Rob Portman Biography

Congressman Rob Portman

Rob Portman is in his second term in Congress representing Ohio's Second Congressional District.

In a short period of time, Rob has become a leader for change in Washington.  In his first term, he authored legislation to stop the unfair practice of unfunded federal mandates that became part of the Contract with America and became law last year.  Many view this landmark legislation as one of the most significant accomplishments of the first session of this Congress.  For his work on unfunded mandates, he has been honored by the National League of Cities, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Association of Counties, who named Rob "Legislator of the Year" in 1995.

On budget matters, he has led efforts to get federal spending under control.  Since his election, the National Taxpayers Union has consistently ranked Rob as one of the leaders in the Ohio delegation and within the top five percent of the 435 Members of Congress for his commitment to reduce spending and hold the line on taxes.  In addition, Rob has three times been awarded the annual Citizens Against Government Waste "Taxpayer Hero" award for consistently voting to cut wasteful federal spending.  And, for his efforts to defend small businesses and the jobs they create, the National Federation of Independent Business recently awarded Rob a 100% rating.

After less than two years in Congress, Rob was honored to be chosen to serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.  He is one of the most junior Members ever to be named to this panel, which has jurisdiction over key national policies, including federal tax laws, international trade, and health care and welfare reform.

Rob is Co-Chairman of the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service, a bi-partisan panel of experts charged with thoroughly examining the management and practices of the IRS and developing ways to improve its efficiency and quality of service.  He also serves on the Speaker's Economic Task Force and is one of only four House Members on the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

Increasingly, Rob has gained statewide and national recognition for his leadership in the fight against illegal drug abuse.  He has taken the lead in Congress on an innovative community-based anti-drug abuse effort which is being replicated nationwide.  He is the first Member of Congress to establish an anti-drug coalition in his District, bringing together local community activists, business, education and religious leaders, parents and students and is spearheading an effort to get every Member of Congress to establish or support anti-drug efforts in their communities.  He also serves on the Leadership Task Force on National Drug Control Policy.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; recipient of the PRIDE award for outstanding service to reduce drug abuse in America; and an Advisory Council member of the Statewide Prevention Coalition in Ohio.

Before his election to Congress, Rob practiced business and international law as a partner in the Cincinnati law firm of Graydon, Head and Ritchey.  Rob left Cincinnati from 1989 to 1991 to serve in the Bush White House; first, as Associate Counsel to the President, then as Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

Rob has been very involved in Greater Cincinnati community activities and continues to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Springer School, the United Way & Community Chest Government Relations Committee, and the Chamber of Commerce State & Federal Relations Committee.  He has also established active Task Forces locally to advise him on Medicare, Crime, Health Care Reform, and Tax Reform.

Rob was born and raised in Cincinnati.  He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School.  He continues to live in the Second District with his wife, Jane, and their three children, Jed, Will and Sally.


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