COLUMBUS – Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman faces a credibility crisis as debate over the so-called “Fast-Track” bill begins today with an amendment to bolster retraining programs for workers displaced by trade.
The Senate is expected to vote today on an amendment to bolster Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program that helps Ohio workers whose jobs are displaced by trade agreements… trade agreements like NAFTA, which Portman supports, and the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Portman voted to Fast-Track.
But not only has Portman helped to outsource Ohio jobs, he’s voted repeatedly to slash the retraining programs Ohio workers depend on – making his election-cycle conversion hard to believe.
“Rob Portman has made a career out of siding with Washington special interests to send Ohio jobs overseas, but now that he’s worried about losing his own job, Portman is hiding behind the same retraining programs he’s voted to slash time and time again,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Donohue. “All the amendments in the world can’t change the fact that Portman will stand with the Washington special interests that fund his campaigns and vote to Fast-Track jobs right out of Ohio with TPP, just like he did with NAFTA.”
Rob Portman’s Real Record on TAA
In March 2011, Portman voted for a bill that would have cut job training funding in Ohio by nearly $60 million, cutting off job training for nearly 80,000 Ohio workers, including more than 6,000 whose jobs had been displaced. [Vote 36, 3/9/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/1/11]
In September 2011, Portman voted to cut Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits for workers hurt by trade. [Vote 143, 9/21/11]
In September 2011, Portman voted to hold support for Ohio workers hostage to the very trade agreements that cost them jobs in the first place by voting to delay Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) until pending trade agreements passed. [Vote 142, 9/21/11]
In 2003, Portman voted against an amendment to protect health insurance benefits for workers displaced by foreign trade. [Vote 291, 6/19/03; Washington Post, 6/22/03]