Portman Pushes for funding for NASA Glenn and RNC Security

Dec 11, 2015

During his weekly conference call, Sen. Portman also discussed the need to secure funds for security at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Credit U.S. SENATE

Sen. Rob Portman says he's making the case in Congress for NASA Glenn Research Center to avoid a 10 percent budget cut.

The Senate's omnibus spending bill would trim $60 million as part of a plan to steer money to a robotic pathfinder program at NASA Goddard in Maryland.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Appropriations Committee is Democrat Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, and Portman says now is not the time for her to take dollars away from NASA Glenn and programs such as its research into jet propulsion.

“Republicans get some provisions in and Democrats get some provisions in. My problem with this one is: it’s not based on good policy. I think it’s wrong. I know she’s retiring and this her last chance to legislate because we have now this two-year budget in place, but this is bad policy. I’m talking to, obviously, my Republican leadership on this as well.”

The spending bill must be finalized by Wednesday to avoid a government shutdown. A study by Cleveland State University in 2012 found that NASA Glenn contributes about $1.2 billion to Northeast Ohio's economy each year.

Security and the Republican National Convention
The host committee for the 2016 Republican Convention in Cleveland has been busy raising $64 million to pay for the event, but that number does not include security. Organizers expect about $50 million in federal funding to be available for security.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman says Cuyahoga County taxpayers should not be stuck with that bill when the convention could be a great opportunity for Cleveland.

“It’ll be a great economic boost to the city. There’s an opportunity to create jobs and economic growth in a city that needs. It helps Cleveland in the future, I think, because it will introduce millions of Americans to the Cleveland lakefront and the exciting downtown venues and the convention center and all the different things that will, hopefully, get more business to Cleveland after this convention.”

Tampa -- which hosted the 2012 Republican Convention – spent about $46 million on security, which was reimbursed by a Homeland Security grant.