Sen. Rob Portman meets with local Ohio constituents despite gove - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Sen. Portman meets with constituents despite shutdown

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (10/02/2013) - While half of federal employees in our nation's capital are furloughed due to the government shutdown, Ohio Senator Rob Portman (R) conducted business as usual Wednesday, opening his office to local constituents visiting from Ohio for one of his weekly breakfasts.

"Our job is to continue to represent Ohio even with half the employees," Portman said.

Constituents from all across Ohio were in Washington to speak with Portman about many things, including education, jobs, and personal finance.

"You actually have an opportunity to talk to someone and visit with people," said Brad Ohlemacher, a constituent.

Ohlemacher is the president of a manufacturing company in Elyria. He comes to Washington a couple times a year to lobby, and he said it's a little easier during the shutdown.

As Portman made his way around the room greeting constituents, Ohlemacher said he wanted to talk to Portman about business advice when it comes to investing in his company.

"The different things that allow me to have more money so that I can invest it into equipment and into people, rather than put it into taxes where it just gets lost," Ohlemacher said.

Another local constituent, Brian Page, also attended the breakfast. He said he wanted to talk to Portman about high school curriculum. He said he wants Portman to make a personal finance class available for his students at the high school where he teaches at in Cincinnati.

"We think we should empower our students with the financial education they deserve to make wise and informed financial choices," Page said.

Regarding the country's own financial issues, Page said, "I understand this is more of a macroeconomic issue, and what we're looking for is more personal finance, but certainly it's pretty ironic."

In an interview with Washington Bureau Chief Jacqueline Policastro, Portman said opportunities to speak with his constituents will carry on despite the shutdown.

"Our job is to try to work through this issue of a government shutdown, get that over with and behind us…but in the meantime, we're going to continue to hear from our constituents and get their input."

Meanwhile, Portman's Ohio colleague, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), is without much of his office personnel. The doors to his office are locked, and the reception staff were sent home because of the government shutdown. A sign on the door asks constituents to send an e-mail if they have any immediate concerns, but that the office would remain closed until further notice.

Brown called the furlough a "hardship."

"We only have people that we absolutely need to do our jobs in terms of trying to find a way to get the government to re-open and convince the House of Representatives to do what they were legally elected to do," he said.

"So people answering the phones, people doing mail, people doing constituent service, people doing the press, most of them are not here. It's a hardship to them, and it's a hardship to a lot of people in the country. "

  • WashingtonMore>>

  • Lawmakers talk immigration, yet again

    Lawmakers talk immigration, yet again

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:01:05 GMT
    Nearly 60,000 South American children are still stuck at our nation’s southern border, and now, they’re stuck in the middle of a political battle. Members of Congress are trying to come up with a plan to deal with the influx of unaccompanied children who have traveled thousands of miles - turning themselves in to U.S. authorities to escape from desperate situations in countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. But still –there’s no compromise in sight. “For those that are not leg...
    Nearly 60,000 South American children are still stuck at our nation’s southern border, and now, they’re stuck in the middle of a political battle. Members of Congress are trying to come up with a plan to deal with the influx of unaccompanied children who have traveled thousands of miles - turning themselves in to U.S. authorities to escape from desperate situations in countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. But still –there’s no compromise in sight. “For those that are not leg...
  • Skies still safe following MH17 disaster, lawmakers say

    Skies still safe following MH17 disaster, lawmakers say

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:00 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:00:25 GMT
    On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration canceled flights to Tel Aviv, Israel after a rocket landed too close to the airport. This latest news comes off the heels of downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. Now lawmakers are saying passenger safety is the number one priority in the skies. “There are enough things to be fearful of in this world without starting to think if 'I get on this plane is it going to be shot down.' It isn’t so, so unusual,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said. Brown sa...
    On Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration canceled flights to Tel Aviv, Israel after a rocket landed too close to the airport. This latest news comes off the heels of downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. Now lawmakers are saying passenger safety is the number one priority in the skies. “There are enough things to be fearful of in this world without starting to think if 'I get on this plane is it going to be shot down.' It isn’t so, so unusual,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said. Brown sa...
  • Toledo mail processing center still on chopping block

    Toledo mail processing center still on chopping block

    The Toledo mail processing center is still on the chopping block, leaving the fate of hundreds of workers in limbo.
  • Your VoteMore>>

  • Election Results

    YOUR VOTE 2014 -- May 6th Election Results

    Election Results

    Stay with 13abc.com for the latest election results on-air and online!
    Voters headed to the polls Tuesday to decide a number of issues in our area. Stay with 13abc.com for the latest election results on-air and online!
  • Ohio race for governor all about jobs

    Ohio race for governor all about jobs

    Monday, July 28 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 01:12:13 GMT
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ask politician, pundit and voter alike and they will tell you the same thing: The November election is about jobs. Job growth is both a key economic indicator and an easy issue for politicians to talk about when campaigning. Yet when the claims of Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald conflict, Ohioans can be left baffled. A look at some of the facts about Ohio jobs and the politics behind the debate: ___ THE NUMBERS Ohio's nonfarm employmen...
    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ask politician, pundit and voter alike and they will tell you the same thing: The November election is about jobs. Job growth is both a key economic indicator and an easy issue for politicians to talk about when campaigning. Yet when the claims of Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald conflict, Ohioans can be left baffled. A look at some of the facts about Ohio jobs and the politics behind the debate: ___ THE NUMBERS Ohio's nonfarm employmen...
  • Ohio voting rights issue falls short on signatures

    Ohio voting rights issue falls short on signatures

    Tuesday, July 1 2014 1:35 PM EDT2014-07-01 17:35:43 GMT
    Backers of a constitutional amendment guaranteeing certain voting rights in Ohio have failed to collect enough signatures to put it on this fall's ballot. Supporters of the proposed "Ohio Voters Bill of Rights" say their goal now is to place it before voters in 2015. They are vowing to keep the issue on Ohioans' minds.
    Backers of a constitutional amendment guaranteeing certain voting rights in Ohio have failed to collect enough signatures to put it on this fall's ballot. Supporters of the proposed "Ohio Voters Bill of Rights" say their goal now is to place it before voters in 2015. They are vowing to keep the issue on Ohioans' minds.

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!