Learn more about his work for Ohioans across the state - and if there's anything that his office can do to help, please reach out.
“As a breast cancer survivor and self-employed small business owner here in Ohio, I depend on the ACA for my healthcare. As one of the 102 million plus Americans with a preexisting condition, I am very aware that without the ACA I would not be able to purchase health insurance for any price. Even though my cancer has been in complete remission for over 12 years I would still be uninsurable, as would many millions of other Americans, through no fault of their own, if the ACA is not upheld,” said Ms. Halpern.”
--Letter from Ms. Halpern
In April, Ms. Halpern joined Sen. Brown at a press conference in Columbus to speak out against ongoing efforts by the Trump Administration to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and throw millions of Americans off their health insurance. Ms. Halpern, a small business owner from Columbus who relies on the Affordable Care Act, joined Sen. Brown to speak about the importance of the healthcare law, especially for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Halpern is a breast cancer survivor who struggled to secure health insurance prior to enactment of the Affordable Care Act.
“I know you often hear how state officials have your concerns at heart, I must admit I had my doubts. When I called not only did they listen, they corrected the situation immediately. Sherrod Brown, our Senator and his staff address concerns, get results, and represent the concerns of the average voter. We need more people like this in office to represent our concerns!”
--Letter from Ms. Ambers
Ms. Ambers wrote Sen. Brown regarding her attempts to have her health insurance plan reinstated. Her plan was terminated without her authorization and she had a limited amount of time to have it reinstated. After reviewing Ms. Ambers’s materials, Sen. Brown’s team successfully worked to reinstate the her health insurance without any gaps in coverage.
“It was gratifying to see that Senator Brown cares about the citizens he represents and stands up for them.”
Mr. Schaeffer contacted Sen. Brown about an electronic payment he made that he was charged for twice. Even though he notified his bank and had one of the charges reversed, he was charged for the payment a third time. After jumping through hoops with his bank and credit card company, Mr. Schaefer reached out to Sen. Brown’s office to help resolve the problem. Sen. Brown’s staff helped Mr. Schaefer by monitoring his complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Within a week of Mr. Schaeffer contacting Sen. Brown’s office, Mr. Schaffer received a call from his credit card company to notify him that his issue had been resolved.
Sen. Brown joined Republican West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito to introduce bipartisan legislation to address the workforce shortage created by the addiction crisis. The Senators’ bill, the Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act, would combine existing grant programs at the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a six-year pilot project to combine job training and addiction recovery services. On the day he introduced the bill, Sen. Brown joined a news conference call with Steve Davey, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Erie, Huron, and Ottawa and Sandusky Counties.
“This pilot program has the potential to make a real difference in our communities. This concept has the support of not only our Goodwill but all of the 16 Ohio Goodwills,” said Davey.
Sen. Brown joined Hubbard worker Cristal Hale on a news conference call to oppose a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that would force workers to forfeit their hard-earned tips to employers. According to reports, DOL’s own internal review found that workers would lose billions of dollars under the rule. DOL tried to cover up the findings of that report. In March 2018, Sen. Brown announced legal protections for tipped workers in the omnibus spending deal Congress passed earlier that year. The provision in the spending deal will block that rule by preventing employers, supervisors, or managers from keeping workers’ tips for themselves under the law.
“I went back into the restaurant business so I could help my husband pay bills and feed our family while still working a small amount of hours so I can watch my son grow,” said Hale. “Even though my husband works 60-70+ hours a paycheck, we still rely on my tips to help make ends meet.”
Sen. Brown joined a Mahoning Valley call center worker on a news conference call to highlight his legislation to keep call center jobs in Ohio. Sen. Brown’s bill, the U.S. Call Center Workers and Consumer Protection Act, would give preference in federal contracts to companies that haven’t relocated call center jobs overseas, require U.S. companies to identify the location of the call center, and allow the customer to be transferred to a call center located in the U.S. if asked. Sen. Brown was joined on the call by Renee Rouser, a call center worker from Youngstown, to discuss the importance of protecting call center jobs in Ohio.
“We want and need these good decent jobs in the U.S. We want to put the money back into our economy. Instead corporate greed is being put in front of responsible and professional work,” said Rouser.
In October 2017, Sen. Brown introduced legislation, The Local Food and Regional Market Supply (FARMS) Act, which will help farmers sell their products directly to consumers, create rural jobs, and invest in local and regional food economies. The Local FARMS Act funds and modifies three existing grant programs, which help farmers and others connect their products with local consumers. Sen. Brown was joined on a news conference call to highlight the legislation by Daniel Trudel from Ann’s Raspberry Farm in Fredericktown. In 2014, Ann’s Raspberry Farm was awarded a Value Added Producer Grant, which helped them grow their business and enter into new markets around Ohio.
“As a recipient of the Value-Added Producer Grant, the resources and funding provided by this program have been instrumental in serving as a key growth vehicle to our farm business,” said Trudel.
Sen. Brown hosted a news conference call alerting Ohioans to forced arbitration clauses used in the fine print of contracts by banks, nursing homes, for-profit colleges, payday lenders, and other organizations to deny customers access to the court system when they’ve been cheated or harmed. Sen. Brown has fought to ban forced arbitration clauses that deny Ohioans their day in court. Sen. Brown was joined on the call by George Dutton from Mentor, whose wife experienced neglect and abuse in a nursing home. Mr. Dutton was unable to take legal action after his wife was mistreated due to the forced arbitration clause included in the nursing home contract.
“These forced arbitration clauses need to be removed. It will improve the care of people in these institutions, if they can sue them for neglect and abuse,” said Dutton.
Following the Equifax data breach that exposed 143 million Americans to identity theft, Sen. Brown introduced legislation to provide Equifax victims with 10 years free credit monitoring; protect servicemembers who may have been affected by the Equifax breach; and make it easy and affordable for customers to freeze their credit reports, so criminals cannot open accounts in their name. Sen. Brown outlined his bill on a news conference call in which he was joined by Mr. Bill Durfey from Hamilton, who was affected by the breach.
“We are now in our mid-70s and are hit with the perspective of having our excellent credit data used by others who have no right to use it. Senator Brown is going to bat for us requesting, through legislation, that they cover the cost of credit monitoring for a period of 10 years,” said Durfey.
Sen. Brown hosted a news conference call to detail his bipartisan legislation to expand educational opportunities for post-9/11 student veterans and restore GI benefits for veterans who attended now failed for-profit colleges. Sen. Brown’s bill was signed into law in 2017. Sen. Brown was joined on his news conference call by Benjamin Fitzgerald, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, who is currently using GI benefits as he attends Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cleveland.
“This will benefit me, as well as other veterans. According to the Washington Post, in 2014, approximately 52% of veterans use their GI Bill benefits. With this extension, I believe that number will increase,” said Fitzgerald.
Sen. Brown introduced legislation to penalize pharmaceutical companies that engage in price gouging without cause, leading to price spikes for patients who rely on medication to treat diseases ranging from cancer to addiction. Brown’s bill, the Stop Price Gouging Act, would hold drug companies accountable for large price increases, and, according to Health Affairs Blog, would result in billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Sen. Brown was joined on a news conference call announcing the legislation by Ms. Elizabeth Borgemenke, a patient from Mason who wrote into Sen. Brown’s office regarding the skyrocketing cost of insulin.
“This is not a partisan issue; this is an issue affecting all Americans. I feel strongly that drug companies have to be held accountable, and this legislation is an important first step,” said Borgemenke.
Sen. Brown’s office has teamed up with local manufacturers and plants, community partners, and schools for the past five years to host manufacturing camps across Ohio. Campers visit local manufacturers, tour plants, and work with their peers on hands-on projects specific to their communities. On a news conference call, Ms. Niki Brafford, whose son participated in one of Sen. Brown’s manufacturing camps last year, discussed why the camps meant so much to her son:
“To see my son so excited about a camp that is so beneficial to his future and the future of our community made me proud,” said Brafford.
Sen. Brown joined Norm Skinner, a southeast Ohio miner, to outline bipartisan efforts to fight for coalminers’ hard-earned healthcare coverage and retirement security. In May 2017, Sen. Brown helped secure permanent healthcare security for Ohio coal miners in the government funding package agreed to late last night. Brown has been working on legislation for several years to give miners permanent healthcare without costing taxpayers a dime.
“I want to thank Senator Brown for all the work he has done on behalf of the United Mine Workers,” said Skinner.
Sen. Brown outlined legislation to address the practice of “surprise billing,” when patients are faced with costly medical bills after unintentionally receiving care from an out-of-network provider. The End Surprise Billing Act would protect patients experiencing a medical emergency from being charged more than in-network rates for emergency care and provide patients scheduling services with more information about potential out-of-pocket costs. Sen. Brown was joined on a news conference call to discuss the legislation by Daniel Kueper, a Canal Winchester resident who faced significant medical bills after receiving care for a heart attack from a medical provider outside of his insurance network.
“Senator Brown’s bill will enable recovering patients to get their lives back on track with fewer worries about financial hardship. I urge Congress to support it,” said Kueper.
Sen. Brown joined Massillon veteran James Powers to outline bipartisan legislation to protect veterans from paying for accounting mistakes by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Sen. Brown’s bill to institute commonsense measures to protect veterans from VA overpayment mistakes is one of several steps taken by Sen. Brown’s office following a meeting with Powers at Sen. Brown’s weekly constituent coffee in Washington.
“What started as one veteran needing assistance with the VA has evolved into purposeful legislation being introduced by Senators Brown and Tester that can help protect all veterans when dealing with VA overpayments and debts,” said Powers.
In Youngstown, Sen. Brown joined Mahoning Valley law enforcement and an addiction treatment provider after securing major funding to combat the opioid epidemic in Ohio. Sen. Brown helped ensure Ohio will be among the first in line to receive opioid funding and more than $65 million to fund opioid detection devices called for in Sen. Brown’s INTERDICT Act, which President Trump signed into law. Sen. Brown was joined at the news conference by Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees and local addiction specialist Ruth Bowdish.
“We’re grateful to the federal government for stepping up and providing much-needed resources to law enforcement and Ohio communities to effectively address the addiction crisis,” said Chief Lees.
Sen. Brown joined northeast Ohio retirees and workers at United Steelworkers Local 2 in Akron as he continues his work to address the pension crisis threatening more than 60,000 Ohioans and 1.5 million workers and retirees nationwide. Sen. Brown was joined in Akron by Mike Walden, local retiree of Teamsters Local 24 and President of the National United Committee to Protect Pensions.
“I’ve never asked for anything from this country, but I don’t want to see my government take away something we’ve worked hard for and earned,” Walden said.
In Youngstown, Sen. Brown outlined legislation to address the practice of “surprise billing,” when patients are faced with costly medical bills after unintentionally receiving care from an out-of-network provider. The End Surprise Billing Act would protect patients experiencing a medical emergency from being charged more than in-network rates for emergency care and provide patients scheduling services with more information about potential out-of-pocket costs. Sen. Brown was joined by Amber Jamison, a northeast Ohio nurse.
“I would like to thank Senator Sherrod Brown for helping to make a bill that will positively impact patient billing and ultimately help our community members grow instead of being devastated with out-of-network charges,” said Jamison
In Canton, Sen. Brown joined retirees and workers at Teamsters Local 92 as he continues his work to address the pension crisis threatening more than 60,000 Ohioans and 1.5 million workers and retirees nationwide. Sen. Brown was joined in Canton by Dana Vargo, Chair of the Ohio-Canton Local 92 Retirees.
“DC needs to understand the damaging impact this would have on the economy if left unresolved. We thank Senator Brown for continually standing up for what is right,” said Vargo.
At a ceremony hosted by the Columbus Police Academy, Sens. Brown and Portman presented Columbus Police Officer Keith Kise with the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery. In 2015, Officer Kise risked his life and personal safety to serve a fugitive arrest warrant for the leader of a Columbus street gang, which had been investigated for unsolved homicides and other federal and local offenses. While attempting to apprehend the fugitive, Officer Kise led fellow officers into a barrage of machine gun fire to take down the fugitive and to lead a young child on the scene to safety.
“No matter the cost, when the rest of us run from danger, our public safety officers run toward it. That’s what Officer Kise did, and for that we honor him today,” said Sen. Brown.
Sen. Brown joined northwest Ohio law enforcement and human trafficking victim advocates as he introduced bipartisan legislation to crack down on drug-facilitated human trafficking. The Protecting Rights of Those Exploited by Coercive Trafficking (PROTECT) Act would specifically address the use of drugs to facilitate human trafficking and protect vulnerable victims of trafficking. Sen. Brown’s legislation is also co-sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman. Sen. Brown was joined at the news conference by Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp and northwest Ohio victim advocates
“Senator Brown’s bill is critical for our community’s efforts to combat human trafficking as it speaks to the issue of opiates and the role they play to enslave vulnerable people in human trafficking,” said Dr. Celia Williamson, Director of University of Toledo’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.
In 2017, Sen. Brown joined seniors in Cleveland to call for action on his bipartisan legislation he reintroduced with Sen. Rob Portman to prevent higher tax bills for seniors through an increase in the threshold to claim the medical expense tax deduction. Sen. Brown was joined at the press conference by Ellen Markell, a northeast Ohio senior who has used the medical expense tax deduction in the past. Following Sen. Brown’s visit, the threshold was lowered, protecting Ohio seniors and other individuals claiming the deduction.
“I can personally vouch for what an important lifeline the deduction can be, and raising the bar on the current threshold could put that lifeline out of reach for Ohioans,” said Markell.
At Wheatland Tube in Warren, Sen. Brown joined workers to renew his push to ensure American steel and iron are used to build American infrastructure. Brown has spoken directly to President Trump about Buy America, and urged the President repeatedly to make Buy America a top priority. Brown was joined by Tim Feeney of Wheatland Tube.
“It’s pretty simple: American tax dollars should go toward American-made products that support American jobs. Period.” said Sen. Brown.
Sen. Brown joined Toledo workers to discuss his bipartisan legislation to ensure foreign investments don’t harm American jobs. Sen. Brown joined Republican Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa to introduce the United States Foreign Investment Review Act, which would establish an efficient and transparent process for reviewing certain foreign investments to ensure they are in the economic interest of the U.S. Brown was joined at the news conference by Taneisha White, a Toledo worker, who talked about why it was important to invest in communities like Toledo.
“When these foreign companies – and governments – seek to invest in Toledo, it’s important that we’re working to ensure this foreign investment is in our best interest,” said White.
Sen. Brown joined then-Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Teresa Long, Columbus Fire Department Assistant Chief Jim Davis, and Franklin County Chief Deputy Rick Minerd at Columbus Public Health to highlight “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.” National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, a day when Ohioans can safely dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in an effort to provide safe, convenient and responsible means for disposal of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for addiction.
“Although physician prescribed pain medication has a legitimate place in managing pain, it’s up to all of us to be responsible with its use and destruction to reduce the risks of unintended consequences,” said Assistant Chief Davis.
Sen. Brown joined Ohio retirees at Teamsters Local 100 as he continues his work to address the pension crisis threatening more than 60,000 Ohioans and 1.5 million workers and retirees nationwide. Sen. Brown was joined by Rita Lewis, who has continued her late husband Butch Lewis’ fight for the retirement security these workers earned over a lifetime of hard work. Butch Lewis was the former retired head of Local 100, and Sen. Brown named his bill to address the pension crisis the Butch Lewis Act in his honor.
“No one should ever be forced to fight for, or die for the pension they were promised! A promise, is a promise, is a promise,” said Lewis.
Ohioans are proud of our state’s long manufacturing history. To keep up that tradition, we must get a new generation interested in our changing manufacturing sector. That’s why Sen. Brown’s helped organize a four-day manufacturing camp to help Licking County students learn about manufacturing, teamwork, and local production facilities. This learning opportunity gave local students in grades six through nine the opportunity to learn about careers in their community, tour local manufacturing facilities, and learn from experts. Students toured the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority, State Industrial Products and Hendrickson Auxiliary Axle Systems.
Ohio firefighters and first-responders work every day to protect our families. That’s why Sen. Brown was proud to announce that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $185,537 to the Orange Township Fire Department through the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program in July 2017. The program provides funds for supplemental training, upgrades to protective equipment, facility modifications, and other supplies that protect firefighters and first-responders in moments of crisis.
“We must support our first-responder organizations so that communities like Delaware have the resources to shield families and homes from fire hazards,” said Brown.
As Nucor Steel celebrated its 100th anniversary, Sen. Brown applauded news that Nucor Corporation will invest $85 million in Nucor Steel Marion’s steel bar mill. Sen. Brown has championed stronger trade enforcement and has pushed for Administrations of both parties to aggressively enforce trade law and boost Ohio’s steel industries.
“Ohio steelworkers are the best at what they do, turning out tons of steel each year to support a number of industries and Ohio’s economy. I have no doubt the steelworkers at Nucor Marion are the reason Nucor Corporation made this significant investment,” said Brown.
In 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded the City of Marysville $5,997,500 to expand a “smart mobility ready” fiber network along the U.S. NW 33 Innovation Corridor that connects Marysville to Dublin. This fiber network would allow technology companies and research facilities to complete research on autonomous and connected vehicles as part of The Ohio State University’s Smart Mobility Initiative. The program through which the City of Marysville received this funding was established under the FAST Act, which was negotiated by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban affairs, on which Sen. Brown serves as ranking member.
“This public-private project will give businesses and research facilities the fast and modern fiber infrastructure they need to design an integrated transportation network and drive economic development in central Ohio,” said Brown.
Sen. Brown worked with Summit Glove in Akron to help facilitate testing by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for the company’s ResQ-Grip glove, which was designed to protect law enforcement and public safety officials from exposure to the deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl. After a successful testing by the DEA, the company can now work to provide these protective gloves to police officers, firefighters, and healthcare workers around the state.
“We must protect our first responders and medical personnel against this deadly drug, and I’m proud to know that innovative companies right here in Akron are leading the efforts to protect those on the front lines of the epidemic,” said Brown.
In November 2017, Sen. Brown co-hosted the Propel Ohio Collegiate Leadership Summit at the University of Akron. The one-day summit connects Ohio college students with resources about careers in public service and promotes civic engagement. Over 500 students and administrators from 78 Ohio colleges and universities attended the 2017 summit, which Sen. Brown has hosted since 2015.
Protecting Lake Erie means protecting Ohio jobs that rely on it. Sen. Sherrod Brown announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) has awarded $550,000 to the Lorain County Board of Commissioners for water quality improvements to the Black River Area of Concern (AOC) on Lake Erie. This grant will help Lorain complete projects in the area to help reduce runoff into the Black River, a hotspot for toxins that could hurt Lake Erie.
“This investment in the Black River will help Lorain keep toxins out of our Lake,” said Brown.
Sen. Brown joined Detective Jeff Toth at the Austintown Police Department to highlight “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.” National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a day when Ohioans can safely dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in an effort to provide safe, convenient and responsible means for disposal of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for addiction.
Sen. Brown, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, convened a roundtable in Wooster to get input from Ohio farmers as he helps write the 2018 Farm Bill. Sen. Brown was joined by farmers from agricultural organizations including the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, the Ohio Soybean Association, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the Ohio Farmers Union, and the Ohio Dairy Producers Association, to discuss ways to support Ohio farmers and create local jobs.
Stark County is a national leader in innovative transportation solutions that get Ohioans to work or school, while reducing pollution. In 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) $1,750,000 to purchase two additional zero-emission fuel cell buses. This purchase will build on SARTA’s fleet, which is the largest fuel cell fleet in the country, outside of California. This investment builds on the more than $4 million SARTA received in April 2016 to add three buses, and the more than $8.8 million awarded to SARTA in February 2015 to purchase five buses through the Low or No Emission Deployment Program and earlier federal funding for the initial two vehicles.
“It’s good news that SARTA’s rapidly growing zero-emission bus program will add to its fleet and help reduce emissions in public transportation,” said Brown.
In a ceremony at Trumbull County Veterans Services, Sen. Brown presented the Combat Infantryman Badge to William Rutledge of Canfield. Mr. Rutledge, an Army Infantryman, served in Vietnam. Though Rutledge was released from the Army in 1970, he was never awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge he earned due to a lack of documentation. Sen. Brown’s staff, along with Trumbull County Veterans Services and its Executive Director Herm Breuer, helped secure the badge for Rutledge.
Sen. Brown, co-chair of the Senate Steel Caucus, has led efforts to support the domestic steel industry. In 2016, he visited the ArcelorMittal plant in Shelby to meet with workers. Following a tour of the plant, Sen. Brown talked with workers and answered their questions. “I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and Administrations of both parties to fight unfair trade practices and promote American-made steel and iron,” said Brown.
In 2017, Sen. Brown, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, convened a roundtable to get input from northwest Ohio farmers on the 2018 Farm Bill. Brown was joined by farmers from agricultural organizations including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with farmers and advocates from agricultural, conservation and sportsmen organizations including Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, The Nature Conservancy, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, Ohio Pork Producers, Lucas County Farm Bureau, Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association to discuss ways to support Ohio farmers and create local jobs.
In January 2018, the Trump Administration heeded Sen. Brown and Sen. Portman’s call to stand up for Ohio workers at the Whirlpool plant in Clyde. The President announced a tariff on imports of large residential washing machines in response to a pattern of trade violations by companies like LG and Samsung who’ve repeatedly exported their washers to the U.S. at unfair prices. As a result, Whirlpool announced 200 new jobs at their plant in Clyde.
“At a time when we’ve seen far too much partisan gridlock in Washington, Senator Portman and I worked together to support Whirlpool workers in Clyde,” said Brown. “The Trump administration followed my and Senator Portman’s calls to stand up for the 3,500 Ohio workers at Whirlpool whose jobs have been threatened by cheap Chinese imports. And because of that victory, 200 new jobs are coming to the Whirlpool plant in Clyde.”
In 2017, Sen. Brown addressed the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) at their 83rd Annual Conference in Sandusky. Sen. Brown has taken the lead on bipartisan legislation in support of law enforcement officials and their families and has been a vocal proponent of providing the necessary federal resources to officers as they work to keep Ohio communities safe.
Sen. Brown has been fighting to protect the healthcare and retirement thousands of miners were promised for their work to power our country. After securing permanent healthcare for miners in April 2017, Sen. Brown met Ohio coal miners for lunch at the United Steelworkers hall in Martins Ferry the following summer. Sen. Brown talked with miners about legislative efforts to secure the pension benefits they have earned and to implement important protections to keep miners safe on the job.
In August 2017, Sen. Brown joined New Philadelphia Mayor Joel Day and Dover Mayor Richard Homrighausen, as well as southeast Ohio business and economic development leaders, to underscore the need for economic policies that work for Ohioans, including a meaningful investment in jobs, infrastructure and future Ohio workers. Southeast Ohio communities have been hit especially hard by economic policies that put corporations and special interests above workers and local communities. Brown met with southeast Ohio stakeholders to outline his blueprint to invest in infrastructure and his summer manufacturing camps aimed at growing the local economy and creating jobs.
In July 2017, Sen. Brown hosted a roundtable of southeast Ohio stakeholders at Muskingum Behavioral Health to discuss efforts to combat Ohio’s opioid epidemic, as more than 200,000 Ohioans battling addiction are at risk of losing healthcare coverage. Ohio communities desperately need Washington to take this epidemic seriously, and ending the Medicaid program we know is working takes away the number one tool we have to fight back.
Ohio firefighters and first responders work every day to protect our families. That’s why Sen. Brown was glad to announce that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded $19,006 to the Sharon Township Fire Department for Operations and Safety upgrades through the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. The AFG program supports fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations across the country to ensure the safety of both first-responders and the public.
“We must support our first-responder organizations so that communities like Sharon Township have the resources to shield families and homes from fire hazards,” said Brown.
In 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Military Academy at West Point has extended an offer of appointment to Colin Reichman of Perry. Sen. Brown nominated Colin to West Point. Each year, Brown nominates up to 10 students for each service academy requiring congressional recommendations: the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
“Colin worked hard for this achievement and has demonstrated the leadership and commitment to service needed to represent our country and values. His family and community should be proud of this honor,” said Brown.
Sen. Brown’s office convened a roundtable discussion with Milan stakeholders to discuss the importance of cultivating new markets for farmers and protecting their specialty crops. The roundtable discussion was hosted by the Culinary Vegetable Institute. In 2014, Sen. Brown was part of the Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee that successfully negotiated a five-year farm bill.
“By working with farmers to protect and expand their ability to grow specialty crops, we can support local jobs and increase access to fresh, healthy foods for Ohio communities,” said Brown.
Sen Brown’s office hosted a roundtable discussion with Northwest Ohio stakeholders to discuss the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program and efforts to encourage economic development in rural counties. In the 2014 Farm Bill, Brown supported a strong Rural Development title, which helps fund everything from building hospitals, to combatting opioids, to wastewater treatment infrastructure.
“Ohioans count on the Rural Development program for support for everything from combatting opioids to building hospitals. My office and I will continue working with community partners to ensure northwest Ohio gets the support it needs,” said Brown.
Northwest Ohioans are proud of our state’s long manufacturing history. To keep up that tradition, we must get a new generation interested in our changing manufacturing sector. That’s why Sen. Brown’s office helped organize a five-day manufacturing camp to help Wood County students learn about manufacturing, teamwork, and local production facilities. This learning opportunity gives local students ages 11 to 14 the opportunity to learn about careers in their community, tour local manufacturing facilities, and learn from experts.
“These camps are helping students around Ohio learn about manufacturing jobs right here in Ohio and the opportunities our manufacturing sector has created for Ohioans,” said Brown.
In 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Air Force Academy has extended an offer of appointment to Elizabeth Shaffer of Hicksville. Sen. Brown nominated Elizabeth for the Air Force Academy. Elizabeth, a senior at Hicksville High School, is on the school’s basketball, volleyball, and track team. She also participates in the marching band, science club, and chess club. Each year, Sen. Brown nominates up to 10 students for each service academy requiring congressional recommendations: the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
“Elizabeth worked hard for this achievement and has demonstrated the leadership and commitment to service needed to represent our country and values. Her family and community should be proud of this honor,” said Brown.
In November 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $2,998,500 to Belmont County for a wastewater treatment project. The funds will go toward rehabilitating the Fox-Shannon wastewater treatment and collection system, which will ensure the system meets water safety standards and create jobs in the area. “Water infrastructure is critical to Ohio communities’ ability to create jobs and compete,” Brown said. “This investment will help attract jobs and businesses to the area, and improve access to safe and clean water in Belmont County.”
In July 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded $168,891 to the City of Cambridge and Cambridge Area Regional Airport Authority for upgrades to the Cambridge Municipal Airport.
“The Cambridge Municipal Airport supports tourism and commerce in Guernsey County,” Brown said. “This funding will improve the safety and efficiency of the airport so it can remain a reliable option for the county.”
This grant to the Cambridge Municipal Airport will go toward runway lighting replacements.
Ohioans are proud of our state’s long manufacturing history. To keep up that tradition, we must get a new generation of Ohioans interested in our changing manufacturing sector. Brown’s office has organized summer manufacturing camps throughout Ohio for the past five years, helping students around Ohio learn about manufacturing jobs right here in Ohio. This summer, Sen. Brown’s office helped organize manufacturing camps for middle school students in Coshocton, Jackson, Tuscarawas, Ross and Muskingum, Guernsey, and Washington Counties. Local students learned about careers in their community, toured local manufacturing facilities, and learned from experts.
In April 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $135,048 to the Rome Volunteer Fire Department for Operations and Safety upgrades through the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. The AFG program supports fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations across the country to ensure the safety of both first-responders and the public. The program provides funds for supplemental training, upgrades to protective equipment, facility modifications, and other supplies that protect firefighters and first-responders in moments of crisis.
“We must support our first-responder organizations so that communities like Rome Township have the resources to shield families and homes from fire hazards,” said Brown.
In Winter 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy have extended offers of appointment to Caroline Thiel and Terrill Seth Barnes of Chillicothe. Sen. Brown nominated Caroline for the Naval Academy and Seth for the Merchant Marine Academy. Caroline is a senior at Unioto High School in Chillicothe, and Seth is a senior at Chillicothe High School.
Piketon workers are committed to keeping clean-up efforts on track. In March 2017, Sen. Brown met with United Steelworkers Local 869 President Herman Potter and Sergeant-at-Arms Rick Jordan from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon to discuss continued efforts to clean up and redevelop the site. Last December, Sen. Brown and Sen. Portman helped secure the necessary funding to avoid disruption of the clean-up activities at the site. Workers deserve to have the resources they need to clean up and redevelop the site without the fear of losing their jobs. Sen. Brown will keep fighting for the necessary funding to accelerate clean-up efforts and redevelop this site for good-paying jobs in the future.
Sen. Brown announced in November 2017 that the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report, which will include authorizations for projects that will sustain and support the workforce at Lima’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC). Brown requested that the Senate Armed Services Committee support these critical programs in the NDAA. Brown and Sen. Portman worked together to secure the funding. The measure is now headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“The work done at JSMC on the Abrams Tank and the Stryker Vehicle is among the most advanced in the world,” said Brown. “This investment will allow Lima workers to continue their vital national security work while also bolstering northwest Ohio’s economy.”
In August 2017, Sen. Brown helped launch the “My Brother’s Keeper” program in Springfield. The local initiative helps prepare students for college and career readiness. Brown joined community leaders and a group of Springfield-area mentors and mentees during the launch at the Greater Springfield CareerConnectED.
“Ohio is losing future doctors, engineers, teachers, and entrepreneurs because of an opportunity gap,” said Brown. “My Brother’s Keeper is about building strong children, who will grow into the leaders of the future, and who won’t be bound by a society that has too often been set up to hold them back.”
In August 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded $2,155,607 to the Warren County Airport Authority and the Warren County Board of Commissioners for upgrades to the Warren County John Lane Field Airport. “The Warren County John Lane Field Airport supports tourism and commerce in Warren County,” Brown said. “This funding will improve the safety and efficiency of the airport so it can remain a reliable option for the county.”
In August 2017, Sen. Brown announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had awarded $15,579 to the Lockington Volunteer Fire Association for Operations and Safety through the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. “Ohio firefighters and first-responders work every day to protect our families,” said Brown. “We must support our first-responder organizations so that communities like Piqua have the resources to shield families and homes from fire hazards.”
“I wanted to thank you and Senator Brown for the prompt assistance you gave my mother Florence Lasure Kildow in her search for information about her father, Otto Lasure, and his WWI participation. She was overwhelmed with your response. She has said many times that it put a face and heart to a man she was not able to know well due to his early death of a brain tumor. I cannot tell you what this has meant to her and our family.”
--Letter from Mrs. Thuma
Mrs. Thuma contacted Sen. Brown on her mother’s behalf to request help in securing the Purple Heart her father, Mr. Otto Lasure, had earned. Mr. Lasure had served in World War One and received the Purple Heart during his deployment in France. Sen. Brown’s staff contacted the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), which verified Mr. Lasure’s service record and forwarded the request to the Army. After securing the Purple Heart from the Army, Sen. Brown’s office sent the medal to Mrs. Thurma and her family.
“What could have taken several months, literally took several weeks and our 501c3 status was reinstated retroactively on November 2nd. Relying entirely on grants and donations to care for over 600 animals a year, the Senator’s efforts clearly saved the day and our mission.”
The Humane Society of Madison County reached out to Sen. Brown’s office seeking a reinstatement of its charitable status with the IRS, meaning the non-profit organization is eligible for tax-deductible gifts. Relying solely on charitable donations, the organization counts on the charitable status to continue to provide care and shelter to animals in Madison County. Sen. Brown’s office worked with Taxpayer Advocate Services, and soon after reaching out to Sen. Brown’s office, the Humane Society’s charitable status was reinstated.
“(Your office’s) performance makes me glad I live in Ohio and have such helpful people here in our government offices.”
--Note from Mr. Barr
In February 2016, with his son’s wedding approaching, Mr. Barr started the process of obtaining a passport from the National Passport Center. After struggling to make progress with the agency for several months, Mr. Barr’s son called Sen. Brown’s office. A member of Sen. Brown’s staff worked with Mr. Barr’s son and was able to obtain a passport for Mr. Barr so that he and his wife could attend his son’s wedding.
“I emailed Sen. Brown’s office late at night. I received a call the next morning from Mr. Brown’s staff. Early in the afternoon, I got a call from GM headquarters. Great work! Thanks so much!”
--Note from Mr. Wolfe
Mr. and Mrs. Terry Wolfe, on a trip back to Ohio, were stranded in Cheyanne, Wyoming for six days after the fuel pump failed in their Chevrolet Silverado. A local dealership was unable to provide the necessary parts to fix the issue. Needing to return home to their small business, Mr. Wolfe reached out to Sen. Brown’s office for help. Sen. Brown’s office, by working with General Motors, was able to help the Wolfe’s acquire the correct parts, and Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe left for Ohio early the next morning.
“I contacted Senator Brown’s office for help with getting nonprofit status from the IRS for our firefighters association. After speaking with his staff, they contacted the IRS, and a short time later our application was approved. This status means more funding to train our firefighters and volunteers in order to keep our residents safe.”
Mr. Young, the president of the Monroe County Firefighters Association, Inc., filed for nonprofit status for the firefighters association with the IRS. After no response from the IRS for three months, Mr. Young contacted Sen. Brown’s office. Sen. Brown’s office, by working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, was able to advise Mr. Young on what additional information was needed to process his application. With the additional information, the IRS awarded the Firefighters Association the nonprofit status.
“My surgery was approved and United Healthcare told me that it only got approved because of being contacted by your office. I am feeling so much better and just wanted to send a sincere thank you to the people who worked on my case. I don’t think I would be back at school doing what I love right now without the assistance your office gave me.”
--Ms. Oliver, Letter to Sen. Brown
Ms. Oliver contacted Sen. Brown’s office since she was having trouble getting a medical procedure approved by her insurance company. Ms. Oliver, a college student, had missed several days of class already for doctor appointments and medical visits. Sen. Brown’s office reached out to the insurance company and was able to get Ms. Oliver’s surgery approved. Ms. Oliver wrote to Sen. Brown saying she feels much better since the procedure.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Senator Brown and his amazing staff for taking time out of their no doubt hectic schedules to put together and conduct this ceremony for a person like me who, one day back in 1999, decided he was sick of trying to figure out what to wear to work and therefore joined the Army. This is beyond humbling to say the least, and I am truly honored to be here today.”
--Mr. Sampsell, Medals Presentation Ceremony, October 2016
Mr. Sampsell served in the Army for 13 years. During his time in the army, he was stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany. Mr. Sampsell, the son of a Vietnam veteran and the grandson of a World War II Veteran, was awarded 15 medals by the army throughout the term of his service, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Mr. Sampsell’s medals were lost in transit from Germany back to the United States in 2012. Mr. Sampsell reached out to Sen. Brown’s office to obtain replacements for the medals he lost. Sen. Brown’s office was able to secure the medals, and Sen. Brown helped to present the replacement medals to Mr. Sampsell in a ceremony at Gray’s Armory in Cleveland.
“As a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran, I had a problem receiving my mail delivery, and since I get my medical prescriptions from a local VA clinic, it was imperative that I get my mail. I called (Sen. Brown’s) office, and in two days I had my first delivery of mail. I want to thank Senator Brown.”
After experiencing issues receiving his medical prescriptions from the VA through the mail, Mr. Cates called Sen. Brown’s office for help. Sen. Brown’s office reached out to the United States Postal Service to help coordinate the delivery of Mr. Cates’ medicine, and Mr. Cates reached back out to Sen. Brown’s office soon afterward to let the office know his medicine had been delivered.
“We can’t thank you all enough for all your help. Thank you for helping us keep our home.”
Ms. Richardson reached out to Sen. Brown’s office after her bank failed to properly adjust her mortgage payment after she had been approved for a reduction in property taxes. Sen. Brown’s office worked with the bank to obtain a refund for Ms. Richardson’s overpayment and to lower her monthly mortgage payment.
“I am grateful for Senator Brown and the whole staff. With your offices’ help, I am getting housing, which is a basic equality of life and a stepping stone. Again, thank you.”
Mr. Johnson, a veteran, was living in an abandoned building after encountering difficult personal circumstances. Sen. Brown’s office helped Mr. Johnson obtain a housing voucher through a veteran housing program under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Johnson will be moving soon into a new residence and has secured part-time employment.
“After exchanging some information with Senator Brown’s office, they got right on it. (Sen. Brown’s staff) was very informative. Thank you so much Senator Brown for all your help. It will be remembered and retold.”
--Mr. and Mrs. Shapiro
As victims of identity theft, Mr. and Mrs. Shapiro were experiencing issues with getting their tax returns processed by the IRS, even though they had provided the necessary documentation and information. The Shapiros contacted Sen. Brown’s office for help. Sen. Brown’s staff put them in contact with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, and the couple received their refund in full.
“I would like to say ‘Thank You.’ You went above and beyond and I am grateful. You take common courtesy to another level. My family and myself wanted you to know that.”
Ms. Bernard contacted Sen. Brown’s office seeking help in securing an expedited passport renewal after her son was injured in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Sen. Brown’s office helped set up an appointment for Ms. Bernard with a Passport Center that same week so that she could travel to Trinidad and Tobago to visit her son.
“Without Senator Brown’s office getting involved, we believe we would have waited many months longer to receive our exemption. The office always responded quickly to my messages and followed up with me throughout the…process to ensure I was getting what I needed. I truly appreciate how friendly, helpful, and expedient they operated.”
Alliance Family Health Center works with women in low-income populations to decrease infant mortality in northeast Ohio. In November 2016, Ms. Lisa Geiger, the Chief Financial Officer of Alliance Family Health Center, reached out to Sen. Brown’s office after working with the IRS for several months to obtain tax-exempt status from the IRS. Sen. Brown’s office worked with the health center to provide the IRS with the necessary information, and Alliance Family Health Center secured their tax exempt status shortly after.
“I felt like Senator Brown’s office took a personal interest in my case. (Sen. Brown’s Office) worked with me personally and kept me informed every step of the way…I do not think I would have gotten it resolved without their help.”
After months of struggling to file a tax form with the IRS in order to secure a higher tax refund, Ms. Kelly Passmore called Senator Brown’s office for help. Senator Brown’s office worked with Ms. Passmore to secure the necessary documents while keeping her updated throughout the process. Soon after Ms. Passmore reached out to Senator Brown’s staff, her issue was resolved and a $1,000 refund was secured.
“With the help of Sen. Brown, I was able to get my VA claim resolved as well as my U.S. military medals. Thank you Senator Brown.”
In a ceremony on Patriot’s Day, Sen. Brown presented overdue military medals to Mr. George Burress, a Vietnam veteran from Cleveland. Mr. Burress served as an Army Infantryman in Vietnam, where he earned several medals that he never received due to a paperwork error. Sen. Brown’s office worked with the National Personnel Records Center and the U.S. Army to secure Mr. Burress’ medals. On Sept. 11, 2017, Sen. Brown presented them to Mr. Burress in Cleveland at a ceremony at the Carl B. Stokes Federal Courthouse. Read more here.
“(Sen. Brown’s office) got more accomplished in a years’ time on my matter than I have got done in six years. (Sen. Brown’s office) did an outstanding job for me and my situation with the VA department. Job well done!”
Ms. Coats, after struggling for several years to resolve a payment issue with the VA, contacted Sen. Brown’s office at the suggestion of the Mercer County Veterans Service Office. The VA stopped paying the VA benefits Ms. Coats’ daughter was owed and claimed the daughter owed thousands of dollars in debt, instead. Sen. Brown’s office worked with the VA to resolve the payment matter, waive the mistaken debt, and ensure Ms. Coats’ daughter was receiving the benefits she deserved.