WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over the last year, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown worked with Republicans and Democrats to introduce more than 103 bills – more than 39 of which he introduced with Sen. Rob Portman. Brown successfully sent several bipartisan bills to President Trump’s desk to become law, including his INTERDICT Act to help keep Fentanyl out of Ohio and the 2018 Farm Bill that included several Ohio-specific provisions that Brown helped to secure.
During Brown’s second term in the U.S. Senate, he held more than 340 roundtables across Ohio and held public events in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Brown and his office hosted the Ohio Women’s Leadership Summit and the Propel Ohio Collegiate Leadership Summit for four years running. For the sixth year in a row, Brown teamed up with local manufacturers, plants, community partners and schools to host 19 Summer Manufacturing Camps where young Ohioans learned about Ohio’s manufacturing sector. This year, Brown also hosted his 11th annual College Presidents Conference and his first annual Ohio Hospital Conference. Brown also helped shine a national spotlight on Ohio as he joined Google and community partners to bring “Grow with Google” to Cleveland, a one-day free event to help Ohio small businesses and jobseekers develop their digital skills. Brown also spoke at the National Urban League Conference’s Education Plenary in Columbus.
Here’s a look at Brown’s work on behalf of Ohio in 2018 and what’s ahead next year, including continuing his fight for Lordstown workers and securing the pensions of thousands of Ohio retirees.
Brown bills signed into law
INTERDICT Act: In January, President Trump signed Sen. Brown’s INTERDICT Act into law. The bill authorizes $15 million for new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel for 24×7 lab support. Providing CBP with more screening devices and lab support will not only stop more Fentanyl from coming into the U.S., it will also protect more agents in the field from exposure to dangerous substances. Congress authorized funding for the INTERDICT Act in the spending package Brown helped pass in March 2018.
2018 Farm Bill: In December, President Trump signed the final 2018 Farm Bill into law, which includes several provisions Brown fought to include. As a member of the committee tasked with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill, Brown fought for provisions that were important to Ohio farmers. Brown, the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 50 years, held roundtables around Ohio to hear from Ohio farmers and rural communities about what they wanted to see in the bill.
Opioid Package: In October, President Trump signed a final addiction package into law that included several of Brown’s bills, including his Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act. Brown’s CRIB Act would help newborns suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a withdrawal condition often caused by the use of opioids and other addictive substances in pregnant women.
Brown bills also signed into law were John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act; African American Civil Rights Network Act; and Legislation to Help Ohioans Save Money on Medication.
Brown’s office is here to help Ohioans – whether it is seeking trade relief for Ohio companies, drawing investment and jobs to the state, or helping veterans get their medals. Brown’s office routinely works on behalf of Ohioans for help with federal agencies from the IRS to the VA.
Here’s a look ahead at Brown’s priorities for 2019 and beyond:
Securing Ohio Pensions: Brown is leading efforts in Congress to ensure Ohio retirees can keep the pensions they have earned. In February, Brown helped secure the creation of a bipartisan, House and Senate Joint Select Committee tasked with solving the pension crisis threatening more than 60,000 Ohioans and 1.3 million workers and retirees nationwide.
Standing up for Lordstown Workers: In June, Brown blasted General Motors’ (GM) announcement to build the new Chevrolet Blazer in Mexico on the same day the company ended the second shift at the GM facility in Lordstown. As a result of that announcement, Brown introduced legislation, the American Cars, American Jobs Act to support Ohio’s auto industry and keep auto jobs in the U.S.
Pushing for Better Trade Policy for Ohio Workers: Since just days after Trump’s election, Brown has offered to work with Trump and his team to retool U.S. trade policy to support Ohio jobs. Brown outlined his priorities in a letter, and Trump responded with a handwritten note. Brown is continuing to press for the best deal for Ohio workers as work to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) continues.
Calling for Benefits for Ohio Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange: Brown met with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to discuss the urgent need to pass legislation to aid Blue Water Navy veterans exposed to Agent Orange to receive care and benefits. Blue Water Navy veterans served aboard ships off the shore of Vietnam during the Vietnam War, where they were exposed to chemicals. Brown vowed to continue fighting until these veterans are given the benefits they’ve earned.
Rebuilding Crumbling Infrastructure: Brown has offered to work with Trump on Trump’s promise to invest $1 trillion in our nation’s infrastructure and put Ohioans back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges.
Protecting Ohioans’ Healthcare: Brown continues fighting to protect healthcare coverage for thousands of Ohioans, especially following a ruling by a Texas judge that threatens to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The judge issued his ruling after Republicans slipped a provision into their tax legislation last year that opened the door to repealing the law.