Rob Portman

Ohio's U.S. senators are calling on Congress to expand broadband around the country noting the growing importance the internet has played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As protests continue across Ohio and the country, the state's Republican U.S. Senator says President Trump could be doing more to help those demonstrations from spiraling into violence.

a photo of a protester in Cleveland.
TAYLOR HAGGERTY / WCPN

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, June 3:

A photo of Sen. Rob Portman.
/ U.S. SENATE

Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says Ohio will not likely need the military force President Trump is threatening to deploy to quell violence in some states.

Portman says the National Guard is doing a sufficient job of keeping the peace in Ohio.

"I would want to see us continue to rely on local law enforcement and those who are trained to deal with these kinds of situations, you know our Ohio National Guard," Portman said. 

Portman says he can’t speak for what type of action might be needed in other states. He says now is the time for calm and for dialogue.

COVID-19 trends in Ohio.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, April 17:

Projections of COVID-19 cases in OHIO
TWITTER OF GOV. MIKE DEWINE / OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Ohio's top health official delivered grim but expected numbers about the coronavirus outbreak during Friday's press conference. 

Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, said there are 1,137 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. More than 260 are hospitalized, and 16% are health care workers.

There have also been 15 deaths within the last week. Ohio's first COVID-19-related death was reported March 20. 

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, March 24:

Portman Responds to Questions About Impeachment Decision

Feb 7, 2020
photo of ROB PORTMAN
WKSU FILE PHOTO

After voting to acquit President Trump of both articles of impeachment, Senator Rob Portman was asked why the Senate didn’t censure the President.

Portman sidestepped – reiterating his stance that the President’s conduct was improper, but didn’t rise to the level of impeachment.

“I've made my statement and I think it's pretty clear and I've been consistent for four months on this too and more specific more recently because more specific information came out and all the information is out there. So I think he's listening, I really do, and I think it will have an impact."

photo of Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Feb. 5:

drawing of Donald Trump
NPR

The Senate impeachment vote is widely expected to result in President Trump’s acquittal on both articles. 

One of Ohio’s senators says that doesn’t mean senators think he’s not guilty.  

Democrat Sherrod Brown says behind closed doors many of his Republican Senate colleagues acknowledge to him that Trump did something wrong.

“Privately they tell me they know this president broke the law. Privately they tell me he lies, he cheated and got caught and covered this up," Brown said. "They are not willing to take that next step to vote against the president in public."  

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says the new trade deal with China will level the playing field with the U.S. But he's urging trade negotiators to be firm as they work on phase two. 

Portman says the deal ensures China will buy more U.S. products both in agriculture and manufacturing, and that it deters intellectual property theft.

However, Portman says the next big step is to crack down on Chinese subsidies, which oversaturate the global market with cheaper products.

graphic with U.S. and China Flag
DILOK KLAISATAPORN / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Ohio's Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown is blasting the White House's trade deal with China, calling it "much ado about nothing." Brown says it falls short of the problems that forced the U.S. into a trade war to begin with.

Sherrod Brown has been a vocal opponent to Chinese trade practices and has been wanting the U.S. to get tough. But he says President Donald Trump's first trade deal with China does not prioritize workers.

Senator Mitch McConnell says he now has the votes to move forward with impeachment proceedings. One of those votes is Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) who says he’s open to hearing from witnesses.

“The first stage of this is hearing the opening statements, seeing the evidence from both sides, you know, both House managers and the president’s lawyers having the opportunity to make their case and then to see where we go from there," Portman said. "So it doesn’t preclude witnesses and you know I’m not opposed to witnesses if that’s necessary to get the information that’s needed.”

Sen. Portman Opposed to Strikes on Iran Cultural Sites

Jan 7, 2020
photo of Rob Portman
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

In a break with President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark Esper rejected threats to attack cultural sites in Iran should the country respond to a drone strike which killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

Senator Rob Portman supported the strike on Soleimani, but says he is opposed to attacks on cultural sites.

Let's say you have been called to jury duty in your county courthouse and you dutifully attend each day until you are assigned to a jury pool in a criminal case.

Sen. Sherrod Brown says he needs to take a closer look at the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement before making a decision.

a photo of Portman and Trump
ANDY CHOW / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Dec. 11:

photo of U.S. Capitol Building
Sean Xu / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The impeachment debate is drawing a big line between Republicans and Democrats. But the parties are working together on some bills. 

Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is working on a bipartisan bill that he says would increase recycling. But he said voters don’t often hear about efforts like that.

“So much of the media is focused on controversy because, I guess, it sells," he said.

photo of Akron Public Schools headquarters
AKRON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, Oct. 8:

photo of Sherrod Brown and Tom Perez
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Senator Sherrod Brown is taking on President Donald Trump's new overtime rule. The Democrat said the salary threshold the Trump Administration is imposing is harmful to moderate income workers.  

A rule created under President Obama increased the salary threshold so everyone making $47,000 or less would be required overtime pay.

But it's Trump's proposal that will go into effect, allowing OT for people making $35,500 or less. Brown said Trump's rule leaves about 50,000 Ohioans without overtime pay compared to Obama's plan.

Photo of Mike DeWine
TY GREENLEES / DAYTON DAILY NEWS

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, September 18:

Senator Rob Portman at the Ohio Statehouse
Statehouse News Bureau

Senator Rob Portman is speaking out in favor of background checks and red flag laws to prevent gun violence. But he says that the senate will only act on a measure it knows the president will support.

Portman says he has conferred with senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

A federal red flag law would allow police to obtain a court order to confiscate guns from potentially dangerous people.

Portman said such intervention would have been appropriate in the case of the mass shooting in Dayton early last month.

a photo of Rob Portman
WKSU

Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says he supports parts of Gov. Mike DeWine’s 17-point plan to curb gun violence in Ohio.

Portman says he thinks more needs to be done to make sure people with mental health problems are in the federal background check system to flag gun purchases.

“I think we can do more to tighten that up and my understanding is the president and others are willing to work on this together because if it’s not bipartisan, it’s not going to happen.”

photo of Gov. Mike DeWine
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Government leaders from around the state extended their condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones during the mass shooting in Dayton. Some top leaders called for legislation to prevent such an attack in the future.

Gov. Mike DeWine described the mass shooting in Dayton’s historic Oregon District as a nightmare.

As far as supporting new gun regulations, such as expanding background checks, DeWine says “everything’s on the table” as long as it’s constitutional, can pass the General Assembly, and it’s effective .

photo of Rob Portman
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio Republican U.S. Seantor Rob Portman is reacting to President Donald Trump's decision to move forward with plans to increase tariffs on Chinese imports.

Portman visited the Ohio State Fair to mingle with hundreds of farmers from around the state.

He said one topic of conversation was the trade war between the U.S. and China, which has resulted in a steep drop in soy exports from Ohio farms. 

Portman said farmers were split on President Donald Trump's proposal to expand tariffs.

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