Sherrod Brown 1Sherrod Brown

Current Position: US Senator since 2006
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): US Representative from 1993 – 2007; State Delegate from 1975 – 1982

Featured Quote: 
When you get your Child Tax Credit payment, just remember: Every single Republican in Congress voted against it.

Featured Video: 
Sen. Sherrod Brown: ‘The GOP Has Become The Anti-Worker Party’ | MSNBC

Sen. Sherrod Brown introduces legislation to tax stock buybacks, Sabrina EatonSeptember 10, 2021 (Medium)

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.


Current Position: US Senator since 2006
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Position(s): US Representative from 1993 – 2007; State Delegate from 1975 – 1982

Featured Quote: 
When you get your Child Tax Credit payment, just remember: Every single Republican in Congress voted against it.

Featured Video: 
Sen. Sherrod Brown: ‘The GOP Has Become The Anti-Worker Party’ | MSNBC


Sen. Sherrod Brown introduces legislation to tax stock buybacks, Sabrina EatonSeptember 10, 2021 (Medium)

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.



Sherrod Brown

Source: Government page

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.”

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.

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.

Voting Record

Votes on Bills



801 West Superior Ave.,
Suite 1400
Cleveland, OH 44113
T:(216) 522-7272
F:(216) 522-2239
1-888-896-OHIO (6446)



425 Walnut St.,
Suite 2310
Cincinnati, OH 45202
T:(513) 684-1021
F:(513) 684-1029
1-888-896-OHIO (6446)



200 North High St.,
Room 614
Columbus, OH 43215
T:(614) 469-2083
F:(614) 469-2171
1-888-896-OHIO (6446)



200 West Erie Ave.,
Suite 312
Lorain, OH 44052
T:(440) 242-4100
F:(440) 242-4108
1-888-896-OHIO (6446)



503 Hart Senate,
Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
T:(202) 224-2315
F:(202) 228-6321




Work Experience

  • Served as Democrat to U.S. Congress from Ohio
    1993 to 2007



Birth Year: 1952
Place of Birth: Mansfield, OH
Gender: Male
Race(s): Caucasian
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.
Suite 312
Lorain, OH 44052
Phone: (440) 242-4100
Fax: (440) 242-4108

200 North High St.
Room 614
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 469-2083
Fax: (614) 469-2171

425 Walnut St.,
Suite 2310
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (513) 684-1021
Fax: (513) 684-1029

801 West Superior Ave.,
Suite 1400
Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: (216) 522-7272
Fax: (216) 522-2239


Government Page, Campaign Site, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Government Page


Source: none

Campaign Finance

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Voting Record

VoteSmart – Key Votes & Ratings



Wikipedia Entry

Sherrod Campbell Brown (/ˈʃɛrəd/; 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

Early life, education, and academic career

Brown was born in Mansfield, Ohio, the son of Emily (née Campbell) and Charles Gailey Brown, M.D.[5] He has Scottish, Irish, German, and English ancestry, and was named after his maternal grandfather.[5] Brown’s brother Charles served as Attorney General of West Virginia from 1985 to 1989.[6] Brown became an Eagle Scout in 1967, and his badge was presented by John Glenn.[7] In 1970, he graduated from Mansfield Senior High School.[7]

In 1974, Brown received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian studies from Yale University.[8][9] While at Yale, he lived in Davenport College,[10] and he campaigned for George McGovern during the 1972 presidential election.[11] 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.[9] He taught at the Mansfield branch campus of The Ohio State University from 1979 to 1981.[12]

Early political career

During his senior year in college, Brown was recruited by a local Democratic leader to run for Ohio’s state house.[11] 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.[13] 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.[11] In 1990 he lost reelection in a heated campaign against Republican Bob Taft, the only race he has lost in his political career.[11]

U.S. House of Representatives

1992 election

Congressman Brown in 1993

Brown’s signature on an official document from his office as Secretary of State of Ohio, 1990.

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.[14]


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.[11]

Sherrod Brown in 2004

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.[15]

Brown opposed an amendment to Ohio’s constitution that banned same-sex marriage.[16] He was also one of the few U.S. Representatives to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.[17]

Committee assignments

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.[18]

U.S. Senate



Sherrod Brown at a campaign rally

Brown hosts a panel of advisers to Barack Obama‘s presidential campaign during the first day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado

In August 2005 Brown announced he would not run for the United States Senate seat held by two-term Republican incumbent Mike DeWine,[19] but in October he reconsidered his decision.[20] 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%.[21]

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.[22] The case, Conyers v. Bush, was ultimately dismissed for lack of standing.[23]

On November 7, 2006, Brown defeated DeWine, 56% to 44%.[24]


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.[25] Early on Brown enjoyed a steady lead in the polls.[26] Mandel won the March Republican primary with 63% of the vote.[27]

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.[28] In May 2012 Brown campaigned with West Wing actor Martin Sheen.[29]

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.[30]


In 2018 Brown was reelected to a third Senate term, defeating Republican U.S. Representative Jim Renacci by 6.4 points.[31]


A staunch critic of free trade who has taken progressive stances on financial issues, Brown has said that the Democratic Party should place stronger emphasis on progressive populism.[32]

In March 2018, Brown was appointed co-chair of the newly formed Joint Multiemployer Pension Solvency Committee.[33]

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.[34] He noted it could slow infection spread to coworkers[35] and criticized Republicans for blocking the proposal, although he said he believed the House would pass similar legislation.[36]

After President Donald Trump was impeached for the first time in December 2019, Brown voted to remove him from office.[37] 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.[38]

In January 2020, Brown called on his Senate colleagues to approve legislation that would improve the EPA‘s regulation of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances.[38]

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.[39] The same month, Brown introduced the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act to the Senate.[40]

Committee assignments (117th Congress)

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.[41] 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.[42] 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.[43]

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.[44] On November 12, 2018, reported that Brown was “seriously” considering a presidential run,[45]
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.[46] On March 7, 2019, he announced that he would not run for president.[47] 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.[citation needed]

Political positions

In the 2011 National Journal's annual rankings, Brown tied with eight other members for the title of the most liberal member of Congress.[48] According to FiveThirtyEight, Brown voted with President Donald Trump‘s position on Congressional issues 25.8% of the time.[49]

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.[50]


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.”[51]


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.”[52]

Foreign policy

Brown speaks at the kickoff breakfast for Lorain International Festival

Brown opposed the Iraq War and voted against the Iraq Resolution as a House Representative.[53] He voted against the $87 billion war budgetary supplement. He also voted for redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008.[54] Brown voted for the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008, which appropriated $250 billion for ongoing military operations and domestic programs.[55]

In December 2010, Brown voted for the ratification of New START,[56] 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.[57]

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.”[58] 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.[59]

Brown was a co-sponsor of reaffirmations of the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances in regards to United States-Taiwan relations.[60][61][62][63] 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.[64][65][66][67]

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.[68] In February 2019, Brown voted against a controversial Israel Anti-Boycott Act initiated by Republicans[69] that would allow states to prohibit government agencies from contracting with organizations involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.[70]

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”.[71] In July 2017, he voted for the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which placed sanctions on Iran, Russia, and North Korea.[72] 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.[73] In October 2018, Brown condemned the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and called for a stronger response to the crisis.[74]

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.”[75] 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.[76]

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.”[77]

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”.[78]


Brown was one of 67 members of Congress who voted against the 2001 USA PATRIOT Act.[79][80]

Brown voted in favor of the 2012 NDAA that sparked controversy over indefinite detention of US citizens.[81]

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.[82][83][84]


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.[85]

In March 2018, Vice President Mike Pence criticized Brown for his recent vote against the Republican tax bill (the TCJA).[85] Brown had argued the bill overwhelmingly benefited wealthy individuals and corporations with a much smaller impact to the middle class.[86]


Ohio Wing Civil Air Patrol delegation with Brown in 2012

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.[87] 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.”[88]

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.[89]

Energy and environment

In 2012, Brown co-sponsored the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act,[90] a bill that would prohibit the export of some electronics for environmental reasons.[91] 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.”[92]

Gun rights

Brown has criticized the political influence of gun manufacturers.[93]

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.[94]

In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, Brown participated in the Chris Murphy gun control filibuster.[95] A few weeks later, Brown voted for the Feinstein Amendment, which would have barred any individual on the terrorist watchlist from buying a gun.[96]

In response to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Brown supported Dianne Feinstein‘s effort to ban bump stocks.[97]

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.[98]

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.[99]

Stimulus spending

In 2009, Brown voted for the $787-billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He cast the 60th and final vote upon returning to Washington, DC, after his mother’s funeral service.[100]

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.[101][102][103]

Health care

Brown supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, voting for it in December 2009,[104] and he voted for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[105]

In 2006, Brown co-sponsored the single-payer Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.[106] 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.[107][108]

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.[109]

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”.[110]

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.[111]


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.[112]

LGBT rights

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.[113][114] On December 18, 2010, he voted in favor of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.[115][116]

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.”[117]


Brown speaks at 2014 Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C

In 2015, Brown introduced the Charter School Accountability Act of 2015, which would seek to curb “fraud, abuse, waste, mismanagement and misconduct” in charter schools.[118]

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.”[119]


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.[120]

Intellectual property

Brown was a cosponsor of the Protect-IP Act (PIPA).[121]


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.[122]

Railroad safety

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.[123]


Brown talks about Making America Competitive Again and Restoring U.S. Innovation Leadership

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.[124]

In 2011, the Columbus Dispatch noted that Brown “loves to rail against international trade agreements.”[125] Brown’s book Myths of Free Trade argues that “an unregulated global economy is a threat to all of us.”[126] 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.[127] 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.[128][129]

Brown speaks at 2008 Labor Day Festival

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.[130]

Brown opposes NAFTA, which he argues should be renegotiated to aid Ohio workers.[131][114]

In January 2018, Brown expressed support for President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on washing machine imports.[132] 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.”[133]


In 2012, Brown wrote a letter to the United States Department of Defense requesting that it comply with a rule requiring members of the military to wear clothes made in the U.S.[134]

In a 2016 CNN interview, Brown criticized Trump for making “a lot of money apparently by outsourcing jobs to China.”[130]

Personal life

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.[135] She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005.[136] 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.[137]

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.[138] Years later, Recchie walked back her claims of physical violence against Brown.[139]

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.”[138]

Brown has four children, two from each marriage. His daughter Elizabeth is President Pro Tempore of the Columbus City Council.[140] He has five grandchildren.[141] He is Lutheran.[142]

On May 5, 2007, Brown was awarded an honorary doctorate from Capital University.[143]

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.[144]

Books authored

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

Electoral history

Democratic primary results, Ohio 2006
Democratic Sherrod Brown 583,776 78.11%
DemocraticMerrill Kesier Jr.163,62821.89%
Total votes747,404 100.00
2006 United States Senate election in Ohio
Democratic Sherrod Brown 2,257,369 56.16% +20.0
RepublicanMike DeWine (incumbent)1,761,03743.82%-15.8
IndependentRichard Duncan8300.02%n/a
Democratic gain from RepublicanSwing-17.9
Democratic primary results, Ohio 2012
Democratic Sherrod Brown (incumbent) 802,678 100.00
Total votes802,678 100.00
United States Senate election in Ohio, 2012[145]
Democratic Sherrod Brown (incumbent) 2,762,766 50.70% -5.46%
RepublicanJosh Mandel2,435,74444.70%+0.88%
IndependentScott Rupert250,6184.60%N/A
Total votes5,449,128 100.0% N/A
Democratic hold
Democratic primary results, Ohio 2018[146]
Democratic Sherrod Brown (incumbent) 613,373 100%
Total votes613,373 100%
United States Senate election in Ohio, 2018[147]
Democratic Sherrod Brown (incumbent) 2,358,508 53.40% +2.70%
RepublicanJim Renacci2,057,55946.58%+1.88%
Total votes4,410,898 100.0% N/A
Democratic hold

See also


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External links

Recent Elections

2018 US Senator

Sherrod Brown (D)2,355,92353.4%
Jim Renacci (R)2,053,96346.6%
Write-in ()1,012

Source: Ballotpedia


BROWN, SHERROD has run in 2 races for public office, winning 2 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $51,062,591.

Source: Follow the Money



Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Senate Committee on Finance
Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs


Economic Policy
Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection
Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
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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
Health Care
International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness

Voting Record

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Civil Rights

Promoting Equal Rights & Opportunity

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.


Agriculture & 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. 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.

Economy & Jobs

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.

Financial Services & Housing Policy That Works for Main Street

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.

Small Business

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.


Education & Workforce Development

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.


Protecting our Natural Resources

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.

Health Care

Health Care

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.


Transportation & Infrastructure

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.


Homeland Security & First Responders

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.

Social Security


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.

Foreign Policy

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.

Robert PortmanRob Portman

Current Position: US Senator
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2006 – 2007; US Representative from 1993 – 1996

Featured Quote: 
Our @CBP agents are overwhelmed by the largest surge of migrants at our border in 20 yrs & record amounts of illicit deadly drugs, like fentanyl, coming into the US. As I told @SecMayorkas
today, his current policy isn’t working, the Biden admin must change course.

Featured Video: 
‘We’re about 90 percent of the way there’ on infrastructure deal: Portman | ABC News

Sen. Rob Portman called for a stop to finger-pointing after the deaths of 13 U.S. service members in Afghanistan, breaking through a chorus of angry Ohio Republicans who have pinned the blame on President Joe Biden.

Eleven Marines, a Navy corpsman and another service member were killed in a torrent of gunfire and bombings carried out Thursday by ISIS-K, an offshoot of the Islamic State. The attack injured an additional 18 American service members and wounded or killed Afghan civilians.

Ohio Navy corpsman Max Soviak of Berlin Heights was among those killed.

Portman said the victims died honorably trying to help Americans and Afghan allies flee the country.

“There will be plenty of time for finger pointing and politics,” he said. “Now is the time to express our gratitude to all the men and women of our armed services who have put themselves in harm’s way and offer our special prayers and condolences to the families and comrades of those who made the ultimate sacrifice today.”


Senator, on this page, has tabs titled”Press Releases, Column, Portman Difference, and
Rob’s Rundown.



Current Position: US Senator
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position(s): Director of the Office of Management and Budget from 2006 – 2007; US Representative from 1993 – 1996

Featured Quote: 
Our @CBP agents are overwhelmed by the largest surge of migrants at our border in 20 yrs & record amounts of illicit deadly drugs, like fentanyl, coming into the US. As I told @SecMayorkas
today, his current policy isn’t working, the Biden admin must change course.

Featured Video: 
‘We’re about 90 percent of the way there’ on infrastructure deal: Portman | ABC News


Sen. Rob Portman called for a stop to finger-pointing after the deaths of 13 U.S. service members in Afghanistan, breaking through a chorus of angry Ohio Republicans who have pinned the blame on President Joe Biden.

Eleven Marines, a Navy corpsman and another service member were killed in a torrent of gunfire and bombings carried out Thursday by ISIS-K, an offshoot of the Islamic State. The attack injured an additional 18 American service members and wounded or killed Afghan civilians.

Ohio Navy corpsman Max Soviak of Berlin Heights was among those killed.

Portman said the victims died honorably trying to help Americans and Afghan allies flee the country.

“There will be plenty of time for finger pointing and politics,” he said. “Now is the time to express our gratitude to all the men and women of our armed services who have put themselves in harm’s way and offer our special prayers and condolences to the families and comrades of those who made the ultimate sacrifice today.”


Senator, on this page, has tabs titled”Press Releases, Column, Portman Difference, and
Rob’s Rundown.




Robert Portman 3

Source: Government page

Rob Portman is a United States Senator from the state of Ohio, a position he has held since he was first elected in 2010, running a campaign that focused on common-sense conservative ideas to help create jobs and get the deficit under control. Rob won with a margin of 57 to 39 percent, winning 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties. In 2016, he was re-elected, winning by an even larger margin of 58 to 37 percent and winning 84 out of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Rob was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he still lives today with his wife, Jane. Together they have three children: Jed, Will, and Sally. Rob grew up in a small-business family, where he learned early on the value of hard work, leadership, and fiscal responsibility. When Rob was young, his dad, Bill Portman, borrowed money to start Portman Equipment Company, where Rob and his brother and sister all worked while growing up. His father, and then his brother, built the family business from a small forklift truck dealership with five employees, with Rob’s mom as the bookkeeper, to one that employed more than 300 people. Rob became a lawyer and developed his own private practice, representing Portman Equipment Company and other small businesses.

In 1993, Rob was first elected to Congress, where he represented the diverse, seven county Second District in southern Ohio. He was proud to serve the Second District for 12 years, and in seven elections, he never received less than 70 percent of the vote.

During his time in the House, Rob earned a reputation as a serious leader who focused on results. In September 1996, Rob founded the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati, now known as PreventionFIRST!, to help keep young people from substance abuse.  He authored the Drug-Free Communities Act, which has provided more than $1 billion to community coalitions around the country in its more than two decades as law of the land.

Rob also authored several federal laws to increase retirement savings, reform the IRS, and add more than 50 new taxpayer rights, curb unfunded mandates, reduce taxes, and expand land conservation efforts. He also authored the original Second Chance Act with the late-Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones in 2005, and it was later signed into law in 2008. Since 2009, more than 850 Second Chance Act grant awards have been made to government agencies and nonprofit organizations from 49 states for reentry programs serving adults and juveniles. More than 164,000 individuals have participated in these programs. Ohio has received more than $39 million in Second Chance Act grants.

In 2005, Rob left Congress when he was asked to serve as the United States Trade Representative, the Cabinet-level official responsible for implementing and enforcing U.S. trade policy. As America’s Trade Representative, Rob was successful in reducing barriers to U.S. exports and increasing enforcement of trade laws to help level the playing field for American farmers, workers, and service providers. Under his leadership, American exports increased and the U.S. brought successful legal challenges against international trade law violations—including against China.

Following his accomplishments as Trade Representative, Rob was asked to serve in another Cabinet post, this time as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Rob made his mark by proposing a balanced budget, fighting irresponsible earmarks, and putting in place new transparency measures for all federal spending.

During his Senate tenure, Rob has introduced more than 240 bills, including 200 bipartisan bills, and more than 150 of his legislative priorities have been signed into law.

Voting Record

Votes on Bills


Washington, D.C.

448 Russell Senate Office Building ,
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3353

Cincinnati, OH

312 Walnut Street , Room 3425
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513-684-3265


Work Experience

  • Served as Director, Office of Management and Budget, in the cabinet of President George W. Bush
    2006 to 2007



Birth Year: 1955
Place of Birth: Cincinnati, OH
Gender: Male
Race(s): Caucasian
Religion: Christian: Methodist
Children: William Portman, Sally Portman, Jed Portman




Washington, D.C. Office
448 Russell Senate Office Building ,
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3353

Cincinnati, OH
312 Walnut Street , Room 3425
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: 513-684-3265

Columbus, OH
37 West Broad Street , Room 300
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-469-6774

Cleveland, OH
1240 East 9th Street , Room 3061
Cleveland, OH 44199
Phone: 216-522-7095

Toledo, OH
420 Madison Avenue , Room 1210
Toledo, OH 43604
Phone: 419-259-3895


Government Page, Campaign Site, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Wikipedia


Source: none

Campaign Finance

Open Secrets – We Follow the Money

Voting Record

VoteSmart – Key Votes & Ratings



Wikipedia Entry

Robert Jones Portman (born December 19, 1955) is an American attorney and politician serving as the junior United States Senator for Ohio. A Republican, Portman has served as a U.S. Representative, the 14th United States Trade Representative, and the 35th Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

In 1993, Portman won a special election to represent Ohio’s 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He was reelected six times before resigning upon his appointment by President George W. Bush as the U.S. Trade Representative in May 2005. As Trade Representative, Portman initiated trade agreements with other countries and pursued claims at the World Trade Organization. In May 2006, Bush appointed Portman the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

In 2010, Portman announced his candidacy for the United States Senate seat being vacated by George Voinovich. He easily defeated then-Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher and was reelected in 2016. On January 25, 2021, he announced that he would not seek a third term in 2022.[1]

Early life

Portman was born in 1955, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of Joan (née Jones) and William C. “Bill” Portman II. His family was Presbyterian.[2][3] His great-grandfather on his father’s side, surnamed “Portmann”, immigrated from Switzerland; Portman also has Scots-Irish, English, and German ancestry.[4]

The Golden Lamb Inn, Ohio’s oldest continually operating restaurant and inn,[5] is owned by the Portman family

Portman with President George H. W. Bush in 1990

In 1926, Portman’s grandfather Robert Jones purchased the Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, Ohio, and, together with his future wife Virginia Kunkle Jones, refurbished it and decorated it with antique collectibles and Shaker furniture.[6] The couple ran the inn together until 1969, when they retired.[7]

When Portman was young, his father started the Portman Equipment Company, a forklift dealership where he and his siblings worked growing up.[citation needed] From his mother Joan, a liberal Republican, Portman inherited his sympathy for the Republican Party.[8]

Education and early career

Portman graduated from Cincinnati Country Day School in 1974 and attended Dartmouth College, where he started leaning to the right, and majored in anthropology and earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1978.[9] In Cincinnati, Portman worked on Bill Gradison‘s Congressional campaign, and Gradison soon became a mentor to Portman.[9] Portman next entered the University of Michigan Law School, earning his Juris Doctor degree in 1984 and serving as vice president of the student senate.[10] During law school, he embarked on a kayaking and hiking trip across China and met Jane Dudley, whom he married in 1986.[11] After graduating from law school, Portman moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the law firm Patton Boggs. Some describe his role there as a lobbyist; others say that such a description is inaccurate.[12][13][14][15] Portman next became an associate at Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP, a law firm in Cincinnati.[16]

In 1989, Portman began his career in government as an associate White House Counsel under President George H. W. Bush.[17] From 1989 to 1991, he served as Bush’s deputy assistant and director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.[10] While serving as White House counsel, Portman visited China, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[18]

United States Representative: 1993–2005

In 1993, Portman entered a special election to fill the seat of Congressman Bill Gradison of Ohio’s second congressional district, who had stepped down to become president of the Health Insurance Association of America. In the Republican primary, Portman faced six-term Congressman Bob McEwen, who had lost his Sixth District seat to Ted Strickland in November 1992; real estate developer Jay Buchert, president of the National Association of Home Builders; and several lesser known candidates.

In the primary, Portman was criticized for his previous law firm’s work for Haitian president Baby Doc Duvalier.[19] Buchert ran campaign commercials labeling Portman and McEwen “Prince Rob and Bouncing Bob.”[19] Portman lost four of the district’s five counties, but won the largest, Hamilton County, his home county and home to 57% of the district’s population. Largely on the strength of his victory in Hamilton, Portman took 17,531 votes (36%) overall, making him the winner.

In the general election, Portman defeated the Democratic nominee, attorney Lee Hornberger, 53,020 (70%) to 22,652 (29%).[20]

Portman was reelected in 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004, defeating Democrats Les Mann,[21] Thomas R. Chandler,[22] and then Waynesville mayor Charles W. Sanders four times in a row.[23][24][10]

House legislative career

Rob Portman testifying before the Senate Budget Committee in 1998

As of 2004, Portman had a lifetime rating of 89 from the American Conservative Union, and ranked 5th among Ohio’s 18 House members.[25]

One of Portman’s first votes in Congress was for the North American Free Trade Agreement on November 17, 1993.[26]

Of Portman’s work on the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union said, “He set a professional work environment that rose above partisanship and ultimately gave taxpayers more rights.”[23] Democratic Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones from Cleveland said Portman, “compared to other Republicans, is pleasant and good to work with.”[27] During the first four years of the George W. Bush Administration, Portman served as a liaison between Congressional Republicans and the White House.[27] Portman voted for the Iraq War Resolution in 2002.[28] He was known for his willingness to work with Democrats to enact important legislation.[17]

Portman has said that his proudest moments as a U.S. Representative were “when we passed the balanced budget agreement and the welfare reform bill.”[23] As a congressman, Portman traveled to Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait and Mexico.[18] During his time in the House, Portman began assisting prominent Republican candidates prepare for debates by standing in for their opponents in practice debates. He took the role of Lamar Alexander (for Bob Dole in 1996), Al Gore (for George W. Bush in 2000), Hillary Clinton (for Rick Lazio in 2000), Joe Lieberman (for Dick Cheney in 2000), John Edwards (for Cheney in 2004), and Barack Obama (for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012).[29][30] His portrayals mimic not only the person’s point of view but also their mannerisms, noting for instance that he listened to Obama’s audiobook reading to study his pattern of speech.[31]

George W. Bush administration: 2005–2007

United States Trade Representative

On March 17, 2005, Portman spoke at the White House during a ceremony at which Bush nominated him for United States Trade Representative, calling him “a good friend, a decent man, and a skilled negotiator.”[32] Portman was confirmed on April 29[33] and sworn in on May 17.[34][35][36]

Portman sponsored an unfair-trading claim to the World Trade Organization against Airbus because American allies in the European Union were providing subsidies that arguably helped Airbus compete against Boeing. European officials countered that Boeing received unfair subsidies from the United States, and the WTO ruled separately that they each received unfair government assistance.

Portman spent significant time out of the United States negotiating trade agreements with roughly 30 countries, visiting Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.[18] During his tenure, he also helped to win passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement.[37] Portman used a network of former House colleagues to get support for the treaty to lift trade barriers between the United States and Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras. According to The Hill, Portman took his wife, Jane, with him to the Capitol on their wedding anniversary so he could work on the deal.[38]

Hong Kong and trade suit

Portman nominated for OMB Director and Schwab nominated for USTR, 2006

As United States Trade Representative, Portman attended the WTO’s Hong Kong conference in 2005. He addressed the conference with a speech on development in Doha, and advocated a 60% cut in targeted worldwide agricultural subsidies by 2010.[39][40] Portman then sponsored a claim against China for extra charges it levied on American auto parts. U.S. steel manufacturers subsequently beseeched the White House to halt an influx of Chinese steel pipe used to make plumbing and fence materials. This was a recurring complaint and the United States International Trade Commission recommended imposing import quotas, noting “the economic threat to the domestic pipe industry from the Chinese surge.” With Portman as his top trade advisor, Bush replied that quotas were in the U.S. economic interest. He reasoned the American homebuilding industry used the pipe and wanted to maintain a cheap supply and that other cheap exporters would step in to fill China’s void if Chinese exports were curtailed. This occurred at a time when the U.S. steel industry lost $150 million in profit between 2005 and 2007, although China’s minister of commerce cited the U.S. industry’s “record high profit margins” in the first half of 2004 and continued growth in 2005. China next lobbied Portman to leave matters alone, meeting with his office twice and threatening in a letter that restrictions and what it called “discrimination against Chinese products” would bring “serious adverse impact” to the U.S.-China economic and trade relationship.[41] Portman vowed to “hold [China’s] feet to the fire” and provide a “top-to-bottom review” of the U.S.–China trade relationship.[37] His claim that China had improperly favored domestic auto parts became the first successful trade suit against China in the WTO.[37] During Portman’s tenure as trade ambassador, the U.S. trade deficit with China increased by 21 percent.[37]

Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Portrait of Rob Portman used during his time as OMB Director

On April 18, 2006, Bush nominated Portman for Director of the Office of Management and Budget, replacing Joshua Bolten, who was appointed White House Chief of Staff.[42] Portman said that he looked forward to the responsibility, adding, “It’s a big job. The Office of Management and Budget touches every spending and policy decision in the federal government”. Bush expressed his confidence in Portman, saying, “The job of OMB director is a really important post and Rob Portman is the right man to take it on. Rob’s talent, expertise and record of success are well known within my administration and on Capitol Hill.”[43] The U.S. Senate confirmed him unanimously by voice vote on May 26, 2006.[44][45]

As OMB director from May 2006 to August 2007, Portman helped craft a $2.9 trillion budget for fiscal year 2008. The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote, “The plan called for making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, at a cost of more than $500 billion over the five-year life of the proposal. It requested a hefty increase in military spending, along with reductions in low-income housing assistance, environmental initiatives, and health care safety-net programs.”[37][46] Portman is said to have been “frustrated” with the post, calling the budget that Bush’s office sent to Congress “not my budget, his budget,” and saying, “it was a fight, internally.” Edward Lazear of Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers said that Portman was the leading advocate for a balanced budget, while other former Bush administration officials said that Portman was the leading advocate for fiscal discipline within the administration.[47]

On June 19, 2007, Portman resigned as OMB director, citing a desire to spend more time with his family and three children.[48] Democratic Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Kent Conrad expressed regret at Portman’s resignation, saying, “He is a person of credibility and decency that commanded respect on both sides of the aisle.”[49]

Post-White House career

On November 8, 2007, Portman joined the law firm Squire Sanders as part of its transactional and international trade practice in Cincinnati, Ohio. His longtime chief of staff, Rob Lehman, also joined the firm as a lobbyist in its Washington, D.C. office.[50][51] In 2007, Portman founded Ohio’s Future P.A.C., a political action committee.[52][53] In 2008, he was cited as a potential running mate for Republican presidential nominee John McCain.[54][55][56] Portman remained critical of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, passed while he was out of office.[57]

United States Senator: 2011–present

Map detailing the Ohio counties that Portman received pluralities within (shown in red) during the 2010 U.S. Senate election

Map detailing the Ohio counties that Portman received pluralities within (shown in red) during the 2016 U.S. Senate election

2010 election

On January 14, 2009, two days after George Voinovich announced he would not be running for re-election, Portman publicly declared his candidacy for the open U.S. Senate seat.[58][59] Running unopposed in the Republican primary, Portman benefitted substantially from Tea Party support, and by July 2010 had raised more campaign funds than Democrat Lee Fisher by a 9 to 1 margin.[60] Portman campaigned on the issue of jobs and job growth.[61]

Of all candidates for public office in the U.S., Portman was the top recipient of corporate money from insurance industries and commercial banks in 2010.[61][62] Portman possessed the most campaign funds of any Republican during 2010, at $5.1 million, raising $1.3 million in his third quarter of fundraising.[63]

Portman won the election by a margin of 57 to 39 percent, winning 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties.[64] In a 2010 campaign advertisement, Portman said a “[ cap-and-trade bill] could cost Ohio 100,000 jobs we cannot afford to lose;” subsequently, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and PolitiFact called Portman’s claim “barely true” with the most pessimistic estimates.[65]

2016 election

The 2016 re-election campaign posed several special challenges to Portman and his team—it would be run in heavily targeted Ohio, it would occur in a presidential year when Democratic turnout was expected to peak, and both parties would bombard Ohio voters with tens of millions of dollars in TV, cable and digital ads for the national, senatorial and downticket contests. For his campaign manager, Portman chose Corry Bliss, who had just run the successful re-election of Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas. Portman and Bliss chose to run what Time magazine called “a hyperlocal campaign without betting on the nominee’s coattails.”[66]

As Real Clear Politics noted, Portman faced “the thorny challenge of keeping distance from Trump in a state Trump [was] poised to win. Portman, in the year of the outsider, [was] even more of an insider than Clinton … Yet he [ran] a local campaign focused on issues like human trafficking and opioid addiction, and secured the endorsement of the Teamsters as well as other unions” (despite being a mostly conservative Republican).[67]

Polls showed the race even (or Portman slightly behind) as of June 2016; afterwards, Portman led Democratic ex-Gov. Ted Strickland in every public survey through Election Day. The final result was 58.0% to 37.2%, nearly a 21-point margin for Portman.

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post argued that the context of Ohio’s result had wider implications. “There are a lot of reasons Republicans held the Senate this fall. But Portman’s candidacy in Ohio is the most important one. Portman took a seemingly competitive race in a swing state and put it out of reach by Labor Day, allowing money that was ticketed for his state to be in other races, such as North Carolina and Missouri …”[68]

The Washington Post said “Portman took the crown for best campaign”,[68] while Real Clear Politics said, “Sen. Rob Portman ran the campaign of the year.”.[69] Portman himself was generous in praising his campaign manager: “With an emphasis on utilizing data, grassroots, and technology, Corry led our campaign from behind in the polls to a 21-point victory. He’s one of the best strategists in the country.”[70]


Portman speaks at the memorial of Neil Armstrong, 2012

In the 112th Congress, Portman voted with his party 90% of the time.[71] However, in the 114th United States Congress, Portman was ranked as the third most bipartisan member of the U.S. Senate by the Bipartisan Index, a metric created jointly by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy to reflect Congressional bipartisanship.[72] During the first session of the 115th Congress, Portman’s bipartisanship score improved further, propelling him to second in the Senate rankings (only Senator Susan Collins scoring higher),[73][74] Portman’s intellectual leadership among the Senate G.O.P., and his fundraising capabilities,[75] led to his being named the Vice Chairman for Finance of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2014 election cycle.[76] In March 2013, Portman was one of several Republican senators invited to have dinner with President Obama at The Jefferson Hotel in an attempt by the administration to court perceived moderate members of the upper chamber for building consensual motivation in Congress; however, Portman did not attend and instead had dinner with an unnamed Democratic senator.[77]

Portman delivered the eulogy at the August 2012 funeral of Neil Armstrong,[78] and the commencement address at the University of Cincinnati‘s December 2012 graduation ceremony.[79]

In August 2011, Portman was selected by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to participate in the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.[80] During the committee’s work, Portman developed strong relationships with the other members, especially Sen. John Kerry and Rep. Chris Van Hollen.[81] The committee was ultimately unsuccessful, with Portman left disappointed, saying “I am very sad about this process not succeeding because it was a unique opportunity to both address the fiscal crisis and give the economy a shot in the arm.”[82]

Portman spoke at the May 7, 2011 Michigan Law School commencement ceremonies, which was the subject of criticism by some who opposed his stance on same-sex marriage.[83] He and his wife walked in the 50th anniversary march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge commemorating Bloody Sunday and the March on Selma.[84]

On January 25, 2021, Portman announced that he would not run for a third term in 2022.[85] In a statement, he said he looked forward to “focus[ing] all my energy on legislation and the challenges our country faces rather than on fundraising and campaigning.” He added, “I have consistently been named one of the most bipartisan senators. I am proud of that and I will continue to reach out to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground. Eighty-two of my bills were signed into law by President Trump, and 68 were signed into law by President Obama.” Of why he chose not to seek another term, he said, “I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision.”[86]

Committee assignments[87]

Caucus memberships

Portman belongs to the following caucuses in the United States Senate:

Political positions

Portman greeting President Donald Trump in 2019

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, while in the Senate, Portman has portrayed himself as a “deficit hawk” and is “considered a centrist-to-conservative Republican” who has typically voted with the party leadership, although he has broken with it on a number of issues, including same-sex marriage.[97] In 2013, Portman was several times described as staunchly conservative.[98][99] During the Trump administration, Portman was characterized as a centrist or moderate Republican.[100][101][102][103] In 2020, Portman’s former campaign manager described him as a “proud conservative.”[103] Chris Cillizza, writing in 2014, described Portman as more governance-oriented than campaign-oriented.[104]

GovTrack places Portman toward the center of the Senate’s ideological spectrum; according to GovTrack’s analysis, Portman is the third most moderate Republican in 2017 being to the right of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski but to the left of his other Republican colleagues.[105] The American Conservative Union gives Portman a lifetime 79% conservative grade.[106] The progressive Americans for Democratic Action gave Portman a 25% liberal quotient in 2014.[106] The non-partisan National Journal gave Portman a 2013 composite ideology score of 71% conservative and 29% liberal.[106]

According to FiveThirtyEight, which tracks congressional records, Portman voted in line with Trump’s position on legislation 90.4% of the time.[107] As of September 2021, he had voted with Biden’s positions about 77% of the time.[108] CQ RollCall, which also tracks voting records, found that Portman voted with President Obama’s positions on legislation 59.5% of the time in 2011.[109] He was one of five Senate Republicans who voted with Obama’s position more than half the time.[110]

2012 presidential election

Portman was considered a possible pick for Vice President on the Republican presidential ticket in 2012.[111][112][113] Chris Cillizza wrote that Portman’s time in both the executive and legislative branches would qualify him for the role.[114]

After Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, Portman spoke at the 2012 Republican National Convention about trade and his family business.[115] On trade agreements, Portman stated: “President Obama is the first president in 75 years-Democrat or Republican-who hasn’t even sought the ability to negotiate export agreements and open markets overseas. Now why is this important? Because 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside our borders. And to create jobs, our workers and our farmers need to sell more of what we make to those people.”[115] In October 2012, Romney spoke at and toured Portman’s Golden Lamb Inn.[116]

Portman portrayed President Obama in Romney’s mock debate sessions for the general election, reprising a role that he played in the debate preparations of Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008.[117]

2016 presidential campaign

In March 2014, Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Center for Politics speculated that Portman might run for president in 2016.[118][119] In October 2014, students from the College of William and Mary formed the Draft Rob Portman PAC to encourage Portman to run for president in 2016.[120] However, Portman announced in December 2014 that he would not run for president and would instead seek a second term in the United States Senate.[121]

Portman initially endorsed his fellow Ohioan, Governor John Kasich, during the Republican primaries.[122] In May 2016, after Kasich dropped out of the race and Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, Portman endorsed Trump.[123] After the emergence of old audio recordings where Trump bragged about inappropriately touching women without their consent in October 2016, Portman announced that he was rescinding his endorsement of Trump and would instead cast a write-in vote for Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.[124]

2020 campaign, Capitol storming, and Trump impeachments

In the 2020 presidential election, Portman supported Trump, in a reversal of his 2016 vote.[125] Portman maintained his support for Trump during the impeachment proceedings against Trump for his conduct in the Trump–Ukraine scandal.[126] Portman said that it was “wrong and inappropriate” for Trump to ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival,[127] and that he accepted that there was quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine in which U.S. aid to Ukraine was on the line,[127] but that he did not consider it to be an impeachable offense.[128][127] Following the Senate trial of Trump, Portman voted to acquit Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.[129] Portman also opposed proposals to formally censure Trump.[127]

Portman was the Ohio state co-chair of Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.[130] After Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election and Trump refused to concede, Portman initially refused to acknowledge Biden as the president-elect of the United States, although he did acknowledge that it was appropriate for Biden’s transition to begin and that, contrary to Trump’s false claims, there was no evidence of irregularities that would change the election outcome.[131][132] Portman accepted the election results six weeks after the election, after the December 15 Electoral College vote.[133]

Portman opposed Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results,[134] and did not back a last-ditch effort by Trump’s Republican allies in Congress to object to the formal counting of the electoral votes from swing states in which Biden defeated Trump.[130] Portman said, “I cannot support allowing Congress to thwart the will of the voters”[130] and voted against the objections.[134] Congress’s counting of the electoral votes was interrupted by a pro-Trump mob that attempted an insurrection at the Capitol; Portman said Trump “bears some responsibility” for the attack.[134] After Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for incitement of insurrection, Portman joined most Republican senators in an unsuccessful motion to dismiss the charges and avoid a Senate impeachment trial on the basis that Trump’s term had expired and he had become a private citizen.[134][135] On February 13, 2021, Portman voted to acquit Trump on charges of inciting the January 6 attack on the Capitol.[136]

Commission to investigate attack on Capitol

On May 27, 2021, along with five other Republicans and all present Democrats, Portman voted to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. The vote failed for the lack of 60 required “yes” votes.[137]


On abortion, Portman describes himself as pro-life. He voted in favor of banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.[138] Portman supports legal access to abortion in cases of rape and incest or if the woman’s life is in danger.[139] National Right to Life Committee and the Campaign for Working Families, both pro-life PACs, gave Portman a 100% rating in 2018; NARAL Pro-Choice America gives him a 0%, Planned Parenthood, which is pro-choice, gives him a lifetime 4% rating, and Population Connection, another pro-choice PAC, gave Portman an 11% rating in 2002.[106]

In 2013, Portman sponsored a bill that would have made it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines for an abortion if doing so would circumvent state parental consent or notification laws.[140]

Budget and economy

Portman is a leading advocate for a balanced budget amendment.[141] Portman worked with Democratic Senator Jon Tester in 2012 to end the practice of government shutdowns and partnered with Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill on an inquiry into the Obama administration’s public relations spending.[142] Portman has proposed “a balanced approach to the deficit” by reforming entitlement programs, writing “[r]eforms should not merely squeeze health beneficiaries or providers but should rather reshape key aspects of these programs to make them more efficient, flexible and consumer-oriented.”[143] Portman became known for his ability to work in a bipartisan fashion when working to pass a repeal of the excise tax on telephone service.[144] He also unsuccessfully proposed an amendment to the surface transportation reauthorization bill to allow states to keep the gas tax money they collect, instead of sending it to Washington with some returned later.[142]

LGBT rights

Until 2013, Portman opposed LGBT rights. While still in Congress, Portman co-sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill passed in 1996 that banned federal recognition of same-sex marriage;[145] in 1999, he voted for a measure prohibiting same-sex couples in Washington D.C. from adopting children.[146] On March 14, 2013, Portman publicly announced that he had changed his stance on gay marriage, and now supported its legalization,[147][148][149] becoming the first sitting Republican U.S. senator to do so.[150] The change came two years after his son Will came out to Portman and his wife as gay in 2011.[151] The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which supports same-sex marriage and gay rights, gave Portman an 85% score in 2016 and a 45% in 2014; the HRC also gives Portman a 100% rating for sharing its position on same-sex marriage.[106]

In November 2013, Portman was one of ten Republican senators to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), after the Senate adopted an amendment he proposed to expand religious protections.[152]

Women’s rights

Portman voted for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.[153]


In 2011, Portman voted to limit the government’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and in 2015, he voted to block the Clean Power Plan.[154][155] In 2013, he voted for a point of order opposing a carbon tax or a fee on carbon emissions.[156] In 2012, Portman said he wanted more oil drilling on public lands.[157] Portman supported development of the Keystone XL pipeline, stating “The arguments when you line them up are too strong not to do this. I do think that at the end of the day the president [Obama] is going to go ahead with this.”[158]

In 2013, Portman co-sponsored a bill that would reauthorize and modify the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 and would authorize the appropriation of $20.5 million annually through 2018 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to mitigate the harmful effects of algal blooms and hypoxia.[159][160]

Portman co-sponsored an amendment to the 2017 Energy Bill that acknowledged that climate change is real and human activity contributes to the problem.[161]

Foreign policy

Portman with George W. Bush

Portman opposes U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.[162]

In March 2016, Portman authored the bipartisan bill Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act, along with Democratic Senator Chris Murphy.[163] Congressman Adam Kinzinger introduced the U.S. House version of the bill.[164] After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, worries grew that Russian propaganda on social media spread and organized by the Russian government swayed the outcome of the election,[165] and representatives in the U.S. Congress took action to safeguard the National security of the United States by advancing legislation to monitor incoming propaganda from external threats.[163][166] On November 30, 2016, legislators approved a measure within the National Defense Authorization Act to ask the U.S. State Department to take action against foreign propaganda through an interagency panel.[163][166] The legislation authorized funding of $160 million over a two-year-period.[163] The initiative was developed through the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act.[163]


In 2018 Portman and Senator Ben Cardin co-authored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would make it illegal for companies to engage in boycotts against Israel or Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. They promoted the bill and sought to integrate it into omnibus spending legislation to be signed by Trump.[167][168][169]


Portman supported free trade agreements with Central America, Australia, Chile and Singapore, voted against withdrawing from the World Trade Organization, and was hailed by Bush for his “great record as a champion of free and fair trade.”[170][171]

Portman has repeatedly supported legislation to treat currency manipulation by countries as an unfair trade practice and to impose duties on Chinese imports if China does not stop the practice.[172] In 2016, Portman opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement because he said it does not address currency manipulation and includes less-strict country-of-origin rules for auto parts.[173] In April 2015, Portman co-sponsored an amendment to Trade Promotion Authority legislation which would require the Obama administration to seek enforceable rules to prevent currency manipulation by trade partners as part of TPP.[174]

In January 2018, Portman was one of 36 Republican senators who asked Trump to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement.[175]

In November 2018, Portman was one of 12 Republican senators to sign a letter to Trump requesting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement be submitted to Congress by the end of the month to allow a vote on it before the end of the year; the letter-writers cited concerns that “passage of the USMCA as negotiated will become significantly more difficult” if it had to be approved through the incoming 116th Congress, in which there was a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.[176]

Gun laws

Portman has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has endorsed Portman in past elections.[177] According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA spent $3.06 million to support Portman between 1990 and 2018.[178]

In 2019, Portman was one of 31 Republican senators to cosponsor the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a bill introduced by Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz that would allow persons concealed carry privileges in their home state to also carry concealed weapons in other states.[179]

Health care

Portman has worked to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.[180] In 2017, he voted to repeal it.[181] He opposed steep cuts to Medicaid because the expansion of the program had allowed some Ohioans to gain coverage, including some impacted by Ohio’s opioid crisis.[182] As a member of a group of 13 Republican Senators tasked with writing a Senate version of the AHCA,[183] he supported proposed cuts to Medicaid that would be phased in over seven years.[184][185]

Portman and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tour the CHS Trail House, an Office of Refugee Resettlement facility that provides care for children before they are placed with a family member or sponsor.


In June 2018, Portman was one of 13 Republican senators to sign a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting a moratorium on the Trump administration family separation policy while Congress drafted legislation.[186] In March 2019, he was one of a dozen Republicans who broke with their party, joining all Democrats, to vote for a resolution rejecting Trump’s use of an emergency declaration to build a border wall.[187] He later co-sponsored a bill to provide for congressional approval of national emergency declarations.[188]

Portman opposed Trump’s Muslim ban, saying the executive order was not “properly vetted” and that he supported the federal judges who blocked its implementation.[189]


In 2014, Portman voted against reauthorizing long-term unemployment benefits to 1.7 million jobless Americans. He expressed concern about the inclusion of a provision in the bill that would allow companies to make smaller contributions to employee pension funds.[190] In April 2014 Portman voted to extend federal funding for unemployment benefits. Federal funding had been initiated in 2008 and expired at the end of 2013.[191]

In 2014, Portman opposed the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, a bill to phase in, over two years, an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.[192] The bill was strongly supported by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, but strongly opposed by congressional Republicans.[193][194][195]

In 2015, Portman voted for an amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow employees to earn paid sick time.[196]


Portman and Brett Kavanaugh in July 2018

In September 2018, Portman said he would support Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, saying, “The Brett Kavanaugh I know is a man of integrity and humility”. Portman did not call for an investigation by the FBI for sexual assault allegations.[197]

In September 2020, Portman supported a vote on Trump’s nominee to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg less than six weeks before the 2020 presidential election. In April 2016, Portman said that Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, who was nominated eight months before the election, should not be considered by the Senate, as it was “a very partisan year and a presidential election year … it’s better to have this occur after we’re past this presidential election.”[198]

Human trafficking

Portman has been involved in efforts to end human trafficking.[97] As a member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, he began investigating sex trafficking in 2015. The investigation found that classified advertising website Backpage was aware that the website was being used to sell young girls for sex. Portman sponsored the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which clarified sex trafficking laws to make it illegal to knowingly assist, facilitate, or support sex trafficking. SESTA was passed by Congress and signed into law by Trump in April 2018.[199]

Biden administration

When Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, Portman was one of the few Republicans to say that he would certify the electoral college vote. He was one of the main senators involved in crafting the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan that passed the Senate in August 2021. During Trump’s second impeachment trial, Portman said, “I will keep an open mind when deciding whether to convict”. He ultimately voted not guilty, but said, “Trump’s comments leading up to the Capitol attack were partly responsible for the violence”.

Electoral history

2010 Ohio U.S. Senator Republican primary results[200]
Republican Rob Portman 667,369 100.00%
Total votes667,369 100.00%
United States Senate election in Ohio, 2010[201]
Republican Rob Portman 2,168,742 56.85% -6.61%
DemocraticLee Fisher1,503,29739.40%+2.85%
ConstitutionEric Deaton65,8561.72%N/A
IndependentMichael Pryce50,1011.31%N/A
SocialistDaniel LaBotz26,4540.69%N/A
Write-inArthur Sullivan6480.02%N/A
Total votes3,815,098 100.00%
Republican hold
2016 Ohio U.S. Senator Republican primary results[202]
Republican Rob Portman (incumbent) 1,336,686 82.16%
RepublicanDon Eckhart290,26817.84%
Total votes1,626,954 100.00%
United States Senate election in Ohio, 2016[203]
Republican Rob Portman (incumbent) 3,118,567 58.03% +1.18%
DemocraticTed Strickland1,996,90837.16%-2.24%
IndependentTom Connors93,0411.73%N/A
GreenJoseph R. DeMare88,2461.64%N/A
IndependentScott Rupert77,2911.44%N/A
Write-inJames Stahl1110.00%N/A
Total votes5,374,164 100.0% N/A
Republican hold

Personal life

Throughout his career, Portman and his family have resided in Terrace Park, Ohio

Portman married Jane Dudley in July 1986.[8] Dudley, who previously worked for Democratic Congressman Tom Daschle, “agreed to become a Republican when her husband agreed to become a Methodist.”[204] The Portmans attend church services at Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church.[205][206] The Portmans have three children.[8] Portman still owns the Golden Lamb Inn with his brother Wym Portman and sister Ginna Portman Amis.[207] In 2004, a Dutch conglomerate purchased the Portman Equipment Company. Portman had researched the firm’s local acquisitions, stating “It’s a concept I’ve heard described as ‘Glocalism.’ All these companies are trying to achieve economies of scale. This lets us develop a network and coverage globally. But you can still have the local spirit, the local name and the customer intimacy to accomplish great things.”[208] A July 2012 article about Portman stated that in 40 years, his only citation has been a traffic ticket for an improper turn while driving.[209] Portman is an avid kayaker, is fluent in Spanish, and enjoys bike rides.[9][210]

In December 2004, Portman and Cheryl Bauer published a book on the 19th century Shaker community at Union Village, in Turtlecreek Township, Warren County, Ohio. The book was titled Wisdom’s Paradise: The Forgotten Shakers of Union Village.[211]


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  • Michael Barone, Richard E. Cohen, and Grant Ujifusa. The Almanac of American Politics, 2002. Washington, D.C.: National Journal, 2001.ISBN 0-89234-099-1
  • “CQ Almanac 1993”. Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 49th Edition, 103rd Congress, 1st Session. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. 1994. ISBN 1-56802-020-1.
  • “Politics in America, 1992: The 102nd Congress”. Congressional Quarterly. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. 1991. ISBN 0-87187-599-3.


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