- Politics and Social Issues
Rob Portman's Political Views
Rob Portman Biography
Currently serving as a Senator representing the state of Ohio in Congress, Rob Portman has a long history as a public servant and has been mentioned by many as a potential candidate to run for the Republican nomination for President in 2016. Portman has a long history of government service, having worked as a White House Counsel under President George H.W. Bush before serving in Congress from 1993-2005, then working for President George W. Bush as the U.S. Trade Representative. But what does Senator Portman really think about the key issues currently being debated in Washington? This hub will present an unbiased look at Senator Portman's political beliefs to give voters a chance to see where he really stands on the issues.
Portman's Political Beliefs
1. Budget Deficits and Taxes: Like many of his fellow Republicans, Senator Portman has consistently called for large cuts in federal spending to reign in persistent budget deficits. On his Senate website, Portman states that "The current deficit levels are unsustainable and create uncertainty in the economy that deters the investment and risk taking that encourages economic growth." As a Congressman, Portman voted repeatedly to lower taxes, including repealing the estate tax on households with more than one million dollars in net worth and making the Bush tax cuts permanent. Portman himself served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush, and recently (July 2012) states that he was frustrated by the growing deficit under that administration, telling reporters "I was frustrated when I was there about some spending issues — specifically, as you know, I wanted to offer a balanced budget over five years, and a lot of people didn’t..." Portman also told reporters that he opposed the stimulus bill during his run for Senate in 2010.
2. Jobs and Economic Growth: Portman has repeatedly criticized President Obama's economic policies, telling reporters in the Summer of 2012, It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the economy. It’s just the strength of our economy....the reason the U.S. is falling behind and there is no economic growth is because of the policies President Obama has implemented over the last three and a half years." Like many of his Republican colleagues, Portman has generally called for tax cuts for businesses and reduced government spending as a key to improving job growth for Americans.
3. Health Care: Senator Portman has been a strong critic of the health care reform bill passed by Congress and signed by president Obama in 2009, calling it an "unaffordable health care spending law" that will "do something President Obama promised he would never do: hit millions of middle class Americans with a massive tax increase." Senator Portman has not offered a specific plan to address the issues that the health care plan was designed to cover (50 million plus uninsured Americans and the ability of health insurance companies to deny those with pre-existing conditions coverage) beyond stating that Such proposals could include "eliminating the barriers to allow small businesses, associations, and other organizations to band together and offer health insurance at lower costs, increasing competition by allowing companies to sell health insurance across the state lines, and reducing the mounting cost of defensive medicine by enacting sensible legal reforms and better health information to stop the frivolous lawsuits."
4. Global Warming and Environmental issues: Portman has been a relative moderate on some environmental issues, co-sponsoring the "Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2012" with New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen. The act would establish a variety of rebate programs and incentives to encourage businesses to invest in energy efficient retrofits. Portman has also acknowledged the existence of climate change, though expresses doubt that it is entirely attributable to man-made causes, stating in 2010: When you analyze all the data, there is a warming trend according to science,” he said. “But the jury is out on the degree of how much is man made."
5. Foreign Policy: As a Congressman, Portman was supportive of the decision to go to War in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since returning to Congress as a Senator, he has largely supported President Obama's foreign policy, with the notable exception of the decision to implement a timetable for removing American troops from Afghanistan. In the summer of 2012, Portman stated that he was "concerned that impending deadlines for removing troops from Afghanistan are influencing decisions there, rather than the conditions on the ground."
6. Social Issues: Portman is very conservative socially, have received a 0% record from NARAl while serving as a Congressman, indicating an 100% anti-choice stance. Portman is equally conservative on social issues, having twice supported a federal amendment to ban gay marriage, and having voted to ban adoption by gay parents in Washington, DC in 1999.
7. Immigration Policy: Portman is relatively moderate on immigration policy, having supported giving amnesty to illegal immigrants who have been in the country for many years and expressing support for comprehensive immigration reform. Indeed, a recent article quoted a prominent immigration advocate as stating "Honest to God, the person that has the best credentials on Latino issues is [Ohio Senator] Rob Portman," said one high-profile immigration advocate, requesting anonymity to avoid appearing to boost the Republican ticket. "If you look at his record in Congress, he was for comprehensive immigration reform. The truth is, he would have a lot of credibility." In 2003, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that favors much stricter immigration controls, gave Portman a 0% rating, indicating a very strong pro-immigrant stance.
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