Sen. Portman addresses reporters in conference call

Published 11:33 am Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Senator Rob Portman, R-OH, addressed the immigration issue in a conference call with Ohio reporters Friday.

Last year, the Senate approved major changes to the nation’s immigration laws that would create opportunity for citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The Republican-controlled House has not acted on this yet, however, causing the White House frustration.

Portman urged President Obama not to use an executive order that blocks the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants.

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“Instead of trying to work with Congress to get something done with a new spirit of cooperation, and I hope, good faith, the president is just going to go around the elected representatives and say this is how it’s going to be,” Portman said. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

It also would make it harder to work with the president on other issues, he added.

Portman also talked about the hope that he has that the Senate will approve a bill to allow the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would carry Canadian oil produced from tar sands to the Gulf ports of the United States and would create jobs, he said.

“If we can pass the Keystone pipeline, that would be great,” Portman said. “I don’t know if that will be possible or not, or if the president will sign it.”

Portman addressed the issue of substance abuse, as well.

“There is a growing problem of drug abuse throughout Ohio as well as the whole country,” Portman said. “We need to move forward with some of this legislation.”

The senator has had town hall meetings and roundtable discussions about this issue. He also visited the Cleveland City Mission to see what they were doing about the growing problem of addiction.

Portman also talked about the issue of healthcare in the United States and his disapproval of Obamacare.

“Obamacare hasn’t made health care more affordable for people who need it,” he said. “People are surprised to learn that their coverage does not cover everything because of the deductible, and they are paying more out of pocket. On average, paychecks are going down and healthcare costs are going up. I am very concerned about the costs and that people are not getting what they need because of the deductible.

“It’s not about one party being up or down, but more about the current situation in D.C. being unacceptable,” Portman said. “People are looking for problems to be looked at and solved in Washington, but that’s not what is going on.”