COLUMBUS — With the naming of the new Ohio House Republican leadership team last week, one local legislator will be taking on a new role.
Ohio House of Representatives
Rep. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon: McColley was named the assistant majority whip for the 132nd Assembly. The responsibilities of the majority whip position include assisting the floor leader, ensuring member attendance, counting votes and communicating the majority position.
Other state Republican House leaders include Rep. Dorothy Pelanda, R-Marysville, as majority floor leader, Rep. Sarah LaTourette, R-Chesterland, as assistant majority floor leader and Rep.-elect Tom Patton, R-Strongsville, as majority whip. Rep. Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, was re-elected Speaker of the House, with Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, elected speaker pro tempore.
“Our caucus is blessed with great leaders, and it is a tremendous privilege to serve alongside them as we continue to promote policies that provide businesses with certainty and predictability and ensure a better quality of life for all Ohioans,” Rosenberger said.
On Wednesday, the House also passed a bill expanding employment guarantee to certain National Guard members, requiring employers to hold positions for any out-of-state National Guard member called to serve. Currently, Ohio has similar requirements for military personnel and the Ohio National Guard, requiring employers to hold positions for up to five years. This legislation would expand that benefit to any employee enlisted in a National Guard based outside of Ohio.
The measure will now go to the Ohio Senate.
U.S. House of Representatives
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana:Jordan criticized the Monday decision by the IRS to deny the Albuquerque Tea Party nonprofit status after delaying its application for almost seven years.
“After seven years of stonewalling, targeting and harassing the Albuquerque Tea Party, the IRS has yet again blocked the group’s nonprofit status without any explanation,” he said. “This decision is a reminder that when a federal judge recently said that targeting was still going on, he meant it.”
Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green: On Monday, Latta voted to pass legislation to improve call quality in rural communities. The Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act calls on intermediate providers to comply with Federal Communications Commission service quality standards. Currently, many rural calls go through “least cost routers,” which are not subject to FCC standards.
“Inconsistent call reliability is potentially dangerous in life threatening and emergency situations,” Latta said. “H.R. 2566 fixes the issues associated with least cost routing and brings rural call quality in line with FCC standards.”
The measure will now go to the Senate for consideration.
Latta voted Thursday to pass the Midnight Rules Relief act, changing how regulations are made at the end of presidential terms. Often, outgoing administrations will rush implementation of regulations in order to achieve political goals. While Congress has the authority to disapprove new regulations one at a time, this bill would allow for multiple rules to be disapproved with one resolution.
“Just because a presidential term is coming to a close, doesn’t mean that Congress should waive it’s regulatory oversight responsibilities” Latta said. “Unfortunately, the current Congressional Review Act doesn’t give the legislative branch the tools to disapprove of all the ill-conceived rules we often see implemented at the end of an administration. H.R. 5982 is a commonsense bill that ensures that Congress stays as an effective check on rulemaking in the executive branch.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio: Brown criticized Wells Fargo Bank on Friday for failing to answer questions related to its recent unauthorized accounts scandal.
In September, John Stumpf, then-CEO of Wells Fargo, was asked multiple questions by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs that he was unable to answer sufficiently. Brown said Friday that the bank has ignored several questions, which were submitted over a month ago.
“It seems unlikely that Wells Fargo can restore the trust of its customers if it continues to ignore or dodge basic questions about the causes and consequences of the fraud that it permitted for years,” Brown said. “The bank’s illegal actions and its continued stonewalling show why so many hard-working Americans believe the system is rigged against them in Wall Street’s favor. This issue isn’t going away and I will do everything in my power to make sure the Banking Committee keeps pushing to get to the bottom of it, so we can protect customers from being cheated again.”
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio: On Tuesday, Portman voted to pass the Gold Star Families’ Voice Act, which allows immediate family members of veterans who were killed or missing in action to provide historical records and stories on behalf of those fallen veterans to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. Currently, only the oral history records of those who returned from action are included.
“The story of every veteran is a story of courage and patriotism,” Portman said. “That’s especially true of those who gave their lives for this country, and we owe them a debt of gratitude we can never fully pay. We should honor their memory and honor their families by preserving their stories for future generations.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.