WASHINGTON — After the U.S. Senate passed its version of tax reform early Saturday on a near party-line vote, Ohio’s senators had vastly different reactions.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio: Brown spoke out against the early morning vote, calling it “a missed opportunity to cut taxes for working Ohioans,” according to a statement from his office. Brown pointed to a report from the Joint Committee on Taxation saying that the bill as it was passed will not grow the economy but rather add to the deficit while putting Social Security and Medicare at risk.
“Tax reform should have been an opportunity to work together to cut taxes for working people,” Brown said. “I offered to work with the president and Republicans, and I introduced multiple amendments that could have put real money in the pockets of Ohioans. Instead Washington chose to cut taxes for corporations that send American jobs overseas, blow a hole in the deficit, and pay for it by cutting Medicare and kicking people off their health insurance.”
Brown said the bill will result in higher taxes for nearly 13 million middle class families in 2019 and 87 million middle class families by 2027.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio: Portman praised the bill’s passage in a statement Saturday, saying it will save the typical Ohio family $2,375 annually and lead to increased job creation and wages.
“After decades of talk and years of planning, the Senate today passed landmark reforms that will provide tax relief for middle-class families, create more jobs, and increase wages for American workers,” he said. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act gives families freedom to spend more of their money how they see fit, puts faith in American entrepreneurs and businesses to compete in the global market, and creates a fairer tax system that encourages jobs and investment in the United States. I was proud to play a significant role in developing this bill and improving it on behalf of middle-class families. … This is once-in-a-generation tax reform that will improve our economy and expand opportunity for all Americans.”
The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate will now meet to work out differences between the tax reform bills each passed before sending the finalized bill to the president’s desk for signature.
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green: Latta is co-sponsoring the Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act to stop the use of taxpayer funds to pay for sexual harassment settlements. The bill would also disclose any previous payments from the Office of Compliance without releasing the names of victims of sexual harassment from members of Congress.
“The current system in place on Capitol Hill to address sexual harassment lacks transparency, protects harassers, and dissuades employees from coming forward,” Latta said. “At the same time, the rules in place also punish taxpayers who are forced to pay for the bad behavior of Members of Congress or staff. The American people should no longer be on the hook for settlements, and we need to give victims the ability to have their claims heard. This legislation will fix the glaring problems with how Congress addresses harassment in the workplace.”
Ohio House of Representatives
Rep. Robert McColley, R-Napoleon: On Thursday, the Ohio House passed House Bill 132, a bill co-sponsored by McColley that grants consumer protections to those who participate in fantasy sports.
“House Bill 132 takes steps to protect the rights of millions of Ohioans who engage in the fantasy contest industry,” McColley said. “This bill strikes a balance of consumer protections and economic growth, ensuring that all fantasy sports businesses, large and small, continue to operate and thrive in our state.”