Sen. Rob Portman Under Fire for Missing 72 Percent of Homeland Security Committee Hearings

“Since September 11th, the Homeland Security Committee has played a vital role keeping our nation safe and preventing another terrorist attack.” – Portman, before missing 72 percent of the Committee’s hearings

COLUMBUS — When Sen. Rob Portman became a member of the Homeland Security Committee five years ago, he said the committee is “vital” in protecting the nation against terrorist attacks, but according to a new report he proceeded to miss an alarming 72 percent of the committee’s hearings.

Now he’s under fire — Ohio veterans have condemned his absences and records show that Sen. Portman held fundraisers on the same days he missed many of the hearings.

Here’s what they’re saying about Portman prioritizing his own Washington politics and the wealthy special interests he serves over Ohioans and America’s security:

  • Politico: “Portman’s attendance record on the [Homeland Security Committee] is worse: He’s missed 72 percent of the hearings… POLITICO’s review of the committee attendance records from 2011 to the end of 2015, based on research from Democratic groups, committee transcripts and C-SPAN footage, included hearings and business meetings… Portman, who serves on 12 committees and subcommittees, missed 195 of the 269 hearings POLITICO included in its review.”

  • The Columbus Dispatch: “The Ohio Democratic Party is teeing off on a report that Sen. Rob Portman has missed 72 percent of his Homeland Security Committee hearings during his first five years in the Senate.”

  • The Toledo Blade reported that Sen. Portman was put on the defensive for his repeated absences: “The campaign of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) on Monday defended Mr. Portman’s frequent absences from Homeland Security Committee meetings… The Washington publication Politico reported in its analysis of attendance of Homeland Security Committee meetings that Mr. Portman missed 72 percent of committee hearings over the last five years: 195 of 269 hearings. The Ohio Democratic Party said Mr. Portman’s attendance record shows a “shocking disregard” for his job and the country’s safety.”

  • The Portsmouth Daily Times reported on Ohio veterans condemning Sen. Portman: “‘Senator Portman’s routine failure to show up for meetings when America’s national security is at stake is appalling,’ Paul Worley said…Worley served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan… State Representative and former Congressman John Boccieri, who deployed multiple times in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, said, ‘It is extremely disappointing that Senator Portman didn’t take his duties on the Homeland Security Committee seriously…’”

  • The Toledo Blade also reported that Sen. Portman held fundraisers on the same days he missed critical Homeland Security Committee hearings: “some of the hearing dates of Homeland Security occurred on days when Mr. Portman had fund-raising events on his schedule. ‘The more we learn about Senator Portman’s refusal to attend the vast majority of his Homeland Security hearings, the worse it gets,’ said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Daniel van Hoogstraten.”