Political briefs – June 23


PORTMAN SAYS BILL WILL HELP CRIME VICTIMS – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that he’s cosponsored legislation to end the what he calls the longstanding injustices surrounding the Crime Victims Fund. The Fairness for Crime Victims Act of 2015, authored by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), would direct hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funds to victims of child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and other crimes.

The U.S. Senate Budget Committee is expected to vote on the Fairness for Crime Victims Act of 2015 this week, which ensures that money deposited into the Crime Victims Fund will go to crime victims—not to other discretionary spending or to a budget gimmick to understate the deficit.

“This legislation helps to ensure that resources from the Crime Victims Fund are rightly going to those who need it the most: victims of child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence and other crimes,” Portman stated. “At no cost to taxpayers, these funds go toward critical services that will help victims of crime regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. I’m pleased to support this commonsense bill, and will work with my colleagues for passage.”

BROWN SAYS BILL WOULD HELP PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will today introduce bipartisan legislation that would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO), which both reduce benefits for public sector workers and their families and penalize workers who split their careers between the private and public sectors. Under current law, more than 209,000 Ohioans see reduced Social Security benefits because of these provisions.

“For many Americans, Social Security benefits are the foundation of their retirement security,” said Brown. “But many of our public sector workers like teachers and first-responders have seen their benefits reduced for years because of unfair laws that target them because they also receive a pension. These workers have taught our children and kept our communities safe. It’s time they receive equal treatment under Social Security law, which is why I’m introducing the Social Security Fairness Act.”

ALG UPSET ABOUT FAST TRACK – Americans for Limited Government Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting Senate advancement of trade authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“The imminent passage of fast track trade authority ensures that the next year in Congress will be consumed with discussion of Obama’s trade deals. It is incumbent on every member in both the House and Senate who trusted Obama with this enormous grant of power to perform due diligence and to reject any agreement that is not in the best interests of the U.S.

“Congress has voted to make the next 18 months of the Obama administration about rewriting the rules of the world economy. They made this bed and now they must lie in it. The unchangeable nature of a fast tracked agreement forces Congress to vote no should they find any provision which is an unacceptable usurpation of U.S. law. Congress ultimately bears the responsibility to ensure that Obama’s deals do not fundamentally transform America.”

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