Bob Latta

Bob Latta

OHIO's 5th DISTRICT

Latta, Walz Send Letter to Governor Cuomo Expressing Support for Strategic Propane Storage Facility

2014/09/19

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) and Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN), along with 22 of their Congressional colleagues, today sent a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, expressing their support for the proposed Finger Lakes propane storage project and offering their assistance in moving the project forward. The proposed storage facility is one mechanism that would relieve regionalized distribution constraints to help prevent future propane shortages, like those experienced last winter throughout the country.

“The lives and livelihoods of many of my constituents were threatened last winter due to propane shortages throughout the country,” said Latta. “While the Finger Lakes propane storage project would primarily serve the Northeast region, it would also have residual benefits throughout the Midwest and in Ohio. Access to affordable heat is essential for everyone during the winter months, and I will continue to work with my colleagues at the federal, state and local level to support projects, like this one, that will stabilize supplies of propane and help prevent future shortages.” 

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Earlier this week, Congressman Latta also introduced companion legislation to the Propane Supply and Security Act, which aims to prevent future propane shortages.

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Latta Supports Legislation to Unleash America’s Energy Potential, Create Jobs

2014/09/18

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today joined his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in supporting H.R. 2, the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act. The legislation includes various energy provisions that will create the infrastructure needed for America to unleash its energy potential, while also creating jobs, lowering energy costs and improving our energy security.

“There is nothing more promising than America’s energy future,” said Latta. “The legislation passed by the House today implements a number of important policy solutions that will allow America to responsibly take advantage of our vast energy resources. This all-of-the-above energy strategy embraces our new energy landscape, locking in domestic prosperity and making energy more affordable and accessible.”

American innovation in advanced drilling technologies has unleashed an abundance of domestic energy resources. In 2013, U.S. energy production rose more than the combined increases in the rest of the world to reach its highest level in 24 years. In addition, we now have a natural gas surplus large enough to export to other countries without impacting the affordability of our domestic supply. However, as we are experiencing this growth in production, the Administration continues to block key infrastructure projects, like the Keystone XL pipeline, that prevent America from reaching its full potential.

The American Energy Solutions for Lower Cost and More American Jobs Act would allow the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would create tens of thousands of jobs and has been unnecessarily delayed for six years. It would also strengthen our partnership with Canada and Mexico in order to build a more secure and efficient North American energy market and lower energy costs. Next, it would expedite the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas to our allies, promoting global stability and aiding America’s economy. In addition, it would modernize the review process for natural gas pipeline permit applications. Finally, it would establish a more streamlined and transparent federal permitting process for construction projects, opening up America’s vast energy potential and lowering costs.

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Latta, Olson Introduce Bipartisan Ozone Bill to Require EPA to Balance Clean Air with Economic Stability

2014/09/17

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) and Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to include feasibility and economic impacts when issuing major rules. EPA has indicated they intend to propose a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone, from the current level of .75 down to as low as .60 parts per billion. These levels are so low that most of America - including most of our national parks - will be out of compliance. The Clean Air, Strong Economies (CASE) Act, would require EPA to protect health and consider feasibility when issuing rules under the Clean Air Act. 

“We all want clean air and a healthy environment,” said Latta. “When proceeding with new regulations, they must be achievable and without significant harm to our economy. Manufacturers should not be faced with the choice of complying with EPA regulations or staying in business. Not only would these new standards put much of America out of compliance, but they also fail to take into account the $270 billion and millions of jobs that would be lost nationwide. The CASE Act would ensure we continue to improve our air quality, while also factoring in the feasibility of compliance and economic harm.” 

“America has made important gains in air quality over the last 30 years and should continue to do better,” Rep. Olson said. “But this new level puts most of America out of compliance. The National Association of Manufacturers recently estimated that compliance with this new rule could reduce annual GDP by $270 billion dollars and cost 2.9 million jobs. Our bill will simply update the Clean Air Act to allow EPA to consider economic costs when issuing rules, something they are currently not allowed to do. It would bring the proper balance to improving air quality, while doing so with achievable technology and ensuring the process does the least harm to our economy.”

In a letter of support for the CASE Act, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stated that, "This legislation would improve the rulemaking process involved with the Environmental Protection Agency’s review and setting of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground level ozone byrequiring better scientific data, more transparency, and considerations of feasibility and economic impact." 

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Latta Introduces Legislation to Mitigate Harmful Algal Blooms in Great Lakes

2014/09/17

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today introduced the Protecting Our Great Lakes Act, legislation to help mitigate harmful algal blooms by prohibiting the discharge of dredged material in the open waters of the Great Lakes.

“The Protecting Our Great Lakes Act is one step we can take to mitigate the spread and growth of harmful algal blooms in our Great Lakes,” said Latta. “The lakes’ health is vital to our region, as tens of millions of people rely on them for drinking water. I remain committed to working with my colleagues to get this legislation passed, so we may protect these national treasures for current and future generations.”

During the dredging process, material is discharged back into the open-lake, re-suspending buried phosphorus, the main contributor to harmful algal bloom growth in Lake Erie. The Protecting Our Great Lakes Act prohibits the discharge of dredged material into the open-waters of the Great Lakes. It also requires the reuse of dredged material in confined land-based areas or in water disposal areas that are deemed economically and environmentally viable.

This legislation is a continuation of Congressman Latta’s efforts to address the algal blooms issues in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie. Yesterday, Latta 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. Last week, 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. In January, he also introduced H.R. 3862, the Clean Water Affordability Act, 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 Supports Legislation to Grow American Manufacturing, Put Americans Back to Work

2014/09/17

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) recently joined his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in passing H.R. 2996, the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act. This legislation will help rebuild our domestic manufacturing capacity and create an environment where the private sector will invest in the strengths of our nation, so American manufacturing can grow.

“The United States must ensure it capitalizes on American innovation and technology to remain competitive in the manufacturing sector,” said Latta. “With more than 60,000 manufacturers in Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District, we know firsthand how vital this industry is to our economy. The Revitalize American Manufacturing Act comprehensively addresses our skills gap and domestic manufacturing needs to grow American manufacturing and secure our country’s position at the top of the manufacturing sector.”

In 2012, manufacturing contributed $2.03 trillion to the nation’s economy and accounted for 56 percent of all U.S. exports. The industry also employs more than 12 million Americans.

The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act would establish a Network for Manufacturing Innovation to improve the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing, stimulate research and development, and increase domestic production. It builds public-private partnerships through Centers for Manufacturing Innovation among higher education and community colleges, as well as small and large manufacturers, to promote best practices and address targeted advanced manufacturing challenges. It is paid for using funds from the Department of Commerce and Department of Energy.

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Latta Meets with U.S. EPA to Discuss Substantive Solutions for Lake Erie

2014/09/16

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) and Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, today met with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water and Drinking Water Director Peter Grevatt to discuss substantive solutions that can be implemented to ensure our drinking water is safe. The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, of which Latta is a member, has primary jurisdiction over the Safe Drinking Water Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ohio state officials also joined the discussion via phone.

“The goal of today’s discussion was to have a thoughtful conversation about how we can best develop long-term, substantive solutions that will ensure the safety of our drinking water,” said Latta. “While everyone wants action to be taken as quickly as possible, these issues cannot be resolved overnight. It is imperative that we utilize the data we have at our disposal, as well as new, emerging technologies, to create a clear path forward. This discussion is only one component of a comprehensive approach, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to ensure the health and quality of our water.”

At the meeting, the U.S. EPA indicated the agency has a draft health advisory. It is in the process of scientific peer review and is expected to be released in early to mid Spring 2015 – a timeframe that will allow accurate data and sound science, rather than arbitrary rhetoric, to lead guidance. 

The discussion also underscored the need for academia, local, state and federal governments, and industry to work together to address the gaps that exist between science, policy and practice. 

Today’s discussion is a continuation of Congressman Latta’s efforts to address the algal bloom issues in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie. Last week, Latta 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. In January, he also introduced H.R. 3862, the Clean Water Affordability Act, 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 Sends Letter Urging VA to Expedite Implementation of Veteran’s Access, Choice and Accountability Act

2014/09/16

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) joined a letter with 17 of his Congressional colleagues to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald, requesting the VA expedite implementation of Section 101 of H.R. 3230, the Veteran’s Access, Choice and Accountability Act. The law would help reduce wait times for veterans by increasing their access to non-VA care. 

“The Veteran’s Access, Choice and Accountability Act provides an opportunity for the VA to turn away from the bureaucratic nightmare that has plagued veterans for far too long,” said Latta. “The law will provide approximately 1.1 million veterans with increased access to non-VA care, reducing wait times and helping fulfill our promises to those who selflessly served our nation. In sending this letter to Secretary McDonald, I join my colleagues in urging the VA to expedite their implementation of the rule, so we can get veterans the care they need in a timely manner.”

The Veteran’s Access, Choice and Accountability Act was signed into law on August 7, 2014. While the law provides up to 90 days for implementation, Latta and his colleagues stressed the need to expedite implementation of the rule given the emergency situation veterans are facing. 

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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Latta Introduces Legislation to Prevent Propane Shortages

2014/09/15

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today introduced the Propane Supply and Security Act, legislation to prevent future propane shortages and coordinate response efforts during emergency situations. In light of what is expected to be another harsh winter, this legislation will address the root causes of the propane shortages experienced in Ohio and throughout the country last winter to ensure homeowners are not again adversely affected.

“Last winter, the lives and livelihoods of many Americans were threatened due to propane shortages across the country,” said Latta. “During extremely cold temperatures, access to heat is not a product of comfort, but rather a requirement for survival. The Propane Supply and Security Act addresses the causes of past propane shortages to ensure residents in Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District and throughout the United States have access to affordable propane when they need it.”

The Propane Supply and Security Act is companion to legislation sponsored by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) bearing the same name. The legislation provides for enhanced tracking of propane supplies to better forecast potential shortages. It establishes the Secretary of Energy as the coordinator of federal and state emergency response efforts to ensure a coordinated response in the event of future shortages. It also clarifies that propane shipments can be prioritized in the event of an emergency consistent with current statutory authorities. Next, the legislation addresses propane costs by directing the Department of Commerce to more accurately calculate consumer propane prices. It also directs the Secretary of Energy to study the effectiveness and feasibility of increasing regional propane reserves to mitigate future supply shocks. Finally, the legislation expands the list of equipment covered under the USDA storage facility loan program to include propane tanks. 

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Latta Introduces Legislation to Address Harmful Algal Blooms

2014/09/11

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today introduced 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.

“The health of our Great Lakes is imperative,” said Latta. “With 84 percent of North America’s fresh surface water, these vital resources supply 40 million Americans with drinking water and generate tens of billions of dollars in fishing and tourism. While quality work and research have been done to mitigate the effects of harmful algal blooms in our Great Lakes, a comprehensive information system for this research to be submitted, studied and better understood does not exist. The Great Lakes & Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act would create this much needed information system to track and study the causes of toxin producing algal blooms, the factors and conditions that cause them to bloom in excess, and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts to ensure these waters remain healthy.”

Algal blooms, and especially toxin producing Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), are a serious problem threatening the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Erie. The Great Lakes & Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create an electronic database for the voluntary submission of research and information regarding algal blooms causes and mitigation efforts in the Great Lakes by accredited entities. NOAA will also be required to report these important findings to Congress.

A copy of the bill can be found here.

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House Passes Legislation Enabling Americans to Keep Health Care Plans Despite President’s #BrokenPromises

2014/09/11

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today released the following statement after joining his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in passing H.R. 3522, the Employee Health Care Protection Act. The legislation would enable the approximately 50 million fully-insured Americans who face health care plan cancellations or disruptions due to Obamacare to keep their current health care coverage.

“The American people were misled by the President's repeated #BrokenPromises surrounding his signature law,” said Latta. “While his false assurances indicated that hardworking Americans would save an average of $2,500 per year on premiums, would be able to keep their current health care coverage and would not have to select new doctors under Obamacare, we know the opposite is true. Today, the U.S. House of Representatives provided a thoughtful solution to allow millions to keep the plans they have and like – all while reducing the deficit by $1.25 billion, lowering costs and increasing wages.”

The Employee Health Care Protection Act would allow non-ACA compliant group health care plans offered by issuers in 2013 to be continued to be sold now and into the future. Small businesses and their employees could purchase these plans regardless of whether or not they were on these plans in 2013.

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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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