: Portman has led the effort in exposing the failures of the Affordable Care Act’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OP) program. With the announced closing of Ohio’s CO-OP InHealth Mutual, nearly 22,000 Ohioans have to scramble for new health insurance coverage while facing rising health care costs, despite having been encouraged by the Obama Administration to enroll in the Obamacare marketplace and to trust in its plan options. Portman has been demanding answers, saying that the Administration “owes these Ohio families a solution to a problem it created.”
Portman Announces Funding For Drug Courts and Veterans Courts Now Available.
On Jan. 6, Portman announced that funding authorized as part of his bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA)—which President Obama signed into law—for establishing or enhancing drug courts and veterans courts is now available. Under CARA, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is now seeking applications to establish or enhance drug court services, including treatment and recovery support services for states and local communities. Portman worked hard to make sure that CARA-supported drug courts like the one he visited in Hocking County integrate evidence-based treatment for individuals struggling with opioid abuse or heroin addiction. Portman also worked to ensure that service members discharged because of an addiction can now be eligible to participate in veterans courts. As he wrote in his Logan Daily op-ed, “we all benefit from the success of these programs.” Senator Portman released the following statement:
“These courts work. I’ve seen that firsthand. That’s why I’m pleased that this funding authorized in CARA is now available. Funding to establish or strengthen existing drug courts will help turn the tide of addiction by getting more people the long-term care that they need. These grants will also help our veterans who have sacrificed so much for us to break the cycle of drug abuse through a program of rigorous treatment and personal accountability. These drug courts save lives, and as CARA is implemented, they will be more effective than ever.”
Portman On Social Media:
How to Counter Fake News
During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Macedonian teens looking to get paid for ad-clicks, Russian cyber sophisticates apparently looking to tilt the outcome, and some homegrown mood manipulators broadcast outrageous and false stories packaged to look like real news. Their counterfeit posts were nearly indistinguishable from authentic coin and remain so, even in the face of skeptical but impatient fact-checking…
The language comes from a cybersecurity bill that U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced last spring. According to co-sponsor Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the United States now has dedicated “resources to confront our adversaries’ widespread efforts to spread false narratives that undermine democratic institutions and compromise America’s foreign policy goals” in the digital age. With modest funding and proper oversight, the Global Engagement Center will help the government reach back in time and across virtual space to ensure that streams of data are not contaminated by state-sponsored misinformation or falsehoods…
There are other steps Washington and the media can take now, born of Portman’s legislation, network architecture, and operational practices, which would protect the public…
(“How to Counter Fake News,” Martin O’Malley and Peter Levin. Foreign Affairs. January 5, 2017)
Information for this story was provided by the senator’s office.