Robert Portman

Robert Portman
WVXU Cincinnati Public Radio


Current Position: US Senator
Affiliation: Republican

Rob has built a reputation in the Senate as a conservative who is focused on building consensus to promote pro-growth policies that will lead to private sector job creation. Rob is a leading advocate for tax reform, regulatory reform, deficit reduction, and worker retraining reform to help create an environment for Ohio employers to grow and create good-paying jobs.

Despite the gridlock in Congress, Rob has had nearly 50 of his own bills signed into law, including legislation to combat drug abuse, fight human trafficking, improve the federal permitting process, reduce waste and fraud in government spending, and reform federal worker retraining programs so they work better for Ohio workers.


Robert Portman 2

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.


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


Recent Elections

2016 US Senator

Rob Portman (R)3,118,56758%
Tom Strickland (D)1,996,90837.2%
Thomas William Connors (Write-in)93,0411.7%
Joseph DeMare (G)88,2461.6%
Scott Rupert ()77,2911.4%
Write-in ()111

Source: Ballotpedia


PORTMAN, ROBERT J (ROB) has run in 2 races for public office, winning 2 of them. The candidate has raised a total of $42,883,809.

Source: Follow the Money



Senate Committee on Finance
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Joint Economic Committee
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations


Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy
International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
Taxation and IRS Oversight
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management
Africa and Global Health Policy
Europe and Regional Security Cooperation,
State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development
Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues

Voting Record

See: Vote Smart

New Legislation



Civil Rights

Defending the 2nd Amendment

Senator Portman is a proud defender of the 2nd Amendment and has consistently voted to protect our Constitutional rights. Portman is a gun owner and avid hunter, and whether for protection, recreation, competition, or to ensure our freedoms granted by the Founders, he supports the right of the people to keep and bear arms. He also believes we should work to reduce gun violence through better enforcement of current gun laws, enhancing school security, and ensuring that those who suffer from mental illness—a common thread in attacks—receive proper care.

Portman supported the FIX NICS bill in 2018 to ensure that relevant records from federal agencies, law enforcement, and states are uploaded in to the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system.  He also supported the Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act to improve school security and prevent school violence.

Senator Portman remains committed to working with his colleagues to better enforce existing gun laws and go after criminals. For example, he supports increasing penalties for straw purchasers, and he believes Congress should give law enforcement additional tools to go after gun traffickers. We should also work to improve the safety of our schools, and Senator Portman supports the good work being done here in Ohio to provide appropriate training to teachers and administrators who have permission from their local school boards to carry. He also supports doing more to help people who suffer from mental illnesses get the treatment they need and to ensure states are providing timely and accurate data for background checks.


Promoting Pro-Jobs Policies

The government should focus on creating the environment for small businesses to succeed. Sadly, it too often does just the opposite. During the Obama administration, higher taxes, burdensome regulations, and the uncertainty of Obamacare put a wet blanket on our economy that cost jobs in Ohio and around the nation.

In 2010, when Senator Portman campaigned for the Senate, he made tax reform the centerpiece of his plan to promote stronger job creation and economic growth. In 2017, he delivered on this commitment, leading the effort in the Senate and working closely with President Trump and his administration to enact the historic tax reform legislation.  As a result of the tax cuts and pro-growth tax reforms, many businesses across Ohio and the nation increased pay and benefits for their workers and brought investment back to the United States. As a result of the middle-class tax cuts, workers in Ohio are keeping more of their hard-earned money in their paychecks.

Portman is also a leader in reforming our regulatory system and improving our worker retraining programs to make America more competitive and to unleash the innovative spirit of the American people. As the co-founder of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, Portman has played a leadership role in the Senate in helping workers get the skills training and credentials that are in high-demand in today’s job market.

As a former U.S. Trade Representative, Portman continues to be a leading voice in the Senate on common-sense trade policies that promote a level playing field for American workers and create more jobs for Ohio farmers and small businesses. In particular, he worked closely with the Trump Administration to build support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which was approved by Congress in early 2020. The new trade pact will provide greater support for American workers, farmers, and manufacturers and strengthen the economy as well.

Health Care


Senator Portman believes we must work together to lower health care costs for all Americans.  He has fought for a better health care system that lowers the cost of coverage and provides access to quality care, while protecting the most vulnerable in our society.

When Obamacare was enacted, then-President Obama promised that if you liked your insurance you could keep it, that people they could keep their doctor, and that premiums would go down.  None of those promises were kept. And today Obamacare continues to increase already high insurance premiums and made health care more expensive.

Rob supports legislation that protects Americans with pre-existing conditions and ensures that they will never be denied health care coverage or be charged more because of a pre-existing condition.  He has also voted to repeal and replace Obamacare with a better solution that would lower health care costs, provide $45 billion in additional funding to address the opioid epidemic, and $100 billion for an innovative approach to providing low-income Americans with access to affordable health care.  While Democrats obstructed the proposal, Portman has continued to play a leadership role in making our health care system work better for all Ohioans.

Senator Portman has taken a leadership role in cracking down on high prescription drug prices.  He voted for the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act, bipartisan legislation that helps lower out-of-pocket costs for our seniors, cracks down on the high prices set by drug manufacturers, ends the practice of spread pricing in the Medicaid program by pharmacy benefit managers, and saves taxpayers more than $100 billion. In addition, he led an investigation by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), which found that a drug manufacturer was exploiting the opioid crisis by increasing the price of its naloxone drug EVZIO by more than 600 percent by 2016.  After the PSI report was made public, the drug manufacturer reduced the price from $4,100 to $178 per unit.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Rob has strongly supported our physicians, nurses, and others on the front lines risking their lives to treat those who are sick, along with our hospitals and health care providers, to ensure they have the resources they need to help Americans recover from this disease.

Fighting Against Addiction

In the Senate, Portman has led the effort to combat the opioid and addiction crisis in Ohio and around the nation.  Thanks to his leadership, our nation has made progress in preventing deadly drugs like fentanyl from entering the United States, and we have provided a record amount of funding to help those battling addiction get the treatment needed to get their lives back on track.

Portman authored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which was signed into law in 2016.  This legislation has helped expand education, treatment and recovery services.  In 2020, Portman helped secure a record $658 million in funding for CARA grants.

Portman’s Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act was signed into law in October 2018 and is helping stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped in the mail to the United States from places like China.

Additionally, Portman is the author of the Combating Meth & Cocaine Act, which was signed into law in December 2019.  This law give states more flexibility to use federal funding by expanding the use of the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant funding to address the rise of psychostimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

Combatting addiction is an issue Portman has worked on for over two decades.  In the 1990s, Protman helped found the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati, now known as PreventionFIRST!  During his time in the House, Portman authored the Drug Free Communities Act to help start drug free coalitions around the country.

Confirming Conservative Judges

In the Senate, Portman has helped confirm a record number – over 190 – of the federal judges that President Trump has nominated to the bench.  These judges are smart, young, conservative men and women who will interpret the law as written and not try to legislate from the bench.  In addition to Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, Portman has helped confirm over 50 judges to the U.S. Court of Appeals and over 140 Judges to the U.S. District Courts.

In Ohio, the Senate has confirmed two judges – Chad Readler and Eric Murphy – to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, three judges – Sarah Morrison, Doug Cole, and Matthew McFarland to the Southern District of Ohio, and one judge – Pam Barker – to the Northern District of Ohio.

Protecting Life

Senator Rob Portman has a 100% rating from National Right to Life and has voted 77-0 in favor of the pro-life position on National Right to Life Committee key votes.  During his time in the House, he was an original cosponsor of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban.   In the Senate, he is the lead sponsor of the Child Custody Protection Act, which would make it a federal offense to transport a minor across state lines in order to get around state laws that require parental involvement in that minor’s abortion.  He is also an original cosponsor of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortions 20 weeks after fertilization, the point where strong scientific evidence indicates that an unborn child can experience pain.

Senator Portman is also a cosponsor of the DC Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortions in Washington, DC after 20 weeks of fertilization.  Current law in Washington, DC allows abortions for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy until birth.

He has also cosponsored the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), which seeks to prohibit abortions for the purpose of choosing a sex of the child.

Senator Portman has voted on numerous occasions to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion, and he is a cosponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which codifies the Hyde Amendment and similar policies by permanently banning taxpayer funding of abortions across all federal programs.  He has also voted to block funding for taxpayer dollars to go to the United Nations while any member nation forces citizens or residents of that nation to undergo involuntary abortions.

In addition to supporting pro-life legislation, Senator Portman has also been very vocal on efforts to protect religious freedom.  He was one of the first to speak out against the overreaching HHS mandate on religious freedom, arguing that it violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, and he has supported amendments to protect the conscience rights of hospital or health care workers who are morally opposed to participating in abortion procedures or emergency contraception.



The lead curator for this post is Jessler Elvira.

If you have any content you would like to add to this post, submit it to

Discussion Forum

To enter content in the feedback section and  to comment directly in this or other Hub posts, you will need to become a Hub member and follow these simple rules:

All discussion and debate on the Virginia onAir Elections & Governance Hub should be respectful and compliant with all applicable laws. We will not tolerate harassment, criminal threats, or offensive comments against an individual based on a protected characteristic. Our more detailed Forum Guidelines should offer all needed clarification, and we encourage all users to report objectionable content on our anonymous reporting form.

Home Forums Open Discussion

Viewing 0 reply threads
  • Author
    • #17410
      Shuaib Ahmed

      This is an open discussion on content in this post.

Viewing 0 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Skip to toolbar