Bob Latta

Bob Latta

OHIO's 5th DISTRICT

Latta: We Need to Work Together to Find a Real Solution to our Broken Immigration System

2014/11/21

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today issued the following statement after President Obama’s announcement that he will unilaterally act on immigration:

“The American people sent a clear message to Washington earlier this month,” said Latta. “The United States is a republic, not a monarchy, and they want us to work together to promote real solutions to the issues our country faces – issues that include our nation’s border security and the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants who live here.

“The President’s decision to take unilateral action demonstrates a blatant disregard for the will of the American people and the separation of powers explicitly outlined in our Constitution. It exceeds his executive authority, and I, along with my colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, will fight this gross executive overreach.

“As a Member of Congress, I was elected to represent the citizens of Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District – hardworking Americans that I have the privilege to listen to and interact with every day. The President’s plan does not address their concerns and will not sufficiently secure our border. I am committed to working in a bipartisan, bicameral manner and believe this is the best way we can develop long-term solutions to the issues our nation faces. It is time for the President to stop acting unilaterally and start listening to the American people. We need substantive solutions, not quick fixes.” 

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Latta Applauds Senate Passage of STELAR

2014/11/21

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), Vice Chairman of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee, today released the following statement applauding the U.S. Senate’s passage of H.R. 5728, the STELA Reauthorization Act.

“I am pleased to see the bipartisan and bicameral effort that took place to bring forth this must-pass legislation,” said Latta. “While ensuring broadcast programming for more than 1.5 million satellite television subscribers, STELAR also underscores our commitment to ensuring that our communications laws maximize the potential for investment, innovation and consumer choice.

“I am especially pleased that this bill incorporated a bipartisan and pro-consumer provision to eliminate the current set-top box integration ban, similar to legislation I sponsored in the U.S. House with Congressman Gene Green. Repealing this outdated technological mandate will foster greater investment and innovation in the set-top box market.

“STELAR’s passage in the U.S. Senate demonstrates how our two chambers can work together to pass meaningful policies. I urge the President to swiftly sign this bill into law, so these critical measures can take effect.”

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Latta Introduces Bill to Help Protect Drinking Water

2014/11/20

Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) today introduced legislation to help protect drinking water from harmful algae blooms known as cyanotoxins. Latta authored the legislation in response to Toledo, Ohio’s August water emergency caused by the increased presence of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. H.R. 5753, the Drinking Water Protection Act, requires the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and submit a strategic plan to Congress for assessing and managing the risk associated with cyanotoxins in drinking water.

“My legislation will ensure a robust approach when addressing the health of our drinking water,” said Latta. “In addition, by requiring the EPA to develop a strategic plan that outlines how it will assess and manage the risks associated with cyanotoxins in our water, the bill will foster close, ongoing coordination between all agencies involved and set timelines to ensure the health of our drinking water is addressed in a timely manner. I would like to thank Chairman Upton and Chairman Shimkus for bringing Congressional attention to this issue and look forward to working with them on this important issue.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) gave his support to the legislation, stating, “This is an important issue facing millions of Americans that live in the communities surrounding our Great Lakes. The water supply scare in Ohio this summer brought this issue to the forefront, and I thank Representative Latta for his leadership in responding to this critical threat and working toward a solution that helps keep our drinking water and our families safe.”

The Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), held a hearing Wednesday to examine cyanotoxins in drinking water and solutions to address the problem. During the hearing, Rep. Latta stressed the need for federal, state, and local officials to work together to better understand this threat to human health and the environment and find ways to increase protections. Watch Latta’s questioning with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Craig Butler regarding the need for EPA to provide research and guidance to states:

 

Watch Latta’s questioning with Ohio EPA Director Butler HERE.

Latta’s bill directs the EPA to formulate a plan, including the necessary steps and timelines to fully evaluate the risk of cyanotoxins, publish a comprehensive list of potentially harmful cyanotoxins, and provide additional guidance and technical assistance to states to help mitigate risks to drinking water systems. To view a copy of the bill, click HERE.

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Latta Participates in Hearing to Examine Harmful Algal Blooms in Drinking Water

2014/11/19

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, today participated in a hearing examining the toxins in drinking water caused by harmful algal blooms. This hearing was a continuation of Congressman Latta’s efforts to address the algal blooms issues in the Great Lakes following Toledo’s August water advisory, which left 500,000 people without drinkable water.

“Our drinking water is one of our most valuable resources, and we must look at the entire picture when determining how to ensure the health of our Great Lakes and surface waters,” said Latta. “Today’s hearing to examine the effects of harmful algal blooms in our drinking water is an important step in bringing Congressional attention to this matter, and I look forward to continuing to work with all parties involved to solve this problem and protect human health.” 

At the hearing, members heard testimony from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water Director, Dr. Peter Grevatt, Ohio EPA Director, Craig Butler, John Donahue from American Water Works Association and Lynn Thorp from Clean Water Action. 

The discussion provided insight about the various sources that lead to algal bloom growth. It also shed light on the obstacles to addressing algal blooms in our drinking water, including the need to gain a better understanding of the various types of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins, as well as safe human threshold levels. The limitations on current testing, including costs and a need for qualified technicians, was also stressed.

In addition, the U.S. EPA indicated that it is currently conducting an independent, external peer review of the draft health advisory for microcystins and Cylindrospermopsin. The health advisory is expected to be released in Spring 2015, a timeline that will ensure it reflects the best available science and data to ensure public health is protected.

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Congressional Hearing on Harmful Algal Blooms in Drinking Water Scheduled for Wednesday

2014/11/17

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, will participate in a hearing focused on cyanotoxins in drinking water on Wednesday, November 19, at 10:15 a.m. in Washington, D.C. Latta has worked closely with the Subcommittee’s Chairman, Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), to ensure a hearing on this important issue.

Given the water emergency that occurred in Toledo in August, this week’s hearing will explore the current circumstances surrounding algae and cyanotoxins, as well as the availability of technology to test and monitor for these potentially harmful contaminants. The Committee sent a letter last month to the Environmental Protection Agency seeking additional information about this threat to drinking water supplies and the agency’s plans to address it.

Witnesses at the hearing, entitled “Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water,” will include Director of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water at the U.S. EPA, Peter Grevatt, Director of the Ohio EPA, Craig Butler, and John Donahue testifying on behalf of the American Water Works Association. 

The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, witness testimony and a live feed of the hearing will be available here as they are posted.

This hearing is a continuation of Congressman Latta’s efforts to address the algal blooms issues in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie. In September, he introduced H.R. 5516, the Protecting Our Great Lakes Act, to prevent the discharge of dredged material in the open waters of the Great Lakes. He also met with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss long-term substantive solutions that can be implemented to ensure our drinking water is safe. In addition, he introduced H.R. 5456, the Great Lakes & Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act, bipartisan legislation to examine the causes and current mitigation efforts of algal blooms in the Great Lakes, their tributaries and surface fresh waters. Finally, he also introduced H.R. 3862, the Clean Water Affordability Act, in January to assist municipalities in more affordably managing their wastewater infrastructure projects. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee also held a hearing to discuss this legislation in July. 

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Latta Sounds Alarm About Utility-Style Regulation of the Internet

2014/11/14

House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) today continued speaking out against heavy-handed regulation of the Internet currently being advocated for by President Obama. During the Free State Foundation’s policy seminar entitled, “Thinking the Unthinkable: Imposing the 'Utility Model' on Internet Providers,” Latta lauded the many success stories of innovation and growth provided by light regulatory touch and cautioned that new regulations on the Internet will impede innovation, job creation, and consumer choice. Excerpts of Latta’s speech below:

“The success of the Internet has not been by chance. The light-touch regulatory framework that has long governed its operation and functionality has been central to the innovation and advancement we are experiencing at both the core and edge of the network today. Unfortunately, many ignore or underestimate the significance of this light-touch regulatory approach and negligently dismiss its importance to the success of the broadband marketplace and surrounding ecosystem. …

“It is extremely troubling and disappointing to hear the president urge the FCC to adopt a stronger regulatory framework for the open Internet. Reclassification under Title II threatens our thriving Internet economy and the American jobs it creates. If we heap 80 years of regulatory baggage on broadband providers, this will undoubtedly restrict Internet Service Provider’s flexibility to innovate and stunt their ability to make robust investments and expand high-quality broadband service to all Americans. The end loser will be consumers. The Internet isn’t a utility, so we shouldn’t treat it as one. …

“At a time when the Internet is one of the few bright spots of the economy, driving productivity and economic growth, and offering increased speeds, lower costs, and more choices for consumers, fundamentally changing the laws to preserve this progress simply does not make sense. My hope is that the FCC will reject calls to increase its regulatory footprint over the Internet.”

Read the full speech here.

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Latta Votes to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline for Jobs and Affordable Energy

2014/11/14

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today released the following statement after joining his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in voting in support of H.R. 5682, which approves the application to build the Keystone XL pipeline. This is the ninth time the House has said #Yes2Energy by passing legislation to approve the pipeline.  

“At a time when growing our economy and creating jobs is our number one focus, building the Keystone XL Pipeline is common sense,” said Latta. “This critical project will provide 40,000 American jobs, make energy more affordable and help promote North American energy independence. It’s time for the Senate and the President to stop playing politics with America’s energy future and approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.”

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Latta Statement on Army Corps’ Release of Tentatively Selected Plan for Blanchard River Flood-Control Project

2014/11/14

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ release of its Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) for the Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project:

“I am encouraged by the Army Corps’ continued action on the Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project,” said Latta. “Lieutenant Colonel Jansen’s visit to Northwest Ohio to see the flooding issues firsthand and the release of this Tentatively Selected Plan mark important milestones to moving this project forward. However, our work is not complete, and we must continue to make progress. Therefore, I remain committed and look forward to continuing to work with the Army Corps and all parties involved to expeditiously move this project forward.” 

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Committee’s Bipartisan #RecordOfSuccess Grows Stronger as House Clears Three More Bills for President to Sign

2014/11/13

The House of Representatives today built upon the Energy and Commerce Committee’s bipartisan #RecordOfSuccess by sending three more pieces of legislation to the president’s desk for signature. The House today approved by unanimous consent the Senate versions of three House-passed bills: the E-LABEL Act (S. 2583), the Sunscreen Innovation Act (S. 2141), and the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act (S. 2539).

The Enhance Labeling, Accessing, and Branding of Electronic Licenses (E-LABEL) Act, S. 2583, is bipartisan legislation that mirrors the House passed H.R. 5161, authored by Communications and Technology Subcommittee Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH). The legislation removes the requirement that electronic devices contain a physical label detailing information required by the FCC and gives manufacturers the option of providing that same information on the screen of the device.

“We are in the midst of an innovation era where ground-breaking technologies and devices are introduced almost daily,” said Latta. “Therefore, it is imperative that we continue to utilize technology to modernize federal requirements, improve efficiency and unleash American entrepreneurship. The bipartisan E-LABEL Act provides device manufacturers increased flexibility and lowers costs, so they can reinvest in next-generation technologies that consumers demand.”

The Sunscreen Innovation Act

The Sunscreen Innovation Act, S. 2141, establishes a more efficient review process of new sunscreen ingredients while maintaining strict safety standards. In July the House approved similar legislation, H.R. 4250, authored by committee members Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI).

“I am pleased to be sending the president this commonsense bill to fix the broken approval process for new sunscreen ingredients,” commented Whitfield. “It has been far too long since the United States has approved any new sunscreen ingredients; meanwhile, the risks of overexposure to the sun have become increasingly well-known. With the president’s signature, Americans will finally be able to begin purchasing products that take advantage of improved research.”

The Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act

The Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act (S. 2539) reauthorizes programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track and reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to provide support programs for TBI patients and their families. This legislation is similar to the House passed H.R. 1098.

“We have had a tremendous amount of success in advancing bipartisan bills to improve the public health this Congress,” said Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA). “This important bill will allow our researchers to continue to strengthen the early diagnoses and treatment of traumatic brain injuries. Millions of Americans live with a disability that is the result of a TBI. This bill will help them and their families.”


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Latta, Walz Introduce Legislation to Address Propane Issues

2014/11/13

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), along with Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN), today introduced the Propane Education and Research Enhancement Act of 2014. The bipartisan legislation directs the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to more accurately calculate consumer propane costs. It also enables the propane industry to use its resources to mitigate price spikes.

“Last winter, the lives and livelihoods of many Americans were threatened due to propane shortages across the country,” said Latta. “Access to heat was a requirement for survival, and we want to ensure that Americans do not face the same hardships. The Propane Education and Research Enhancement Act of 2014 would take the necessary steps to allow the propane industry to adequately address propane supply and pricing issues, so consumers are not negatively impacted this winter.”

“Winter is coming. Minnesota has already seen significant snowfall and freezing temperatures. It is imperative that we do everything in our power to protect families and local businesses from facing the price shocks we witnessed last winter when a lack of supply put people’s lives and livelihoods at risk,” said Walz. “The Propane Education and Research Enhancement Act provides the tools that consumers and distributors need to avoid future disruptions.”

In 1996, Congress enacted the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) authorizing the propane industry to collect and use its own resources for safety, training, research and development, and education for the benefit of propane consumers and the public. The law also established the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) to accomplish these goals. 

To prevent this program from creating a disproportionate demand for propane, the DOC is required to annually calculate the price for “consumer grade propane” and compare it with an index of prices of specified competing fuels. If the price of propane exceeds a certain threshold, PERC is restricted from conducting its educational outreach activities.

In 2009, due to a misinterpretation of the law by the DOC, the restriction was triggered and all educational outreach by PERC ceased. While DOC believes Congress intended PERA to focus only on “residential-only” propane, the text of the law does not limit it to the residential market. To correct this discrepancy, the Propane Education and Research Enhancement Act of 2014 would clarify the language of the law to require DOC to use the proper data and bring the application of the law back in line with Congress’ intent. It would also amend the existing functions of PERC to include training distributors and consumers in strategies to mitigate the negative effects of propane price spikes.

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Contact Information

2448 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6405
Fax 202-225-1985
latta.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Energy and Commerce

Congressman Robert “Bob” Latta (R- Bowling Green) is currently serving his fourth term in the United States House of Representatives following his re-election in 2012.  Congressman Latta serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has wide jurisdiction on legislative matters, including energy policy, telecommunications, food and drug safety, public health research, and interstate and foreign commerce. He is a member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, where he was selected to serve as Vice Chair, as well as a member of the Subcommittees on Energy and Power, and Environment and the Economy.  In addition, Congressman Latta serves as an Assistant Majority Whip, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Sportsman Caucus, and the Co-Chair of the Republican New Media Caucus.

Congressman Latta previously served as a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Committee on the Budget, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Before his election to Congress, Latta was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives (2001-2007), Ohio Senate (1997-2000), and Wood County Commissioner (1991-1996).

Since his arrival to Congress, Congressman Latta has advocated for the interests of the people of northwest and west central Ohio and economic prosperity for the country. His top priorities have included balancing the budget, reducing the national debt, and working towards commonsense government reforms. Congressman Latta’s legislative accomplishments include:

·      H.R. 270, the TRICARE Continuity Coverage for National Guard and Reserve Families Act, which allows “gray area” retirees access to TRICARE, and was amended into the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), becoming law, P.L. 111-84.

·      H.R. 1622, the Spectrum Innovation Act, which authorizes the FCC to conduct incentive spectrum auctions generating billions of dollars to pay down our national debt, as well as unleashing spectrum for innovation and job creation.  This incentive auction concept was included in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, H.R. 3630 and signed into law.

·      Latta authored language, which was included in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, and signed into law in July 2012 (P.L. 112-144), to help ease drug shortages in the hospital setting.

This year, Congressman Latta was honored by the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) with the Rx Safety and Leadership Award (Rx Award) for his leadership and commitment to advancing policies that enhance patient safety and security of the pharmaceutical  distribution supply chain nationwide.  Latta has also received the Ohio Farm Bureau’s “Friend of Farm Bureau” award, the United States Chamber of Commerce’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award, National Association of Manufacturers’ award for “Manufacturing Legislative Excellence,” National Taxpayer Union’s “Taxpayer Friend Award” and the American Conservative Union’s “ACU Conservative” award. In 2009, Latta was recognized with the Association of the United States Navy National Legislative Advocacy Award for his “superb leadership and outstanding service during the 110th and 111th Congress to improve the quality of life of Active Component and Reserve Component military members and their families.”

As a member of the Ohio General Assembly, Latta was committed to eliminating the death tax to help Ohio’s citizens, small business owners, and farmers, which he achieved in 2000 when 78% of Ohio death tax filers were successfully eliminated.  Congressman Latta also worked to make Ohio streets safer when he sponsored the DNA Bill that requires all felons and certain misdemeanants to give DNA samples, which are then placed in the state and national databases.  Latta also sponsored the juvenile crime legislation, which in part holds juveniles more responsible for their actions.

A longtime sportsman committed to wildlife and the outdoors, Latta was awarded by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, formerly the Ohio Wildlife Federation, with the Patriot Award in 2002 and 2012, which is given for “dedication and leadership in defending our outdoor heritage.”  During his tenure in the Ohio General Assembly, he sponsored the Bald Eagle license plate.  The proceeds from these plates are used to purchase eagle habitat and for eagle preservation throughout Ohio. Congressman Latta also serves as a hunter education instructor for the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Congressman Latta has earned recognition from the United Conservatives of Ohio, naming him “Watchdog of the Treasury” in 1998, 2000, and 2005.  The League of Ohio Sportsmen, which is affiliated with the Ohio Wildlife Federation and promotes environmental and sportsmen issues also nominated him in 2000 for the “Legislator of the Year” award. Latta has also earned recognition from the Ohio National Guard receiving the Major General Charles Dick Award for Legislative Excellence in 1999, and the “President’s Award” in 2006.

Congressman Latta is active in his community, where he is a member of the Bowling Green Kiwanis, having served as President, Director, and Trustee.  Latta is also a member of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and the Wood County Farm Bureau.

A lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, Congressman Latta graduated from Bowling Green Senior High School in 1974.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowling Green State University in 1978, and earned his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1981.

Congressman Latta and his wife Marcia reside in Bowling Green with their two daughters, Elizabeth and Maria.


Serving With

Steve Chabot

OHIO's 1st DISTRICT

Brad Wenstrup

OHIO's 2nd DISTRICT

Jim Jordan

OHIO's 4th DISTRICT

Bill Johnson

OHIO's 6th DISTRICT

Bob Gibbs

OHIO's 7th DISTRICT

John Boehner

OHIO's 8th DISTRICT

Michael Turner

OHIO's 10th DISTRICT

Pat Tiberi

OHIO's 12th DISTRICT

David Joyce

OHIO's 14th DISTRICT

Steve Stivers

OHIO's 15th DISTRICT

Jim Renacci

OHIO's 16th DISTRICT

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