Political briefs – July 19

Staff report


PORTMAN OPPOSES CUTS IN EDUCATION FUNDING FOR LOW-INCOME CHILDREN IN OHIO – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) went to the Senate floor to speak in opposition to the Burr-Bennet amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization. Portman raised concerns that this amendment, which will change the formula for Title I education funding, will cut funding for low-income school districts in Ohio.

Excerpts are below.

“Mr. President, I rise today to talk regarding the Burr amendment which has been offered to the underlying education bill…it still has some of the flaws it has had all along.

“It tells states that if you invest in your kids, you’re penalized, which I think is the wrong message. I hope this amendment can be defeated on that basis alone.

“It also happens to be bad for some states. For instance, in my home state of Ohio, we would lose an estimated $70 million, because we do invest in our children who are poor and vulnerable and because of the formula change, we would get less money in Ohio.

“We ought not to be telling states, like my home state of Ohio, because you invest more in your kids somehow you are penalized.

“I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand tall and not tell the states if you invest in kids that come from some of the lowest income school jurisdictions in the country, somehow you are penalized under this new formula.

“I urge my colleagues to vote no on the Burr amendment…”

PORTMAN, BROWN CONTINUE PUSH FOR STRONGER CURRENCY MANIPULATION ENFORCEMENT IN ONGOING TRADE NEGOTIATIONS – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) continued their push to crack down on currency manipulation by foreign competitors, urging the Administration to combat the practice that hurts Ohio exports and workers through our ongoing trade negotiations.

In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, the senators wrote, “As you know, last month Congress passed Trade Promotion Authority, which includes two principal negotiating objectives that explicitly call on the Administration to address currency manipulation through our ongoing trade negotiations. Therefore, as you continue negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we urge you to prioritize combatting currency manipulation by our competitors.”

Portman and Brown were joined on the letter by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), all members of the Senate Finance Committee.

PORTMAN DISCUSSES INVESTIGATION INTO IMPROPER OBAMACARE SUBSIDY PAYMENTS – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), appeared on Fox News Channel’s America’s Newsroom to discuss results from a Government Accountability Office (GAO) undercover examination showing that healthcare.gov has approved subsidies for fictitious applicants without verifying eligibility.

Last year, as part of a “secret shopper” investigation, GAO created 12 fictitious identities to apply for premium subsidies through the federal exchange, also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace), by telephone or online. The GAO found that the federal exchange approved 11 out of 12 telephone and online applications for fictitious applicants. The government paid $2,500 per month or $30,000 per year in credits for insurance policies for these fictitious individuals.


Staff report

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