Current Position: US Senator since 2006
Former Positions: US Representative from 1993 – 2007; State Delegate from 1975 – 1982
Chair, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
When you get your Child Tax Credit payment, just remember: Every single Republican in Congress voted against it.
Sen. Sherrod Brown: ‘The GOP Has Become The Anti-Worker Party’ | MSNBC
Cleveland.com, – September 10, 2021
WASHINGTON, D. C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown is using his perch as chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs to attack a Wall Street practice that he contends prioritizes profits at the expense of people – the use of corporate cash to repurchase stocks instead of making investments, creating new jobs or raising wages.
On Friday, the Ohio Democrat will introduce a bill that would impose a two percent excise tax on the value of any securities corporations repurchase. He says the 2017 tax overhaul championed by Republicans led to corporations spending hundreds of billions of dollars buying back their stock instead of increasing jobs. He argues his Stock Buyback Accountability Act would help level the playing field between shareholder giveaways and real investments, prevent abuse and reduce tax avoidance.
Source: Government page
FOCUS ON OHIO
A lifelong Ohioan, Senator Sherrod Brown has spent his career fighting for the Dignity of Work – the idea that hard work should pay off for everyone, no matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of work you do. He has held nearly 500 roundtables across Ohio, because he believes the best ideas don’t come out of Washington – they come from conversations with Ohioans across our state.
Building on his successful work to make the Earned Income Tax Credit permanent, Senator Brown has a plan to overhaul our tax code to put people first, and to make hard work pay off for more Americans. That includes putting more money back in the pockets of workers and families, giving workers more power in the workplace, making it easier to save for retirement, and encouraging companies to invest in their greatest asset: the American worker. Senator Brown also believes we need to broaden our definition of work – caring for children or an aging parent is work, and so is getting an education.
Sherrod has fought for Ohio jobs and Ohio companies, he’s fought against trade and tax policies that sell out workers, and he has taken on Wall Street greed. Sherrod pushed this country to save the American auto industry in 2009, and is fighting for Ohio’s auto supply chain with legislation to get rid of tax incentives for auto companies to ship jobs overseas.
Sherrod serves as Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, where he played an instrumental role in passing the historic Wall Street reform law that established new consumer protections, created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and reined in big banks. He’s fighting to end the corporate business model that puts short-term profits ahead of long-term investment in workers and communities, and to make it easier for everyone to find and afford a home.
One of Sherrod’s first votes in Congress was against the original NAFTA, and he has led the bipartisan fight for a trade policy that puts American workers and American businesses first. He led opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and he was a leader in the fight that helped kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In 2015, President Obama signed Senator Brown’s bipartisan Leveling the Playfield Act, the most significant improvement to our trade enforcement laws in more than a decade that led directly to key wins for the Ohio steel industry – including wins in cases filed by companies with plants in Ohio, like Nucor, U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal, and AK Steel, which employ more than 8,200 Ohioans. In 2020, he voted for a trade deal for the first time in his career, after working to improve President Trump’s first draft of a new NAFTA – he secured groundbreaking worker protections, including his Brown-Wyden provision that amounts to the strongest labor enforcement in American history in a U.S. trade deal.
Sherrod believes that quality, affordable health care is a right for all Americans, and he refused for years to accept Congressional health insurance until Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, which ensures Ohioans will never be denied care because of a preexisting condition. The senator now gets his health insurance through the same exchange system available to all Americans. Senator Brown has a plan to bring down the cost of prescription drugs that one news organization said, “combines every idea drug lobbyists hate.” He is also working to tackle the addiction crisis. The president signed Sherrod’s bipartisan legislation to give Customs and Border Protections agents high-tech tools to screen for illegal opioids at the border, and he is working with Senator Portman to get Ohio law enforcement the same tools. Senator Brown also fought to protect Ohio’s Medicaid expansion – our state’s number one tool to get people into treatment.
Inspired by his faith, Sherrod is committed to social and economic justice. He joined Civil Rights legend Congressman John Lewis as co-chair of the Congressional delegation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march for voting rights in Selma in 2015, and made the pilgrimage to Selma for the fifth time in 2019. Sherrod is fighting back against politicians and judges who erect more and more barriers to voting. As a former Ohio Secretary of State, Sherrod has long championed voting rights, and the Washington Post called his voter registration efforts, “probably the most intensive and wide-ranging in the nation.”
COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY
Sherrod is fighting to ensure that all Ohio children, no matter their zip code or the color of their skin, have the opportunity to succeed. He has joined with officials and community partners to launch My Brother’s Keeper mentorship programs for boys and young men of color in cities across Ohio. For more than a decade now, Sherrod has also convened a one-of-its-kind Ohio College Presidents Conference in Washington to discuss ways to leverage federal resources to promote higher education and job training in Ohio.
READ ABOUT ISSUES
Ohio is one of the few states to have both its senators sit on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, where one of Senator Brown’s top priorities is protecting the retirement security Ohioans have earned over a lifetime of hard work. In 2017, Senator Brown helped secure permanent health care security for Ohio coalminers, and he continues to lead the fight for a bipartisan solution to the multiemployer pension crisis threatening millions of retirees, workers, and small businesses.
As the only Ohio senator in half a century to serve on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, Sherrod helped write the most recent Farm Bill that strengthened the farm safety net, improved conservation programs for our Lake Erie, and worked to combat childhood hunger. He helped secure Central State University’s recognition as an 1890 Land Grant University – a designation for HBCU land grant universities that allows them to access particular funding – and authored and fought to secure investments ensuring the 1890s can expand their research capacity and outreach in the coming years.
Sherrod is the longest-serving Ohioan on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, where he works to expand educational opportunities for veterans, servicemembers, and their families. As co-chair of the Senate Air Force Caucus, Senator Brown brought a congressional delegation of his colleagues to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, and has secured important funding for base operations.
Sherrod was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio, where he earned his Eagle Scout award and spent summers working on his family’s farm. He is married to author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz, and he is the author of three books: Congress from the Inside: Observations from the Majority and the Minority, Myths of Free Trade: Why American Trade Policy Has Failed, and Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America. They live in Cleveland, Ohio, with their rescue dogs, Franklin and Walter, drive Jeeps made by union workers in Toledo, and have three daughters, a son, a daughter-in-law, three sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren.
- Served as Democrat to U.S. Congress from Ohio
1993 to 2007
Birth Year: 1952
Place of Birth: Mansfield, OH
Religion: Christian: Lutheran
Spouse: Connie Schultz
Washington, DC Office
503 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2315
Fax: (202) 228-6321
200 West Erie Ave.
Lorain, OH 44052
Phone: (440) 242-4100
Fax: (440) 242-4108
200 North High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 469-2083
Fax: (614) 469-2171
425 Walnut St.,
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (513) 684-1021
Fax: (513) 684-1029
801 West Superior Ave.,
Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: (216) 522-7272
Fax: (216) 522-2239
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VoteSmart – Key Votes & Ratings
Sherrod Campbell Brown (//; born November 9, 1952) is an American politician and retired educator serving as the senior United States senator from Ohio, a seat which he has held since 2007. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the U.S. representative for Ohio’s 13th congressional district from 1993 to 2007 and the 47th secretary of state of Ohio from 1983 to 1991. He started his political career in 1975 as an Ohio state representative.
Brown defeated two-term Republican incumbent Mike DeWine in the 2006 U.S. Senate election and was reelected in 2012, defeating state treasurer Josh Mandel, and in 2018, defeating U.S. representative Jim Renacci. In the Senate, he was chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition and Family Farms and the Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, and is also a member of the Committee on Finance, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Select Committee on Ethics. At the start of the 114th Congress in January 2015, Brown became the ranking Democratic member on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. In January 2021, Brown became chair of the committee and initiated an inquiry into the implosion of Archegos Capital Management, an investment firm that was accused of fraud and insider trading and lost billions of dollars.
Brown became the state’s senior U.S. senator after the retirement of George Voinovich in 2011. Since then, Brown has been the only Democratic statewide elected official in Ohio, although some statewide-elected Ohio Supreme Court justices are members of the Democratic Party but elected in nonpartisan races.
Early life, education, and academic career
Brown was born in Mansfield, Ohio, the son of Emily (née Campbell) and Charles Gailey Brown, M.D. He has Scottish, Irish, German, and English ancestry, and was named after his maternal grandfather. Brown’s brother Charlie served as Attorney General of West Virginia from 1985 to 1989. Brown became an Eagle Scout in 1967, and his badge was presented by John Glenn. In 1970, he graduated from Mansfield Senior High School.
In 1974, Brown received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian studies from Yale University. While at Yale, he lived in Davenport College, and he campaigned for George McGovern during the 1972 presidential election. He went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in education and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Ohio State University at Columbus in 1979 and 1981, respectively. He taught at the Mansfield branch campus of The Ohio State University from 1979 to 1981.
Early political career
During his senior year in college, Brown was recruited by a local Democratic leader to run for Ohio’s state house. Brown served as a state representative in Ohio from 1974 to 1982. At the time of his election to the Ohio House, he was the youngest person elected to that body. In 1982 Brown ran for Ohio Secretary of State to succeed Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. He won a four-way Democratic primary that included Dennis Kucinich, then defeated Republican Virgil Brown in the general election. In 1986 Brown was reelected, defeating Vincent C. Campanella. As Secretary of State, Brown focused on voter registration outreach. In 1990 he lost reelection in a heated campaign against Republican Bob Taft, the great-grandson of President William Howard Taft. This is the only time Brown has lost an election.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1992, Brown moved from Mansfield to Lorain, Ohio, and won a heavily contested Democratic primary for the open seat for Ohio’s 13th district, in the western and southern suburbs of Cleveland, after eight-term incumbent Don Pease announced his retirement. The Democratic-leaning district gave him an easy win over the little-known Republican Margaret R. Mueller. He was reelected six times.
The Democrats lost their long-held House majority in the 1994 elections, and stayed in the minority for the remainder of Brown’s tenure. As ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee, Brown successfully advocated for increased funding to fight tuberculosis.
In 2005, Brown led the Democratic effort to block the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). For many months, Brown worked as whip on the issue, securing Democratic “nay” votes and seeking Republican allies. After several delays, the House of Representatives finally voted on CAFTA after midnight on July 28, 2005, passing it by one vote.
Brown was the ranking minority member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee‘s Health Subcommittee. He also served on the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet and the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. While serving on the House International Relations Committee, he was also a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
In August 2005 Brown announced he would not run for the United States Senate seat held by two-term Republican incumbent Mike DeWine, but in October he reconsidered his decision. His announcement came shortly after Democrat Paul Hackett stated that he would soon announce his candidacy. On February 13, 2006, Hackett withdrew from the race, all but ensuring that Brown would win the Democratic nomination. In the May 2 primary Brown won 78.05% of the Democratic vote. His opponent, Merrill Samuel Keiser Jr., received 21.95%.
In April 2006, Brown, along with John Conyers, brought an action against George W. Bush and others, alleging violations of the Constitution in the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The case, Conyers v. Bush, was ultimately dismissed for lack of standing.
On November 7, 2006, Brown defeated DeWine, 56% to 44%.
Brown ran for reelection in 2012, facing opponent Josh Mandel, who in 2010 had defeated the incumbent state treasurer by 14 points. Mandel raised $2.3 million in the second quarter of 2011 alone, to Brown’s $1.5 million. Early on Brown enjoyed a steady lead in the polls. Mandel won the March Republican primary with 63% of the vote.
The Washington Post reported that no candidate running for reelection (save Barack Obama) faced more opposition from outside groups in 2012 than Brown did. As of April 2012 over $5.1 million had been spent on television ads opposing him, according to data provided by a Senate Democratic campaign operative. The United States Chamber of Commerce spent $2.7 million. 60 Plus Association, a conservative group that opposes health care reform, spent another $1.4 million. Karl Rove‘s Crossroads GPS and the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee also spent heavily in the race. In May 2012 Brown campaigned with West Wing actor Martin Sheen.
On November 6, 2012, Brown held his seat, winning 50.7% of the vote to Mandel’s 44.7%. Independent candidate Scott Rupert received 4.6% of the vote.
On March 11, 2020, the day the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, Brown proposed a bill that would let workers immediately receive paid sick days, allowing them to stay home and self-quarantine if feeling sick or in the event of any public health emergency. He noted it could slow infection spread to coworkers and criticized Republicans for blocking the proposal, although he said he believed the House would pass similar legislation.
After President Donald Trump was impeached for the first time in December 2019, Brown voted to remove him from office. During the January 2020 impeachment trial, Brown said he was fine with Republicans bringing witnesses to testify so long as they allowed testimony from witnesses such as John Bolton.
In February 2020, Brown and other Democrats in the house voted to block two pieces of anti-abortion legislation: the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act and the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The same month, Brown introduced the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act to the Senate.
Committee assignments (117th Congress)
- Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Chairman)
- As chairman of the whole committee, Brown serves as an ex officio member on all the subcommittees.
- Committee on Finance
- Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Potential national campaigns
One of Bernie Sanders‘s closest allies in the U.S. Senate, Brown nevertheless endorsed Hillary Clinton and campaigned for her in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary in Ohio. He was vetted as a potential vice-presidential running mate for Clinton. The choice came down to Brown and Tim Kaine, who was ultimately selected. Brown had the distinct disadvantage that had Clinton won, Ohio’s Republican Governor John Kasich would have chosen Brown’s replacement in the Senate, whereas Kaine’s replacement would be chosen by Democrat and Clinton ally Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.
In May 2017 Washington Monthly suggested that Brown could unite the establishment and progressive wings of the Democratic Party as a presidential candidate in 2020. On November 12, 2018, Cleveland.com reported that Brown was “seriously” considering a presidential run,
After winning his third Senate term in the 2018 election, Brown was considered a potential candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 and began exploring a run in January 2019. On March 7, 2019, he announced that he would not run for president. and on March 9, 2019, Brown said he would not run for president and would remain a senator. He also said he has no interest in being vice president.
In the 2011 National Journal's annual rankings, Brown tied with eight other members for the title of the most liberal member of Congress. According to FiveThirtyEight, Brown voted with President Donald Trump‘s position on Congressional issues 25.8% of the time.
In a 2017 issue of Dissent, Michael Kazin introduced an interview with Brown by praising him as “a politician ahead of his time” and “perhaps the most class-conscious Democrat in Washington.” Brown told Kazin that many Ohioans think “people on the coasts look down on them” and blamed this notion on Fox News and The Wall Street Journal.
In April 2019, Brown was one of seven senators led by Debbie Stabenow and Joni Ernst to sign a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue urging the Agriculture Department to implement conservation measures in the 2018 Farm Bill “through a department-wide National Water Quality Initiative, which would build off the existing initiative housed at the Natural Resource Conservation Service.”
In March 2019, Brown was one of six senators to sign a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting that it “use its rulemaking authority, along with other tools, in order to combat the scourge of non-compete clauses rigging our economy against workers” and saying that non-compete clauses “harm employees by limiting their ability to find alternate work, which leaves them with little leverage to bargain for better wages or working conditions with their immediate employer.” The senators’ letter added that the FTC had the responsibility of protecting both consumers and workers and needed to “act decisively” to address their concerns over “serious anti-competitive harms from the proliferation of non-competes in the economy.”
Brown opposed the Iraq War and voted against the Iraq Resolution as a House Representative. He voted against the $87 billion war budgetary supplement. He also voted for redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008. Brown voted for the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008, which appropriated $250 billion for ongoing military operations and domestic programs.
In December 2010, Brown voted for the ratification of New START, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation obliging both countries to have no more than 1,550 strategic warheads and 700 launchers deployed during the next seven years, and providing for a continuation of on-site inspections that halted when START I expired the previous year. It was the first arms treaty with Russia in eight years.
In 2012, Brown co-sponsored a resolution to “oppose any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.” In 2015, he co-sponsored an amendment to the budget that was unanimously approved by the Senate and that would reimpose sanctions on Iran if Iran violated the terms of the interim or final agreement by advancing its nuclear program.
Brown was a co-sponsor of reaffirmations of the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances in regards to United States-Taiwan relations. Weeks after the 2014 Hong Kong class boycott campaign and Umbrella Movement broke out, demanding genuine universal suffrage among other goals, Brown (the chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China), co-chair Chris Smith, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin, Marco Rubio, Roger Wicker, Dianne Feinstein, and Jeff Merkley, and U.S. Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Dan Lipinski and Frank Wolf introduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would update the United States–Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 and U.S. commitment to democratic development in Hong Kong.
In September 2016, in advance of UN Security Council resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, Brown signed an AIPAC-sponsored letter urging President Obama to veto “one-sided” resolutions against Israel. In February 2019, Brown voted against a controversial Israel Anti-Boycott Act initiated by Republicans that would allow states to prohibit government agencies from contracting with organizations involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
In June 2017, Brown criticized U.S. support for Saudi Arabia‘s military campaign in Yemen, saying, “It’s becoming increasingly clear that Saudi Arabia has been deliberately targeting civilian targets. And that’s absolutely unacceptable”. In July 2017, he voted for the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which placed sanctions on Iran, Russia, and North Korea. In May 2018, Brown, Bob Menendez and Mark Warner wrote to the inspectors general of the State Department, Treasury Department and Intelligence Community, to allege that the Trump administration had failed to fully comply with the provisions of the CAATSA and request investigations into that. In October 2018, Brown condemned the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and called for a stronger response to the crisis.
In May 2018, Brown was one of 12 senators to sign a letter to Trump urging him not to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal on the grounds that “Iran could either remain in the agreement and seek to isolate the United States from our closest partners, or resume its nuclear activities” if the U.S. pulled out and that both possibilities “would be detrimental to our national security interests.” In August 2018, Brown and 16 other members of Congress urged the U.S. to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act against Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority in western China’s Xinjiang region.
In November 2018, Brown joined Senators Chris Coons, Elizabeth Warren and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in sending the Trump administration a letter raising concerns about the People’s Republic of China‘s undue influence on media outlets and academic institutions in the United States. They wrote: “In American news outlets, Beijing has used financial ties to suppress negative information about the CCP. In the past four years, multiple media outlets with direct or indirect financial ties to China allegedly decided not to publish stories on wealth and corruption in the CCP. In one case, an editor resigned due to mounting self-censorship in the outlet’s China coverage. Beijing has also sought to use relationships with American academic institutions and student groups to shape public discourse.”
In January 2019, after Juan Guaidó declared himself interim President of Venezuela, Brown said that the United States should “work with our allies and use economic, political and diplomatic leverage to help bring about free and fair elections, limit escalating tension, and ensure the safety of Americans on the ground”, and called the Trump administration’s suggestions of military intervention “reckless and irresponsible”.
In December 2015, Brown co-sponsored a bill in Congress that would restrict ISIS‘s financing by authorizing new sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate financial transactions with ISIS. The bill called for tightening international passport regulations and additional screening of persons attempting to enter the U.S. on certain types of visas. The bill would also provide grants to local law enforcement agencies to train for active shooter situations and terrorist attacks and to conduct cyber-training to identify and track extremists such as the couple behind the 2015 San Bernardino attack. Brown also called for banning those on the no fly list from purchasing assault weapons.
Brown’s opposition to the 2017 tax bill led to what was described as a “shouting match” with Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who accused Brown of “spouting off” to the effect that the tax bill benefited the rich.
In March 2018, Vice President Mike Pence criticized Brown for his recent vote against the Republican tax bill (the TCJA). Brown had argued the bill overwhelmingly benefited wealthy individuals and corporations with a much smaller impact to the middle class.
In 2014, Brown introduced the Gold Star Fathers Act of 2014 (S. 2323; 113th Congress), a bill that would expand preferred eligibility for federal jobs to the fathers of certain permanently disabled or deceased veterans. He said that “when a service member is killed in action or permanently and totally disabled, the government should do its part to be there for grieving parents—no matter if they’re fathers or mothers.”
In 2015, Brown and Representative Tim Ryan introduced legislation that would give military veterans priority in scheduling classes in colleges, universities, and other post-secondary education programs.
Energy and environment
In 2012, Brown co-sponsored the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act, a bill that would prohibit the export of some electronics for environmental reasons. In 2018, his Water Resources Development Act was signed by Donald Trump to invest in “clean water infrastructure and build or update water and sewer systems.”
Brown has criticized the political influence of gun manufacturers.
Brown called the Republican legislature in Ohio “lunatics” for introducing a concealed carry bill that would allow individuals to carry guns into airplane terminals (before security), police buildings, private airplanes, and day care facilities.
In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, Brown participated in the Chris Murphy gun control filibuster. A few weeks later, Brown voted for the Feinstein Amendment, which would have barred any individual on the terrorist watchlist from buying a gun.
In the wake of the Killing of John Crawford III, Brown came to Dayton, Ohio to provide support.
Banking and finance industry
In February 2013, conservative commentator George F. Will wrote in support of Brown’s proposal to break up consolidated banks and finance industry conglomerates by restoring the Glass-Steagall Act.
In 2016, after the leak of the Panama Papers, Brown and Elizabeth Warren urged the Treasury Department to investigate whether U.S. individuals were involved in possible tax avoidance and misconduct associated with the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Flint water crisis
In the wake of the Flint water crisis, Brown introduced legislation that would force the federal government to step in when cities and states fail to warn residents about lead-contaminated drinking water and to give Ohio’s school districts money to test it.
Brown supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, voting for it in December 2009, and he voted for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
In 2006, Brown co-sponsored the single-payer Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. He did not co-sponsor Senator Bernie Sanders‘s single-payer health plan, despite saying he has “always been supportive” of such a system. Brown said he was supporting his own plan, which would allow people 55 and older to buy into Medicare.
In January 2019, Brown was one of six Democratic senators to introduce the American Miners Act of 2019, a bill that would amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to swap funds in excess of the amount needed to meet existing obligations under the Abandoned Mine Land fund to the 1974 Pension Plan as part of an effort to prevent its insolvency as a result of coal company bankruptcies and the 2008 financial crisis. It also increased the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund tax and ensured that miners affected by the 2018 coal company bankruptcies would not lose their health insurance.
In August 2019 Brown was one of 19 senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar requesting data from the Trump administration in order to help states and Congress understand the potential consequences of the Texas v. United States Affordable Care Act lawsuit, writing that an overhaul of the present health care system would form “an enormous hole in the pocketbooks of the people we serve as well as wreck state budgets”.
In September 2019, amid discussions to prevent a government shutdown, Brown was one of six Democratic senators to sign a letter to congressional leadership advocating the passage of legislation that would permanently fund health care and pension benefits for retired coal miners as “families in Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, Alabama, Colorado, North Dakota and New Mexico” would start to receive notifications of health care termination by the end of the following month.
In April 2019, Brown was one of 41 senators to sign a bipartisan letter to the housing subcommittee praising the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development‘s Section 4 Capacity Building program as authorizing “HUD to partner with national nonprofit community development organizations to provide education, training, and financial support to local community development corporations (CDCs) across the country” and expressing disappointment that President Trump’s budget “has slated this program for elimination after decades of successful economic and community development.” The senators wrote of their hope that the subcommittee would support continued funding for Section 4 in Fiscal Year 2020.
Brown voted against prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting children in Washington D.C. He received a 100% score from the Human Rights Campaign in 2005–2006, indicating a pro-gay rights stance. On December 18, 2010, he voted in favor of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
In October 2018, Brown was one of 20 senators to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to reverse the rolling back of a policy that granted visas to same-sex partners of LGBTQ diplomats who had unions that were not recognized by their home countries, writing that too many places around the world have seen LGBTQ individuals “subjected to discrimination and unspeakable violence, and receive little or no protection from the law or local authorities” and that refusing to let LGBTQ diplomats bring their partners to the US would be equivalent of upholding “the discriminatory policies of many countries around the world.”
Brown praised West Virginia teachers who held a nine-day strike in early 2018, saying: “When this society fails to pay its teachers a living wage, it’s pretty shameful. Those teachers engaged the public to put pressure on a Republican legislature that historically underfunds education and they got the legislature to finally do the right thing. So I was proud of those teachers for standing up.” He also praised other recent activist demonstrations, such as the gun violence protests by Parkland High School students in Florida and the Women’s March after President Trump’s inauguration, saying: “That’s what makes our country great — when people stand up and push back when they’re mistreated.”
In July 2019, following reports that the Trump administration intended to cease protecting spouses, parents and children of active-duty service members from deportation, Brown was one of 22 senators led by Tammy Duckworth to sign a letter arguing that the protection gave service members the ability “to fight for the United States overseas and not worry that their spouse, children, or parents will be deported while they are away” and that its termination would both cause service members personal hardship and negatively affect their combat performance.
In February 2017, Brown and 30 other senators signed a letter to Kaléo Pharmaceuticals in response to an increase of the opioid-overdose-reversing device Evzio’s price from $690 in 2014 to $4,500. They requested the detailed price structure for Evzio, the number of devices Kaléo Pharmaceuticals set aside for donation, and the totality of federal reimbursements Evzio received in the previous year.
In June 2019, Brown was one of ten senators to cosponsor the Safe Freight Act, a bill that would require freight trains to have one or more certified conductors and a certified engineer on board who can collaborate on how to protect the train and people living near the tracks. The legislation was meant to correct a Federal Railroad Administration rollback of a proposed rule intended to establish safety standards.
Brown has criticized free trade with China and other countries. In a 2006 Washington Post article, Brown argued against free trade on the grounds that labor activism was responsible for the growth of the U.S. middle class, and that the U.S. economy is harmed by trade relations with countries that lack the kind of labor regulations that have resulted from that activism.
In 2011, the Columbus Dispatch noted that Brown “loves to rail against international trade agreements.” Brown’s book Myths of Free Trade argues that “an unregulated global economy is a threat to all of us.” In the book he recommends measures that would allow for emergency tariffs, protect Buy America laws, including those that give preference to minority and women-owned businesses, and hold foreign producers to American labor and environmental standards. Brown was the co-author and sponsor of a bill that would officially declare China a currency manipulator and require the Department of Commerce to impose countervailing duties on Chinese imports.
In May 2016, Brown called for tariffs to be imposed on imports from China and praised Hillary Clinton’s plan to enforce rules and trade laws and triple the enforcement budgets at the United States Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission.
In January 2018, Brown expressed support for President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on washing machine imports. He supported his first trade agreement in 2019, after never having previously supported one while in Congress. He voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement because he said it would send Ohioan jobs to Mexico, but supported a new trade agreement for United States, Mexico and Canada after a “step toward a pro-worker trade policy, but it’s not a perfect agreement.”
Brown’s second wife, Connie Schultz, was a newspaper columnist at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but resigned because being a politician’s spouse presented a conflict of interest. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005. She is also the author of Life Happens (2007) and …and His Lovely Wife (2008), in which she describes her experiences as the spouse of a U.S. Senate candidate.
Brown was married to Larke Recchie from 1979 to 1987, and they had two children. During their divorce proceedings, Recchie obtained a restraining order against Brown to keep him from harassing or annoying her and from “doing bodily harm.” In a supporting affidavit, she said she was “in fear for the safety and well-being of myself and our children due to [Brown’s] physical violence and abusive nature” and that Brown had “intimidated, pushed, shoved and bullied” her on several occasions. Years later, Recchie walked back her claims of physical violence against Brown.
Recchie and Schultz later became friends and filmed an ad together for Brown’s 2006 Senate campaign. Recchie hosted a fund-raising event for Brown’s 2012 reelection campaign against Republican Josh Mandel and issued a statement saying, “I understand that in campaigns you often have to go after your opponent, but Josh Mandel should know better than to go after our family. I ask that he immediately put a stop to this kind of politics. I was proud to support Sherrod in 2006 and I’m proud to support him again this time around against Josh Mandel. Josh Mandel should immediately stop this kind of dirty campaigning.”
On May 18, 2014, Brown was awarded an honorary doctor of public service degree from Otterbein University. Along with his wife, Brown delivered a keynote address at the undergraduate commencement.
Brown is the author of three books:
- Congress from the Inside: Observations from the Majority and the Minority, Kent State University Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0873387927
- Myths of Free Trade: Why American Trade Policy Has Failed, The New Press, 2006,ISBN 978-1595581242
- Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019,ISBN 978-0374138219
|Democratic||Merrill Kesier Jr.||163,628||21.89%|
|Republican||Mike DeWine (incumbent)||1,761,037||43.82%||-15.8|
|Democratic gain from Republican||Swing||-17.9|
|Democratic||Sherrod Brown (incumbent)||802,678||100.00|
|Democratic||Sherrod Brown (incumbent)||2,762,766||50.70%||-5.46%|
|Democratic||Sherrod Brown (incumbent)||613,373||100%|
|Democratic||Sherrod Brown (incumbent)||2,358,508||53.40%||+2.70%|
- Ohio United States Senate elections
- List of United States senators from Ohio
- Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011
- Brown–Kaufman amendment
- List of Eagle Scouts
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- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
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- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Sherrod Brown columns at HuffPost
- Collected news and commentary at the Cleveland Plain Dealer
2018 US Senator
|Sherrod Brown (D)||2,355,923||53.4%|
|Jim Renacci (R)||2,053,963||46.6%|
Source: Follow the Money
Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection
Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
National Security and International Trade and Finance
Securities, Insurance, and Investment
Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade
Nutrition, Agricultural Research, and Specialty Crops
Rural Development and Energy
Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy
International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
See: Vote Smart
- Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Chairman)
- As chairman of the whole committee, Brown serves as an ex officio member on all the subcommittees.
- Committee on Finance
- Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
AEROSPACE, SCIENCE, AND INNOVATION
Ohio is a state of innovators, inventors and explorers. From the Wright brothers to Ohio’s more than two dozen astronauts, our state’s leadership in aerospace, science, and innovation will continue to be essential to our success in the 21st Century.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL COMMUNITIES
As Ohio’s first Senator on the Agriculture Committee in more than forty years, I am honored to represent our state’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Approximately one out of every seven Ohio jobs is in agriculture, our state’s largest industry.
ECONOMY AND JOBS
As Ohio and the nation move into the 21st century, we must rebuild the infrastructure of the urban centers of our great cities, reinvigorate struggling midsize communities, empower rural areas to secure needed services and infrastructure, and protect the quality of life in all of our towns and suburbs across the state.
EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Investing in our education system is essential to ensuring Ohio’s future. By investing in Ohio’s youth and young people from all over the nation, we prepare and help produce the leaders of tomorrow.
I continue to work with businesses, research institutions, labor unions, entrepreneurs, and community leaders to position Ohio as a leader in the alternative energy sector.
FINANCIAL SERVICES AND HOUSING POLICY THAT WORKS FOR MAIN STREET
Since joining the Senate Committee on Banking, I’ve been fighting for aggressive action to help to those who need it the most – Ohio’s middle class families instead of the bankers and financiers of Wall Street.
Health Care is an important issue for all Ohioans, and I am working hard to ensure a better system for everyone.
HOMELAND SECURITY AND FIRST RESPONDERS
Ohio’s first responders are our first line of defense in ensuring our communities and our families are safe.
Since December 2009, the manufacturing sector has added more than 600,000 jobs to the U.S. economy, but too many communities are still struggling to get back on their feet.
MILITARY AND DEFENSE
Our troops must get the support and the protection they need. From providing them with body and vehicle armor, to boosting their base pay, our troops must come first.
PROMOTING EQUAL RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITY
Throughout my career, in Columbus and Washington, I have opposed discrimination in every form and fought to protect the civil rights and liberties of all citizens.
PROTECTING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES
From combating climate change to protecting our streams, forests, and wildlife, it is important that we continue to protect our environment for both current and future generations.
We owe it to our children and grandchildren to reduce our nation’s deficit and improve our nation’s economy. But not at the expense of the Medicare and Social Security benefits that seniors deserve and have earned.
There can be no economic recovery in our state or our nation without a thriving small business sector.
TRADE AND FOREIGN POLICY
Fair Trade is vital to our nation’s economic future. Trade can create jobs, expand opportunities for Ohio businesses, and ensure a level playing field in the global marketplace.
TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Investment in Ohio infrastructure projects such as the modernization of our wastewater systems, roads, and bridges, is critical to meeting the evolving needs of the state.
Nothing is more important than honoring our promises to veterans. VA benefits are earned benefits and the men and women of our armed forces should receive those benefits on a guaranteed and timely basis.
The protection of individual rights and liberties is a fundamental part of the oath of office I took to “support and defend the Constitution.” From expanding economic opportunities for low-income Ohioans to opposing discrimination in every form, I will continue to fight and protect the civil rights and liberties of all citizens.
As Ohio’s first Senator on the Agriculture Committee in more than forty years, I am honored to represent our state’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Approximately one out of every seven Ohio jobs is in agriculture, our state’s largest industry. Today, Ohio farmers not only put food on our tables, but also grow feed for our animals and provide clean energy for vehicles nationwide. With ingenuity, self-reliance and bedrock American values, Ohio’s small towns and rural communities are the lifeblood of our state. As the Chair of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth, and Energy Innovation, I will fight to make sure the 2012 farm bill reflects the locally-identified priorities of Ohio’s rural communities and bolsters Ohio’s number one industry to create jobs and strengthen our economy.
For much of our nation’s history, Ohio’s talented workforce has been at the center of economic growth and prosperity. Ohio workers built our cars and appliances and laid down the rail lines and roads that connected our shores. As Ohio manufacturers, small businesses, farmers, and entrepreneurs helped turn our nation into an economic superpower, wages climbed, productivity increased, and more people joined the middle class.
As our economy continues to recover, Sen. Brown will fight for economic policies that strengthen Ohio’s middle class. We need to create jobs, rebuild American manufacturing, invest in our small businesses, and train workers for new opportunities in new industries.
Our state has a rich manufacturing heritage and network of innovative small businesses. Sen. Brown has traveled across our state to facilitate partnerships that put Ohioans to work in good-paying manufacturing jobs in the auto, aerospace, biotech, and clean energy industries. Sen. Brown has also worked to ensure that our state’s small businesses – which create nearly two-thirds of new jobs – have the resources they need to expand operations and hire new workers.
We need a jobs agenda that:
- Promotes Ohio businesses expansion by strengthening small business lending programs and boosting U.S. exports so Ohio’s businesses can expand.
- Develops Ohio’s workforce so that Ohioans are prepared to fill the jobs of the 21st century.
- Revitalizes the state’s infrastructure in order to attract global industries.
- Counteracts China’s currency manipulation and subsidization of domestic industries to ensure that Ohio workers and suppliers aren’t undermined by unfair trade practices.
Our nation’s path toward energy independence can create jobs and generate economic development in Ohio. Done right, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, safeguard our environment, and increase the competitiveness of Ohio manufacturing. From our growing clean energy industry and redevelopment of former nuclear sites, to our renowned universities and cutting-edge manufacturers, I will continue to help Ohio lead the way to our nation’s economic prosperity and energy-independent future.
The health of our economy depends on stable, fair, and efficient financial markets, and I will continue fighting for the changes needed to prevent another financial crisis from affecting small businesses and working families on Main Street. We must lay the groundwork for a financial system that looks after our workers, invests in our small businesses, and strengthens our middle class. And we must ensure that Ohio’s financial institutions can continue to provide affordable credit and insurance to small businesses.
Stable, affordable housing is critical to ensuring strong neighborhoods, schools, and communities. But the sub-prime lending crisis hit Ohio particularly hard. Foreclosures affect the property values of surrounding homes and lead to vacant lots vulnerable to crime. Unemployment and reduced tax revenues deplete the very state and local resources needed to address vital social services. As the Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, I’m working to rebuild our neighborhoods and ensure every Ohioan has a place that he or she can call home.
Ohioans know how important manufacturing is to our economy. Since December 2009, the manufacturing sector has added more than 600,000 jobs to the U.S. economy, but too many communities are still struggling to get back on their feet.
Sen. Brown has worked to create manufacturing partnerships across Ohio that spur innovation and create good-paying, high skill jobs. Sen. Brown has also fought to protect Ohio’s manufacturers from unfair trade practices. Ohio’s workers can compete with anyone in the world, but only if there’s a level playing field. Sen. Brown will continue to champion the cause of domestic manufacturing and its workers.
A thriving small business sector is crucial to continued economic recovery in our state. Too many small businesses – which create nearly two-thirds of new private-sector jobs in our nation – lack access to the capital they need to survive and grow. We must ensure that small businesses have the resources they need to rebuild our economy and promote economic development around Ohio.
Strengthening our economy starts in our classrooms and extends into our workplaces. By improving the delivery and alignment of early childhood education, K-12 education, and postsecondary education, we can better prepare Ohioans to compete in a global economy. Additionally, by investing in a workforce development system that meets the needs of high-growth, regional industries, we can attract new employers to our state. For these reasons, I will continue to fight to ensure that all Ohioans have access to high-quality, affordable education and the training they need for success in the workforce.
Throughout my career I have fought to protect and conserve our natural resources. We have made our air cleaner to breathe and our water safer to drink, but environmental stewardship is an ongoing responsibility. From fighting to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes to preserving our streams, forests, and wildlife, it is important that we continue to protect our environment for both current and future generations.
No family should ever be one emergency room visit away from financial disaster. That’s why Sen. Brown has fought to improve our nation’s health care system to help millions of Ohioans receive the quality, affordable health care they need. And Sen. Brown has fought to require insurance companies to spend consumers’ premium dollars on providing actual care, not overhead expenses and executive salaries. Sen. Brown will also continue to fight to protect Medicare for seniors. Finally, it is critical to ensure the health and well-being of our nation’s children. From reversing the disparity in medical research spending on pediatric diseases to ensuring access to comprehensive health care, our nation’s children should be a priority.
Investing in our infrastructure creates jobs while ensuring safer roads, railways, and bridges; and upgrades to water, sewer, and broadband systems. It means expanding commerce across our state and creating jobs in our communities. I will continue to ensure Ohio receives targeted federal investments that improve our state’s infrastructure and strengthen Ohio’s economy.
Ohio’s first responders, fire fighters, and law enforcement officials put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities and our families. They run toward danger when everyone else runs away. They are the heart of our small towns and big cities, and they are representative of a strong middle class. Yet reduced funding and increased demand for public safety has meant that it is critical that we step up to help our first responders carry out their essential lifesaving duties. We must continue to ensure that they have the resources, training, and support needed to safely perform these critical jobs and protect our communities.
We owe it to our children and grandchildren to reduce our nation’s deficit and improve our nation’s economy. But not at the expense of the Medicare and Social Security benefits that seniors deserve and have earned. These programs are social insurance – investments in the future of our nation and the well-being of our fellow citizens. Our seniors deserve policies that protect these benefits, not undermine them. That’s why in December 2014, Sen. Brown announced that he will introduce legislation that will not only strengthen Social Security, but expand it. He also opposes efforts to raise the retirement age for Social Security and has fought back attempts to privatize Medicare. Sen. Brown will continue to work to strengthen and improve these programs, so future generations can continue to move into their retirement years with a sense of security.
Our veterans deserve the benefits they have earned while serving our country. Our commitment to them and their families after they transition out of the military must match their commitment to us. Sen. Brown is honored to represent Ohio’s 900,000 veterans as the only Ohio Senator to serve a full term on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. With key moments in our nation’s veterans history occurring in Ohio, from the founding of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Columbus, to establishing the nation’s first VA hospital in Dayton, Sen. Brown will continue to listen, advocate, and address issues and problems affecting Ohio and those who have served us.
Aerospace, Science, & Innovation
Ohio is a state of innovators, inventors and explorers. From the Wright brothers to Ohio’s more than two dozen astronauts, our state’s leadership in aerospace, science, and innovation will continue to be essential to our success in the 21st Century.
Ranging from aerospace companies in Dayton, to the astronautical engineering work at Brook Park and beyond, Ohio’s scientists, researchers, and skilled workers created and built our nation’s economic prosperity and national security and will continue to do so.
Trade & Foreign Policy
Fair trade is vital to our nation’s economic future. Trade can create jobs, expand opportunities for Ohio businesses, and ensure a level playing field in the global marketplace. But for too long, our workers, small businesses, and manufacturers have paid a steep price for an outdated trade agenda. That’s why Sen. Brown continues to fight against wrong-headed trade policies that ship jobs overseas and shutter manufacturing facilities. By fighting back against currency manipulation and other unfair trade practices, we can develop a trade agenda that that supports American workers and helps expand the Made in America label to markets around the world.
Our nation’s foreign policy should be focused on advancing stability and prosperity here at home and abroad. This is not only tied to military actions, but includes foreign aid, development assistance, and support for universal human rights such as water and education. From advancing nuclear nonproliferation to countering the conditions that breed terrorism, to proactively engaging global public health challenges, Sen. Brown will continue to advocate for balanced policies that promote our shared human rights and protect democratic values that are the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy.