Region’s lawmakers grab national headlines

By Josh Ellerbrock -

WASHINGTON, D.C. — From perjury claims made by U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, to a potential presidential bid of Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the region’s national representatives continue to find their names in national headlines. Here’s a quick recap.

Rep. Jim Jordan

After a divisive hearing Wednesday of President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Micheal Cohen, Ohio’s 4th Congressional District Rep. Jim Jordan continues to grab headlines as one of the more vocal advocates of the president as Jordan worked to denounce Cohen’s testimony as the mere words of a convicted liar while highlighting alleged injustices undertaken by top justice officials.

As ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, Jordan played a prominent role in Cohen’s questioning, and since that time, he has worked to downplay Cohen’s evidence against the president which some say shows Trump’s illegal involvement in paying to silence news of an illicit affair. Jordan said Cohen did little more than show one of his retainer checks.

A day after the hearing, Jordan, along with Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr that allegedly details multiple ways that Cohen once again lied to Congress during his Wednesday hearing. Jordan outlines six such examples throughout the 30-page document.

“We write to refer significant evidence that Micheal D. Cohen committed perjury and knowingly made false statements during his testimony before an Oversight and Reform Committee hearing,” Jordan said in the letter.

Sen. Sherrod Brown

If Jordan has been Ohio’s Congressman with the most associated headlines last week, Ohio’s Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown, isn’t too far behind when it comes to national recognition. For the last few months, Brown has traveled the country trying out his workers-first campaign message to gauge its resonance for a potential 2020 presidential bid during his “Dignity of Work” listening tour.

Brown hasn’t officially announced his bid for the presidency, but he’s been considered as a major contender for his success in 2018 against Republican Jim Renacci. Due to his ability to appeal to votes on both sides of the aisle, Brown was the only statewide Democrat who grabbed a win in Ohio this past election season.

Brown has said he plans to announce his intention to run for the presidency sometime in the next month. He is currently speaking at events throughout South Carolina, an early-voting state for the primaries.

Sen. Rob Portman

While Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, may not be considering a presidential run or been involved in the Cohen hearing, he’s made a few headlines reacting to national events.

Along with a number of Republican senators, Portman issued a statement deriding Trump for saying he believed North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un held no responsibility for the death of Otto Warmbier. The 21-year-old Ohio resident was arrested in North Korea in 2016, served more than a year in the country and died soon after he was returned to the United States in a vegetative state.

“We must remember Otto, and we should never let North Korea off the hook for what they did to him,” Portman said.

This past week, Portman also said he supported the United Auto Workers in its lawsuit against General Motors for the closing of the Lordstown plant.

“These suppliers are starting to shutter their doors too. So I support what the UAW is trying to do, which is to get them to make good on their commitments and to keep production at that plant,” Portman said in an interview with WOSU.

As for legislative actions, Portman said he is undecided in whether or not to support a House resolution calling to undo Trump’s national emergency that would allocate funds to build a wall on the southern border. The House passed the resolution this past Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green

Latta’s work this past week may not have grabbed many headlines, but he did announce a few legislative initiatives.

On Monday, Latta co-sponsored a House resolution, called the Local Radio Freedom Act, that would oppose new federal charges and taxes on local radio stations.

“Any imposition of a ‘performance tax’ could drastically harm these stations and threaten their future. The Local Radio Freedom Act recognizes these potential damaging effects and demonstrates the broad bipartisan support for local radio stations and their listeners across our country,” Latta said in a statement.

And on Tuesday, Latta asked fellow lawmakers to put together a federal data privacy framework during a hearing held by the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce in response to a California privacy law slated to go take effect in 2020.

“Both consumer groups and business organizations have come on board in calling for a national standard. We all agree that consumers should have transparency and accountability, and that we want to ensure that the United States stays the prime location for innovation and technology,” Latta said in a statement.

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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