Sen. Portman: Too Extreme And Partisan For Ohio

Today, Senator Rob Portman voted against the omnibus funding bill that included important funding like tax credits for the poor, funding for programs fighting the country’s heroin epidemic, and health care for 9/11 first responders.

American Bridge 21st Century President Jessica Mackler released the following statement: “Sen. Rob Portman’s true partisan colors are showing in his shameful vote to raise taxes on the poor, hurt small businesses, end critical funding in the fight against the heroin epidemic, and deny 9/11 first responders health care they were promised. Sen. Portman has proved for the second time in a few months that his is wrong for Ohio by choosing extremism over bipartisan compromise.”

Background:

2015: Portman Voted Against Extending Permanently Numerous Tax Provisions Such As The Expansion Of The Earned Income Tax Credit And Business Tax Breaks Such As The Research And Development Tax Credit As Part Of The FY 2016 Omnibus And Tax Extender Bill. In December 2015, Portman voted against making permanent numerous tax breaks permeant. According to The Hill, the bill included a, “$622 billion tax package. […] The measure makes permanent several business tax breaks such as the research and development tax credit and enhanced small business expensing under section 179 of the tax code. […]  Tax breaks that would be cemented include the expansions of the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit and the American opportunity tax credit, which were all created under President Obama’s stimulus law.” [Senate Vote 339, 12/18/15; The Hill, 12/17/15]

2015: Portman Voted Against An Additional $159 Million In Federal Funding To Combat The Opioid Epidemic As Part Of The FY 2016 Omnibus And Tax Extender Bill. In December 2015, Portman voted against an additional $159 million in federal funding to combat the opioid epidemic. According to The Nashua Telegraph, “As a bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill heads to the U.S. House of Representatives, New Hampshire legislators praised the increased funding for combating the opioid epidemic. […] If passed, the legislation provides an additional $159 million to federal programs for states like New Hampshire that are bearing the brunt of the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic. […] The expansive bill covers: treatment and prevention efforts; efforts to increase access to Narcan for first responders; intervention and recovery programs, including medically assisted treatment; and prescription drug monitoring. For instance, the bill includes a $91 million increase for the joint effort of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s programs for fighting opioid abuse. Ayotte noted that the funding is a 284 percent increase over the 2015 budget, bringing total funding for the programs to $123 million. […] The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant also would increase by $38.2 million. The grant is meant to be flexible, addressing the specific needs of each state dealing with opioid addiction.” [Senate Vote 339, 12/18/15; The Nashua Telegraph, 12/17/15]

2015: Portman Voted Against Effectively Making Permanent The 9/11 First Responders Health Care Program As Part Of The 2016 Omnibus And Tax Extender Bill. In December 2015, Portman voted against effectively making permanent the 9/11 first responders health care program. According to Congressional Quarterly, the legislation “reauthorize[s] a 9/11 first responders health care program and related compensation fund. The legislation would offset the costs of those and other policies with limits in federal Medicaid reimbursements for medical equipment and changes to Medicare.” In addition, according to the Washington Post, “Congress voted in 2010 to create a new federal health program for police officers, firefighters, construction workers and others who worked at Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath of 9/11; hundreds are suffering from cancer, respiratory illnesses and other maladies. […] The spending bill extends the health program until 2090 and adds another five years to a separate victims compensation fund, costing a total of $8 billion.” [Senate Vote 339, 12/18/15; Congressional Quarterly, 12/16/15; Washington Post, 12/16/15]