Double-Talk Rob: Portman Voted Against Funding For New Anti-Heroin Bill He’s Bragging About

COLUMBUS —  Sen. Rob Portman is bragging about the anti-heroin bill passed by the Senate today, but according to Cleveland.com, Portman voted against the legislation that will fund these drug prevention efforts — a clear example of the kind of D.C. double-talk that Ohioans hate about Washington.

The Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA) that Sen. Portman is touting will be funded by the omnibus spending bill — the same bill that Portman bragged about in Ohio, but voted against in Washington. See this article from Cleveland.com, “Sen. Rob Portman touts anti-heroin measures, even though he voted against their funding:”

“But [Portman] voted against the very bill that would pay for his proposed solutions… Portman aides confirmed to Cleveland.com that money for fighting heroin addiction would come from the $1.1 trillion spending bill Congress passed in December, a measure that Portman denounced as wasteful and likely to drive up deficits. This puts the Ohio Republican in an awkward position.” [Cleveland.com headline: Sen. Rob Portman touts anti-heroin measures, even though he voted against their funding, 1/27/16]

“Senator Portman can’t escape his despicable record of D.C. double-talk: bragging in Ohio about his drug abuse prevention efforts, and then turning around in Washington and opposing funding to tackle the epidemic,” said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick. “The reality is, this anti-heroin bill is funded by legislation that Senator Portman voted against. Senator Portman has proven time and time again that he looks out for the Washington power brokers, his own political self-interest and the wealthy special interests he serves at the expense of Ohio families struggling with drug addiction.”

Portman has been harshly criticized for repeatedly opposing efforts to provide the funding to tackle the drug abuse crisis:

  • A new analysis released last week shows that Portman voted to cut important programs for addressing the crisis by more than $800 million. The calculations come from the FY13 and FY14 Ryan budgets, both of which Portman voted for.

  • The Chillicothe Gazette wrote, “Democrats, including Chillicothe’s mayor, slammed Sen. Rob Portman’s record on drug abuse funding Friday, saying his rhetoric doesn’t match his congressional votes… ‘Rob Portman talks about the challenge of drug abuse and brags about his efforts, but then he votes against funding to actually help solve the problem,’ said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick.”

  • Portman bragged about the drug abuse provisions of the budget bill, but then voted against those same provisions. The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote that Portman’s hypocrisy is “how Washington ticks off the rest of America.”

  • As Office of Management and Budget Director, Portman slashed drug abuse funding. In fact, a new report from the Akron Beacon Journal revealed that as OMB Director his budget proposed hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to substance abuse programs.

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