MILLER CITY — An area legislator traveled to Putnam County on Friday to honor veterans.
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green: Miller attended a Veterans Day program Friday at Miller City School. At the event, 36 veterans and their families were on hand for the ceremony.
“We forever owe our respect and gratitude to the men and women that have served in our military,” Latta said. “On Veterans Day, we honor the 20 million veterans that have answered their country’s call. Without their sacrifice, Americans would not enjoy the freedoms that we do. It was an incredible privilege to meet the veterans at the Miller City School this morning and thank them for their service. We are incredibly grateful for what they and their families have done for this country.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio: On Monday, Brown was in Youngstown to announce plans to introduce legislation that would address the instability in pension plans for various unions in Ohio, such as the Teamsters, the United Mine Workers, the Ironworkers and the Ohio Southwest Carpenters.
Brown’s Butch Lewis Act, named after the former retired head of Teamsters union Local 100 in Evendale, would create a new office in the U.S. Treasury Department, the Pension Rehabilitation Administration. This office would allow pension plans to borrow the money they need to remain solvent, with the money for the loans and administrative costs to come from the sale of Treasury-issued bonds to financial institutions. These loans would be paid back over 30 years at a low interest rate.
“It’s bad enough that Wall Street squandered workers’ money — and it’s worse that the government that’s supposed to look out for these folks is trying to break the promise made to these workers,” Brown said. “Not on our watch. We won’t allow that to happen.”
Brown also helped usher legislation through the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that aims to combat human trafficking through the financial sector. The bill would help with analyzing money laundering efforts that help fund trafficking while enhancing coordination between the U.S. Treasury and law enforcement agencies to track financing of human trafficking.
“We know human traffickers rely on access to financial institutions not only to move money derived from this heinous crime, but to profit off it,” Brown said. “Financial institutions and our Treasury Department have a role to play in combating trafficking, and they need enhanced tools and support to be stronger partners to law enforcement in these efforts.”
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio: On Tuesday, the Senate passed Portman’s TSP Modernization Act by unanimous consent. The bill, which passed the House in October, was first introduced in April by Portman and Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and now heads to the president’s desk for signature.
The bill, according to Portman, gives more flexibility to federal employees when making withdrawals from their Thrift Savings Plans. Current rules only allow for one partial age-based withdrawal after those employees turn 59 1/2 or one partial post-separation withdrawal after leaving federal employment. This new bill would amend that rule to allow for unlimited age-based or post-separation withdrawals.
“I am pleased the Senate acted unanimously to pass this common-sense, bipartisan bill to make the TSP more responsive to the needs of its participants, and allow retirees to access their money on an as-needed basis,” Portman said. “I look forward to this bill becoming law and providing federal employees with the retirement flexibility they deserve.
Portman also received the Jacob K. Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership from the Javits Foundation. The lifetime award recognized Portman’s efforts to “advance the public interest without regard to political affiliation,” according to a release from Portman’s office.
“I am humbled to be awarded the Jacob K. Javits Prize for Bipartisan Leadership,” Portman said. “In this highly charged political environment, it is more critical than ever that we in Congress work to follow the example of Senator Javits and find common ground so that we can most successfully address the pressing issues of today. Whether it is reforming our broken tax code to bring more jobs back to America and increase wages, turning the tide of the opioid epidemic, or ending the heinous crime of sex trafficking, I am committed to continue working in a bipartisan manner to deliver results and get meaningful legislation passed for the people of Ohio.”