Senator Rob Portman

a photo of a Trump campaign rally in 2016
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

President Trump visits Toledo Thursday for the first campaign visit of this election year. And the location, timing and message of this rally could be a preview of his re-election strategy.

Trump won Ohio by eight points in 2016, winning all but eight counties. Trump’s last Ohio visit was in September, when he told workers at a recycled paper plant in Wapakoneta that he won by fighting for Ohio jobs and Ohio workers.

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

The House begins public impeachment inquiry hearings Wednesday. It’s the latest step in a possible move towards impeachment of President Trump by the House. Meanwhile, many in the Republican-controlled Senate, including Rob Portman (R-OH), are waiting to see what new information comes out.

A number of Republicans have questioned President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria. Sen. Rob Portman said the placement of troops in northern Syria has brought stability to the region. He said taking troops out was a mistake.

“We’ve seen chaos descend. Not just on the Kurds, but also on others who live in that area who are now refugees and then also giving the opportunity for other forces to come in.”

David Johnson, United Auto Workers Union member for 46 years, poses for a portrait with a UAW ON STRIKE picket sign outside of the General Motors Metal Fabrication Facility, where he has worked for the last six years. Parma, Ohio Tuesday, Sep. 17, 2019.
CARTER ADAMS / WKSU

United Auto Workers (UAW) at General Motors (GM) are expected to vote this weekend on a tentative deal negotiators have reached with the company. UAW workers who lost their jobs when GM Lordstown shut down in March had hoped the national agreement would include a future for their plant. Sen. Rob Portman said it’s disappointing that it doesn’t.

Senator Rob Portman is working to avert another government shutdown, which he says could happen in 13 days because of disagreements about diverting military funding to a border wall. 

He released a report Tuesday, showing how costly these shutdowns are. He said three government shutdowns have cost citizens nearly $4 billion over the last five years. Portman has introduced the End Government Shutdowns Act. It would decrease funding incrementally until Congress reaches a budget agreement.

Senator Rob Portman is lobbying for the passage of “the new NAFTA,” The trade deal negotiated by the Trump administration between the US, Mexico and Canada, known as the U.S.M.C.A.

The agreement has been awaiting congressional consideration. Portman says the deal will help the US economy.

“and U.S.M.C.A. is better for the ag (agricultural) community, better for our workers, better for industry, better for the auto industry,” senator Portman said. 

Portman says the new agreement will unify working standards for auto workers in each of the three countries.

College of Wooster solar panels
JEFF ST. CLAIR / WKSU

There’s been a lot of talk in Washington recently about the Green New Deal, introduced by House Democrats to address climate change. Mitch McConnell forced a vote on it in the Senate this week.

Ohio’s senators responded differently.

Rob Portman joined 56 other republicans in rejecting the Green New Deal, calling it ‘a laundry list of irresponsible promises with a sky-high price tag.’

“It’s kind of all over the board. There are things I like, there are things I don’t like.” :03

That’s Senator Sherrod Brown, who joined 42 Democrats in voting present.

photo of Sen. Rob Portman
U.S. SENATE

President Trump will make a speech from the Oval office tonight to discuss funding for a border wall. He has suggested he could declare a national emergency. Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman says the border is a serious problem and more funding is needed.

"But my hope is that the president doesn’t go the national emergency route because he doesn’t have to because instead we’re able to reach an agreement to resolve some of these issues."

STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman says he hasn’t given up the fight to keep the GM plant in Lordstown open and its 1,500 workers employed.  

Portman says he knew the Lordstown-produced Chevy Cruze has not been selling well recently. But he says GM’s leaders have not provided him with many specifics about why they decided to close the plant rather than manufacturing another vehicle there. Still, Portman says he’s working with incoming Governor Mike DeWine and they are not giving up.

Photo of Second Chance Village
MARK AREHART / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, September 18:

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at a contentious hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

a photo of Rob Portman
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is doubling down on his doubts about a bill that would protect special counsel Robert Mueller.

Portman says that his understanding of the bill — which would prevent President Trump from firing Mueller unless it went through a three-judge panel — could be unconstitutional.

Despite his opposition to the bill, he maintains he supports Mueller finishing his investigation.