© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Government & Politics

Rob Portman Touts his Addiction Bill to the Akron Press Club

Akron Press Club luncheon
Tim Rudell
/
WKSU

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman addressed the Akron Press Club luncheon Monday.  Although he touched on a variety of issues, he spent most of his time focused on one: addiction. 

Portman is up for re-election in November, challenged by Democrat and former Gov. Ted Strickland.  So, there were campaign messages in his remarks.  Especially about creating jobs and what he termed an “inclusive economy.” 

Rob Portman at Akron Press Club luncheon
Credit Tim Rudell / WKSU
Rob Portman at the Akron Press Club luncheon

But, his focus was on opioid addiction in the state, which he says is epidemic and knows no zip code.

“It’s in the inner-city, it’s in our suburbs, and it’s in our rural areas. In fact, some say the per-capita use in rural areas is higher than anywhere. And it knows no socio-economic level.  It’s not just people who are in poverty. It’s everybody who is affected by it.”

Noting that the Senate bill he co-sponsored to improve federal efforts and funding to address addiction passed 95-to-1 a few months ago, Portman said he’s pushing for the House to take up the measure soon. 

On another front in Washington, the GOP senator expects delay to continue. He continues to say the choice of a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia should be left to the next president.

portman_on_scotus_nomination.mp3
Senator Rob Portman on the Supreme Court

“I would like to see this be part of the campaign and have it be discussed what kind of Supreme Court nominee -- whoever the candidates are -- ... would want and what kind of person that would be.”

He added that he's hoping John Kasich will be the nominee.

Portman met with President Obama's nominee Merrick Garland, and said he found him to be "very bright."