Bob Latta

Bob Latta


Latta Introduces Two Bills to Support Our Nation’s Heroes


Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today introduced two pieces of legislation to support our nation’s heroes. The Veterans Air Travel Streamlining Act would enable veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 50 percent or greater to utilize TSA Precheck’s expedited airport screening process at no cost. The VA Appeals Backlog Relief Act would expedite the processing of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) appeals claims.

“The Veterans Air Travel Streamlining Act would provide an opportunity for us to show our gratitude to the men and women who have so bravely and selflessly served this country,” said Latta. “Allowing our wounded heroes to participate in TSA’s Precheck program free of charge would enable these veterans to bypass certain screening procedures that can be time consuming given their injuries, while maintaining necessary security procedures in our airports.”

Injured veterans must currently contact TSA with their confirmed flight itinerary and all other relevant information to be eligible for TSA Precheck lanes and other expedited screening procedures at airports. The Veterans Air Travel Streamlining Act would waive the TSA Precheck application fee for veterans, who meet disability and program eligibility requirements, so they can participate in this expedited airport security screening process every time they fly.

In addition, the VA Appeals Backlog Relief Act would address the unacceptable and overwhelming VA appeals backlog by placing a 12-month deadline for all appeals claims to be certified by and sent to the Board of Veterans Appeals. Currently, when an initial VA claim is denied, a veteran has the choice to appeal the decision. However, in order to do this, he or she must enter into a lengthy and inefficient process, which has forced many veterans to wait years before receiving a final decision. The deadline imposed by the Congressman’s legislation would ensure timelier processing of veterans’ appeals.

“Our veterans deserve the utmost care and service,” continued Latta. “The VA has been plagued with unacceptable wait times and lengthy delays, and this legislation would streamline the process through which veterans can appeal their claims, so they can receive the benefits they’ve earned.”

Both pieces of legislation come after the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 3230, bipartisan legislation that would provide real solutions for our veterans and hold the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs accountable to all Americans. The U.S. Senate is also expected to approve the Conference Report soon.


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Congressman Latta to Host One-On-One Meetings in Lucas County


Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) will be available for one-on-one meetings with constituents at the Whitehouse Village Hall, located 6925 Providence Street, on Tuesday, August 5. From noon to 3 p.m., residents can meet individually with Congressman Latta and discuss the issues that are most important to them and their families. Staff will also be available to assist with casework or help residents with any issues they may have with the federal government.

“This event provides an excellent opportunity for me to learn what issues are most important to my constituents, so I can best represent them in Washington, D.C.,” said Latta. “I encourage residents to attend and look forward to discussing these issues with them, as well as providing any assistance that may be needed involving the federal government.”

Residents are not required to RSVP, but should contact Congressman Latta’s office at (800) 541-6446 if they have any questions.

Media is also invited to attend the event, but should RSVP to Sarah Criser. Details for the event include the following:

WHO: Congressman Bob Latta

WHAT: One-On-One Meetings with Constituents

WHEN: Tuesday, August 5, noon to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Whitehouse Village Hall, 6925 Providence Street, Whitehouse, Ohio 43571


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House Passes Eight Bills to Combat Human Trafficking


Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today issued the following statement applauding the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage this week of eight bills to combat human trafficking.

“Human sex trafficking is a $9.8 billion illicit industry, which is especially prevalent in Ohio, as Toledo has some of the highest human trafficking rates in the country and more than 1,000 people are victims of sex trafficking in the state each year,” said Latta. “This week, I was proud to join my colleagues in passing eight pieces of legislation that will help combat this growing epidemic, save lives and give hope to human trafficking victims around the world. I will also continue to work to defend our most vulnerable citizens, so we may end this horrific exploitation and abuse once and for all.”

H.R. 5111, to improve the response to victims of child sex trafficking, would update federal law to make clear that child prostitution is a form of child sex trafficking and should be reported to the CyberTipline at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

H.R. 5081, the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act, would improve practices within state child welfare systems to identify and document sex trafficking victims.  

H.R. 5076, the Enhancing Services for Runaway and Homeless Victims of Youth Trafficking Act, would improve support provided specifically to runaway and homeless youth who are victims of sex trafficking. 

H.R. 4980, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, includes numerous provisions that would encourage states to reduce the incidence of sex trafficking among youth in foster care, empower and promote normalcy for foster youth, quickly move more children from foster care into adoptive homes or the homes of relatives, and increase the amount of child support provided to families in which one parent is outside of the United States.  

H.R. 5135, the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act, would direct the U.S. State Department’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking to conduct a review and issue a report on the best strategies for preventing children from becoming victims of trafficking.

H.R. 5116, the Human Trafficking Detection Act, would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to implement a program that would train Department of Homeland Security personnel how to effectively deter, detect, disrupt and prevent human trafficking during the course of their primary roles and responsibilities.

H.R. 4449, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act, would require certain State Department personnel to undergo training to identify victims of human trafficking around the world.

H.R 2283, the Human Trafficking Prioritization Act, would elevate the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to a Bureau within the State Department to better prioritize the fight against human trafficking without increasing the size of the federal government.


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House Examines Clean Water Affordability


The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee today examined the affordability of clean water and the unprecedented financial challenges communities face in meeting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new wastewater mandates. Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) has introduced H.R. 3862, the Clean Water Affordability Act, to ensure clean water agencies have the flexibility they need to undertake clean water projects in a more affordable manner. 

“Forty percent of American households are currently paying more for wastewater management than what the EPA says is affordable,” said Latta. “I have seen this financial struggle firsthand throughout Ohio and in the Fifth Congressional District, where the City of Defiance is currently under a 20-year consent decree to separate their combined sewer system. Only five years into the project, the City has already spent $30 million and has plans to spend tens of millions more. This has caused water and sewer rates to skyrocket for Defiance’s 17,000 residents, who pay ten times more per month than residents outside the city. The Clean Water Affordability Act, which I have sponsored, will give our communities the flexibility they need to meet these EPA mandates, so they don’t have to place further financial hardship on their residents.”

Since the passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA), water quality throughout the country has indisputably improved. However, the command-and-control nature of the CWA has led to a buildup of costly regulations on our nation’s communities and their rate-paying residents who foot the bill. These mandates, on top of the estimated $300-500 billion needed in wastewater infrastructure improvements across the country over the next 20 years, have shifted the financing burden to local ratepayers who are seeing their rates rise nationally at double the rate of inflation.

Congressman Latta’s Clean Water Affordability Act would codify the EPA’s Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework, ensuring it is available to all communities. The legislation would also assure communities that their clean water investments will be secure for longer than five years by extending EPA permit terms to up to 25 years for communities with an approved integrated plan. In addition, it would revise the Clean Water State Revolving Fund capitalization grant agreements to require states to set aside 15 percent for assistance to municipalities of fewer than 10,000 individuals. Finally, it would require the EPA to revise and broaden guidance for determining a community’s financial capability to more accurately reflect its financial challenges.

To read Congressman Latta’s statement for the record, click here.


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Latta Introduces Legislation to Modernize Electronic Device Approval


Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), Vice Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, along with Congressman Peter Welch (D-VA), Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) today released H.R. 5161, the E-LABEL Act. This legislation would allow electronics manufacturers to display the required Federal Communications Commission (FCC) label of approval electronically instead of physically on the device or product.

“We are in the midst of an innovation era where new, ground-breaking technologies and devices are introduced into the information and communications technology marketplace almost daily,” said Latta. “The bipartisan E-LABEL Act that I introduced along with my colleagues, Congressman Welch, Congresswoman Blackburn and Ranking Member Eshoo, will facilitate continued innovation by modernizing the device approval process. This will save tens of millions of dollars for device manufacturers and will provide increased flexibility to compete and create next-generation technologies that consumers demand.”

Senator Fischer (R-NE) and Chairman Rockefeller (D-WV) have also introduced S. 2583, companion legislation to the E-LABEL Act, in the Senate.


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House Passes STELA Reauthorization with Latta Provision to Eliminate Set-Top Box Integration Ban


The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 4572, the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA), which included a provision authored by Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), Vice Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and Congressman Gene Green (D-TX) to eliminate the current set-top box integration ban. STELA’s passage will ensure more than one million satellite television subscribers do not lose access to programming at the end of this year when the current authorization is set to expire. 

“Our priority in reauthorizing STELA has always been to ensure a continuity of service for satellite subscribers,” said Latta. “However, it also represents a critical step forward in modernizing our communications laws to reflect today’s dynamic and competitive communications marketplace.

“I am especially pleased that the legislation included a provision I sponsored to eliminate the integration ban. Repealing this outdated technological mandate will foster greater investment and innovation in the set-top box market, and more importantly, will help decrease the cost of video delivery to consumers.

“STELA underscores a bipartisan commitment to ensuring that our communications laws maximize the potential for investment, innovation and consumer choice, and I commend Chairmen Upton and Chairman Walden for their leadership in this effort. 

To view the Congressman’s remarks in support of STELA on the House Floor, watch the video below:

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In Case You Missed It: Roll Call - Congressman Latta Op-Ed: Rural America: The Forefront of Innovation


The productivity and growth of rural America are essential to the overall economic well-being and prosperity of our country. These regions are critical to our sustainability and should not be neglected when considering policies that promote job creation, investment and innovation. While Ohio’s 5th District boasts more than 60,000 manufacturing jobs, it is also the largest agricultural district in the state. Ensuring our rural areas are accounted for, especially when examining ways to tap our country’s technological potential, must be a top priority.

Maintaining an open, free and accessible Internet is currently at the forefront of policy discussions facing Congress. Over the past 20 years, the Internet has become a platform for job creation, education, job skills training, business development and health care. It has also enabled us to achieve efficiencies in agriculture, energy, transportation, manufacturing and many other sectors of the economy. Expanding access to the Internet, not deterring it, is critical to this continued advancement and growth.

Unfortunately, there are efforts to do just the opposite. The Federal Communications Commission’s proposed regulations on broadband Internet access would impose costly government mandates that were designed for the monopoly telephone system of the 1930s — long before the Internet ever existed. If adopted, these regulations will obstruct ongoing efforts to spread broadband access to rural communities and deepen the economic divide between rural and non-rural areas.

To guard against this potential bureaucratic interference and preserve the critical technological gains we’ve made in rural America, I recently introduced legislation to keep the Internet open to consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs, and free from government regulation. By doing so, broadband service providers will continue to be incentivized to invest in rural America and deploy infrastructure to these hard-to-reach areas that support the innovative applications and services that make so many efficiencies and conveniences possible today.

Since its infancy, broadband service has remained relatively free from government control and Americans, rural and non-rural, have enjoyed open access to the Internet. As a result, Internet providers have made more than $1 trillion in investments in broadband infrastructure since 1996, helping to support almost 11 million jobs.

While broadband availability in rural areas still lags behind non-rural areas, gains continue to be made, as more than three-fourths of all rural areas in America have access to robust broadband service and more than 80 percent of rural residents have access to some of the nation’s fastest broadband download speeds. The number of Americans without any access to broadband service also continues to decline. In the past 13 years, home broadband adoption has grown from 3 percent of all American adults age 18 and older to 70 percent. It took the telephone 76 years to reach this level of penetration, and we can only expect these unprecedented trends to continue as long as the Internet remains unfettered by government regulation.

At a time when the Internet is a thriving job creation engine that is driving productivity and economic growth it is reckless to suggest, let alone adopt, policies that would disrupt its success. The FCC’s proposed regulations would divert precious resources from broadband deployment and network upgrades to regulatory compliance, likely delaying the availability of broadband and all the innovative applications and services it brings with it to rural America. This is something that Americans simply cannot afford. Now more than ever, the economic success of rural America depends on continued investment into robust broadband networks, and keeping the Internet free and open is critical to the United States’ ability to remain the leader in the 21st century global digital economy.


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In Case You Missed It: New Veterans Administration Coverup is of Chapel Religious Symbols


Earlier this year, Veterans Administration hospitals were accused of covering up how long their patients wait for care by keeping a secret waiting list designed to hide problems.

Now Veterans Administration hospitals are being accused of a cover up that's less potentially lethal: hiding religious symbols, like crucifixes, in their chapels as a way to achieve religious neutrality.

Just as the earlier coverup provoked congressional inquiries, the religious symbol coverup has prompted Bowling Green Republican Rep. Bob Latta to inquire about VA policies on religious neutrality and religious freedom.

After reports that a VA hospital chapel in Michigan put curtains around its Christian religious icons to comply with a nationwide policy that requires chapels in VA medical centers to remain "religiously neutral, reflecting no particular faith tradition" when not in use for services, Latta and 22 of his colleagues sent Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson a letter seeking an explanation.

"We have recently received reports that there are renewed efforts underway to certify compliance with this 'religious neutrality' policy in VA chapels," Latta's letter says. "In light of this development, we write today to inquire about the origin and implementation of this policy."

The letter asks when the VA first put the policy in its handbook, whether it has developed and publicized uniform public standards on "what constitutes religious neutrality in its medical center chapels," and how the presence of religious symbols or furnishings infringe on those who don't identify with the symbols in question.

"Many individuals use our VA chapels for meditation and worship and as a place to go when in search of solace and comfort," said a statement issued by Latta. "They should unquestionably remain open and accessible to all religious beliefs and faith, and patrons should be able to attend without discrimination. Our letter urges the VA to take the necessary steps to ensure its medical center chapels are open and accommodating to all those seeking to exercise their religious freedoms."

The Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center has no permanent religious symbols in its nondenominational chapel that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so it hasn't covered up anything to comply with the policy, a VA spokeswoman said.

VA spokeswoman Melanie Fisher says the Cleveland VA medical center has chapel staff on call around the clock "to provide spiritual care to all Veterans and their families," as well as spiritual care providers of "faith traditions not represented by medical center chaplain staff" who are available when needed.

"To date, we have not received any complaints regarding the practices of our chapel," said Fisher.

Latta's office says it has not received complaints of religious symbols being covered in Ohio veterans facilities, and Sloan has not yet replied to Latta's July 11 letter.


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House Passes America Gives More Act


Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) today joined his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in passing legislation to increase charitable giving for the benefit of individuals in need across the country. The bipartisan proposals included in H.R. 4719, the America Gives More Act, would make permanent and improve a variety of tax rules governing charitable donations and charitable organizations.

“By making these provisions permanent, the America Gives More Act will provide Americans a greater ability to donate to worthwhile causes, while also enabling charities to more effectively serve those in need,” said Latta.  


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FRIDAY: Congressman Latta to Host One-On-One Meetings in Bowling Green


Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) will be available for one-on-one meetings with constituents at the Wood County Courthouse Atrium, located at One Courthouse Square in Bowling Green, on Friday. From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., residents can meet individually with Congressman Latta and discuss the issues that are most important to them and their families. Staff will also be available to assist with casework or help residents with any issues they may have with the federal government.

“This event provides an excellent opportunity for me to learn what issues are most important to my constituents, so I can best represent them in Washington, D.C.,” said Latta. “I encourage residents to attend and look forward to discussing these issues with them, as well as providing any assistance that may be needed involving the federal government.” 

Residents are not required to RSVP, but should contact Congressman Latta’s office at (800) 541-6446 if they have any questions.

Media is also invited to attend the event, but should RSVP to Sarah Criser. Details for the event include the following:

WHO: Congressman Bob Latta

WHAT: One-On-One Meetings with Constituents

WHEN: Friday, July 18, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

WHERE: Wood County Courthouse Atrium, One Courthouse Square, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402


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Contact Information

2448 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-6405
Fax 202-225-1985

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

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