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Latest from Jessica Wehrman

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EPA move draws industry, activist response
 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is beginning the process of stepping away from the previous presidential administration’s caps on carbon emissions from U.S. power plants. U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Tuesday issued a “notice of proposed rulemaking” to repeal the Obama Administration’s “Clean Power...

10:00 AM Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is beginning the process of stepping away from the previous presidential administration’s caps on carbon emissions from U.S. power plants. U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Tuesday issued a “notice of proposed rulemaking” to repeal the Obama Administration’s “Clean Power...
After Las Vegas, GOP says restrictions on ‘bump stocks’ are possible
 Even as Republicans oppose broad new restrictions on guns, Gov. John Kasich and other key GOP lawmakers in Ohio appear willing to embrace changes designed to prevent people from modifying semi-automatic weapons so that they have more lethal, rapid-fire capabilities. Republicans have resisted calls for major changes in gun laws following previous...

6:46 PM Thursday, Oct. 05, 2017

Even as Republicans oppose broad new restrictions on guns, Gov. John Kasich and other key GOP lawmakers in Ohio appear willing to embrace changes designed to prevent people from modifying semi-automatic weapons so that they have more lethal, rapid-fire capabilities. Republicans have resisted calls for major changes in gun laws following previous...
Senate panel grills Wells Fargo chief over banking scandal
 Wells Fargo’s new CEO Tuesday faced withering criticism from a Senate panel for the bank’s handling of a 2016 scandal in which the bank acknowledged it had created millions of fake accounts in customers’ names. The scandal is a year old, but from the bipartisan lambasting of its behavior, it was clear the matter is far from...

7:09 PM Tuesday, Oct. 03, 2017

Wells Fargo’s new CEO Tuesday faced withering criticism from a Senate panel for the bank’s handling of a 2016 scandal in which the bank acknowledged it had created millions of fake accounts in customers’ names. The scandal is a year old, but from the bipartisan lambasting of its behavior, it was clear the matter is far from...
Congress, state continue debate over guns
 Rep. Brad Wenstrup and Richard Martinez are united in having survived the unspeakable. On what to do about it, they – and so much of America – are irreparably divided. Wenstrup, an Army veteran and a Republican lawmaker from Cincinnati, was there on the June morning when Rep. Steve Scalise was shot by a stranger at a ballpark...

2:36 PM Monday, Oct. 02, 2017

Rep. Brad Wenstrup and Richard Martinez are united in having survived the unspeakable. On what to do about it, they – and so much of America – are irreparably divided. Wenstrup, an Army veteran and a Republican lawmaker from Cincinnati, was there on the June morning when Rep. Steve Scalise was shot by a stranger at a ballpark...
Most come to Congress rich, and then get richer, analysis shows
 Many Ohioans may be struggling with their bank accounts, but the same can’t be said for the state’s congressional delegation. Ohio’s members of Congress have watched their net worth grow by an average of nearly 78 percent during their respective times in Congress, an analysis by this newspaper of financial disclosure forms...

1:00 PM Sunday, Oct. 01, 2017

Many Ohioans may be struggling with their bank accounts, but the same can’t be said for the state’s congressional delegation. Ohio’s members of Congress have watched their net worth grow by an average of nearly 78 percent during their respective times in Congress, an analysis by this newspaper of financial disclosure forms...
GOP votes slip away on health care bill
 The latest effort to repeal the 2010 health care law known as Obamacare doesn’t appear to have the 51 Republican votes needed to pass, but among those offering cautious praise Monday was Sen. Rob Portman. Portman, R-Ohio, who has fought – so far unsuccessfully – to get more money for opioid treatment in the bill sponsored...

8:45 PM Monday, Sep. 25, 2017

The latest effort to repeal the 2010 health care law known as Obamacare doesn’t appear to have the 51 Republican votes needed to pass, but among those offering cautious praise Monday was Sen. Rob Portman. Portman, R-Ohio, who has fought – so far unsuccessfully – to get more money for opioid treatment in the bill sponsored...
Sen. Rob Portman wants opioid money added to health care bill
 Sen. Rob Portman has privately urged Senate Republican leaders to include billions of federal dollars to treat opioid addiction as part of a controversial health bill that could reach the Senate floor next week. The bill, co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would dramatically revise...

9:00 PM Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2017

Sen. Rob Portman has privately urged Senate Republican leaders to include billions of federal dollars to treat opioid addiction as part of a controversial health bill that could reach the Senate floor next week. The bill, co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would dramatically revise...
Silicon Valley fighting Portman’s efforts to end sex trafficking
 Sen. Rob Portman’s fight to keep websites from selling children and women online for sex is being met with resistance by Silicon Valley. Portman, R–Ohio, who along with a small group of senators has waged a years-long battle against Backpage, a classified site infamous for being the leading online market to purchase children for...

8:12 PM Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2017

Sen. Rob Portman’s fight to keep websites from selling children and women online for sex is being met with resistance by Silicon Valley. Portman, R–Ohio, who along with a small group of senators has waged a years-long battle against Backpage, a classified site infamous for being the leading online market to purchase children for...
Flood insurance program sinks deeper in debt
 Even before Hurricanes Harvey and Irma drenched Texas and Florida, the nation’s federal flood insurance program was drowning in debt. Now, unless Congress votes to extend the program by Dec. 8, homeowners throughout the country — including in Ohio — face uncertainty. Homeowners in flood zones are required to buy the insurance...

6:43 PM Sunday, Sep. 17, 2017

Even before Hurricanes Harvey and Irma drenched Texas and Florida, the nation’s federal flood insurance program was drowning in debt. Now, unless Congress votes to extend the program by Dec. 8, homeowners throughout the country — including in Ohio — face uncertainty. Homeowners in flood zones are required to buy the insurance...
Lawmakers pushing for Columbus to get national veterans museum
 To hear Reps. Joyce Beatty and Steve Stivers tell it, Columbus is an ideal place to host the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. The state, they said hosts the 6th largest veterans population in the U.S. If that’s not enough, it’s within an eight–hour car ride of almost half of the nation’s veterans. Speaking before...

4:13 PM Thursday, Sep. 14, 2017

To hear Reps. Joyce Beatty and Steve Stivers tell it, Columbus is an ideal place to host the National Veterans Memorial and Museum. The state, they said hosts the 6th largest veterans population in the U.S. If that’s not enough, it’s within an eight–hour car ride of almost half of the nation’s veterans. Speaking before...
Equifax won’t change provision protecting it from lawsuits
 One of the nation’s largest consumer credit reporting agencies will drop a provision from its terms of use contract that effectively keeps customers from suing it after an Ohio senator complained about it. Equifax, which reported last week that it suffered a data breach that exposed 143 million Americans to identity theft, offered those...

4:00 AM Tuesday, Sep. 12, 2017

One of the nation’s largest consumer credit reporting agencies will drop a provision from its terms of use contract that effectively keeps customers from suing it after an Ohio senator complained about it. Equifax, which reported last week that it suffered a data breach that exposed 143 million Americans to identity theft, offered those...
Epic storms put nation’s response teams to test
 With another monster storm barreling its way toward South Florida, the nation’s response teams — already weary from the ordeal of Hurricane Harvey — are being put to the test yet again. Dealing with two potentially devastating storms in a matter of weeks is rare, but not unprecedented: In September 2005, Hurricane Rita struck...

7:56 PM Friday, Sep. 08, 2017

With another monster storm barreling its way toward South Florida, the nation’s response teams — already weary from the ordeal of Hurricane Harvey — are being put to the test yet again. Dealing with two potentially devastating storms in a matter of weeks is rare, but not unprecedented: In September 2005, Hurricane Rita struck...
Jim Jordan, Freedom Caucus not pleased with Speaker Paul Ryan
 The conservative Freedom Caucus — which played a key role in House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to step down in 2015 — isn’t ready to overthrow House Speaker Paul Ryan yet, but members made it very clear Thursday that they’re not happy. Speaking at a breakfast organized by Bloomberg News, Rep. Jim Jordan,...

11:15 PM Thursday, Sep. 07, 2017

The conservative Freedom Caucus — which played a key role in House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to step down in 2015 — isn’t ready to overthrow House Speaker Paul Ryan yet, but members made it very clear Thursday that they’re not happy. Speaking at a breakfast organized by Bloomberg News, Rep. Jim Jordan,...
Ohio Republican to lead new ‘Main Street Caucus’ in Congress
 The self–described “governing” wing of the Republican party is getting a formal presence on Capitol Hill — and they’ve put Columbus-area Congressman Pat Tiberi in charge. Tiberi, R–Genoa Township, announced Thursday that he and a handful of House Republicans have formed the “Main Street Caucus,&rdquo...

10:25 PM Thursday, Sep. 07, 2017

The self–described “governing” wing of the Republican party is getting a formal presence on Capitol Hill — and they’ve put Columbus-area Congressman Pat Tiberi in charge. Tiberi, R–Genoa Township, announced Thursday that he and a handful of House Republicans have formed the “Main Street Caucus,&rdquo...
Ohio lawmakers react to Trump action on immigrants
 President Donald Trump said his decision Tuesday to phase out a federal program that allows young undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States offers “a window of opportunity for Congress” to end a decades-long stalemate on Capitol Hill and overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. Although the White House said that...

4:42 PM Tuesday, Sep. 05, 2017

President Donald Trump said his decision Tuesday to phase out a federal program that allows young undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States offers “a window of opportunity for Congress” to end a decades-long stalemate on Capitol Hill and overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. Although the White House said that...
Harvey relief high on priority list as Congress returns
 Even before Hurricane Harvey, lawmakers had a legislative storm brewing for their long-awaited return to Washington. Now with Harvey relief rising to the top of the priority list, it has potential to impact everything from the border wall to the threatened government shutdown. And with so many people in Houston and other communities in Harvey&rsquo...

11:00 AM Sunday, Sep. 03, 2017

Even before Hurricane Harvey, lawmakers had a legislative storm brewing for their long-awaited return to Washington. Now with Harvey relief rising to the top of the priority list, it has potential to impact everything from the border wall to the threatened government shutdown. And with so many people in Houston and other communities in Harvey&rsquo...
As monuments come down, some ask, ‘where does it end?’
 In the nation’s capital, Democrats want to sweep away the marble statues on Capitol Hill honoring Confederate soldiers and politicians. In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio has a panel reviewing “symbols of hate,” such as the 76-foot-tall statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle. Just two weeks ago, about 100...

11:00 AM Sunday, Sep. 03, 2017

In the nation’s capital, Democrats want to sweep away the marble statues on Capitol Hill honoring Confederate soldiers and politicians. In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio has a panel reviewing “symbols of hate,” such as the 76-foot-tall statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle. Just two weeks ago, about 100...
Cordray mum on possible governor run
 Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray Wednesday tartly dismissed Republican calls to declare whether he would run for governor next year, telling a House GOP committee chairman he has “no further insights to provide on the subject.” As reports circulated that Cordray would resign his post as director of a federal consumer...

10:53 PM Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017

Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray Wednesday tartly dismissed Republican calls to declare whether he would run for governor next year, telling a House GOP committee chairman he has “no further insights to provide on the subject.” As reports circulated that Cordray would resign his post as director of a federal consumer...
Ohio commissioners bring opioid concerns to White House
 When White House adviser Kellyanne Conway stepped onto the stage of an auditorium steps from the White House to address some 80 Ohio county commissioners Tuesday, the camera phones went up. But when she started answering questions, the hands did. Licking County Commissioner Duane Flowers asked about federal dollars for the orphans and babies...

9:45 PM Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017

When White House adviser Kellyanne Conway stepped onto the stage of an auditorium steps from the White House to address some 80 Ohio county commissioners Tuesday, the camera phones went up. But when she started answering questions, the hands did. Licking County Commissioner Duane Flowers asked about federal dollars for the orphans and babies...
Push on to remove Confederate statues from U.S. Capitol
 Sen. Sherrod Brown has joined a growing number of Democrats in calling for the removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol. The Ohio Democrat plans on joining Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., in supporting a bill to remove statues of Confederate politicians and soldiers from Statuary Hall. “Symbols of the confederacy should be removed...

7:01 PM Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017

Sen. Sherrod Brown has joined a growing number of Democrats in calling for the removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol. The Ohio Democrat plans on joining Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., in supporting a bill to remove statues of Confederate politicians and soldiers from Statuary Hall. “Symbols of the confederacy should be removed...
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