Senator’s 2016 Agenda Includes:
- Expanding Tax Credits for Ohio Workers and Cleaning up Ohio Neighborhoods Devastated by the Housing Crisis
- Fighting for a Trade Agenda that Levels the Playing Field for Ohio Workers
- Making Sure Ohio Kids Don’t Go Hungry
- Cracking Down on For-Profit Colleges that Make Money at Students’ Expense
WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a news conference call today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) outlined his priorities for 2016 ahead of the President’s State of the Union address. While President Obama is not expected to outline a specific legislative agenda for his last year in office, Brown said he will be working just as hard as ever to secure Ohio priorities in the Senate this year.
“From the auto rescue, to delivering health care to thousands of Ohioans through the Affordable Care Act, to cracking down on Wall Street banks who cheat the system - we have achieved incredible victories for working people across America and I am proud to have done my part for Ohio in the Senate,” Brown said. “But our work is far from over, and I have no intention of slowing down in 2016. I’m determined to continue busting through the gridlock to find ways we can work together to deliver results for Ohio this year.”
Some of the priorities Brown outlined include:
- Building on victories he secured in the appropriations deal at the end of last year by expanding tax credits for even more Ohio workers and cleaning up Ohio neighborhoods devastated by the housing crisis,
- Fighting for a trade agenda that levels the playing field for Ohio workers,
- Making sure Ohio kids don’t go hungry during summer months when school is not in session, and
- Working to make college more affordable by cracking down on for-profit colleges that make money at the expense of Ohio students.
Additionally, First Lady Michelle Obama has selected Jim Obergefell – a Cincinnati resident and the plaintiff in the Supreme Court’s historic marriage equality decision – as a guest of honor during this year’s State of the Union address. Brown, a long-time supporter of marriage equality, applauded the selection. In April, Brown met with Obergefell and in March, he joined 43 of his Senate colleagues and 167 members of the House of Representatives in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court stating that all couples deserve the right to marry no matter the state that they live in.
Building on Victories Brown Secured in the Budget Deal at the End of Last Year
- Brown secured a major victory for Ohio’s working families in the 2015 year-end appropriations deal by permanently expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credits (read more here) – which keep more American children out of poverty than any other federal program. Now Senator Brown wants to help even more Ohio workers get tax breaks by expanding the Earned Income Credit for Ohioans who don’t have kids. Brown’s push has gained bipartisan support and Brown will continue fighting to get it done for Ohio.
- As the top Democrat on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Brown helped secure $2 billion for the “Hardest Hit Fund,” investments that help communities devastated by the housing crisis clean up vacant and abandoned properties (read more here). Now Brown will work with the Administration to make sure Ohio’s neighborhoods get the money they need from the Hardest Hit Fund.
Fighting for a Trade Agenda that Levels the Playing Field for Ohio Workers
- Brown will continue fighting against bad trade deals that hurt Ohio jobs. Brown held a roundtable in Washington Monday to help call attention to ways the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would hurt Ohio auto jobs, and he will continue fighting to make TPP stronger for Ohio workers.
Making Sure Ohio Kids Don’t Go Hungry During Summer Months When School is Not in Session
- As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Brown will play a lead role in renewing Child Nutrition programs, which provide school lunch and breakfast as well as the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) for at-risk children and mothers. As part of that work, Brown will push to include his bipartisan Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act to ensure Ohio kids who rely on school lunches don’t go hungry when school is out for the summer. According to data released by the Ohio Department of Education, more than 680,000 Ohio children received free or reduced-priced lunch on an average day; however, many students miss out on this nutrition assistance in the summer months.
Working to Make College More Affordable by Cracking Down on For-Profit Colleges that Make Money at the Expense of Ohio Students
- As college affordability shapes up to be a major priority in the national discussion in 2016, Brown will continue his longstanding efforts to save Ohioans money and improve their educational experience by holding for-profit colleges accountable for their deceptive practices.
- Among Brown’s initiatives is his call to make sure taxpayer dollars from Pell Grants and other federal student aid programs are actually spent on educating students and not to fund corporate marketing campaigns (read more here).