PDT Staff Writer
U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) says although many lament just how broken things can be in Washington, he has remained focused on results and addressing the issues.
“I hear about from everyday Ohioans, from law enforcement concerned about human trafficking in Toledo, to families worried about prescription drug abuse in southern Ohio, to National Guardsmen and their families in Mansfield and to Ohio’s many small businessmen and women,” Portman said. “My efforts have focused on helping Ohioans, ensuring that our taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, promoting pro-growth policies, and protecting our national defense. As a freshman Senator in the minority party, my team and I have been able to achieve a lot.”
Among the items Portman said he is proudest of is the inclusion of some $150 million for the American Centrifuge Project at Piketon.
A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), Portman served as a conferee on the Department of Defense (DoD) Authorization for 2013, which ensured that funding for uranium enrichment research and development was authorized in the final version of the bill that passed both chambers of Congress and is set to go to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Portman said the American Centrifuge Project (ACP) in Piketon is the cornerstone to fulfilling the nations national security requirements for a domestic source of enriched uranium.
“I remain disappointed that the Obama Administration has yet to reveal its long-term plans for ACP, our nation’s only domestic source of enriched uranium, which is critical to our national and energy security,” Portman said. “While we wait for the Administration to provide the certainty needed for ACP to fully develop and expand, I was able to fight for a lifeline for the project to continue. This is good news for the families of southern Ohio set to benefit from the jobs it will provide.”
The $150 million authorization included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows the Department of Energy (DOE) to continue its two-year American Centrifuge research, development, and demonstration program. The program, first proposed by DOE in October of 2011, was designed by the department to help develop U.S. enrichment technology capable of meeting, “vital national security, nonproliferation, and energy security needs while also enhancing taxpayer protections.”
The $350 million program will allow for the manufacturing of 78 additional centrifuges and the deployment and demonstration of a 120-machine cascade in Piketon.
“To date, the Administration has not provided a plan for what will happen to ACP and the taxpayer dollars invested in the project after the conclusion of the RD&D effort,” Portman said. “The demonstration project alone will not meet our national security requirements”
Portman said an approval for a loan guarantee would allow for the build-out of ACP. The full project would create 4,000 jobs in Ohio and fulfill our national security and energy security requirements for U.S.-origin enriched uranium.
Among other legislation Portman worked on that eventually was signed into law by the president was the Synthetic Drug Abuse prevention Act of 2012.
Portman said, after weeks of news coverage highlighting the danger posed by synthetic drugs like synthetic marijuana, bath salts, and 2C-E, his measure to fight synthetic drug abuse was included in the final version of the FDA bill that passed the Senate today. The legislation now goes to the President’s desk for his signature.
“Widely available and easy to purchase synthetic drugs have taken a dangerous toll on American families and communities. My amendment to ban these drugs at the federal level will better enable federal and state authorities to combat this growing epidemic,” Portman said. “Synthetic drugs are blinding some to the point where they lose sight of their own humanity, spurring reckless, horrific acts across the country. By banning these substances at the federal level and authorizing the DEA to pursue the manufacturers of these drugs across state lines, passage of this measure is an important step in reversing this streak of devastating crimes.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org