Steve Stivers

Steve Stivers

OHIO's 15th DISTRICT

Stivers from Congressman Steve Stivers Regarding the Announcement at Buckeye Lake

2016/05/26

Regarding today’s announcement at Buckeye Lake that state officials have made enough progress on repairs to permit water levels to rise and allow increased accessibility at Buckeye Lake, all of the following may be attributed to Congressman Steve Stivers:
 
“We’re closing the gates and praying for rain!
 
“Today’s announcement is welcome progress and good news for Buckeye Lake businesses as we get closer and closer to a fully operational lake.
 
“I commend state officials for rolling up their sleeves to get the repairs done, and thank residents for their resilience and commitment to using this as an opportunity to think big about the future of Buckeye Lake.” 

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Honoring Those Who Served

2016/05/24

In the 240 years since our nation’s founding, more than one million men and women have given their lives to defending us. Memorial Day is the day we set aside to honor their service and sacrifice. As someone who has served in the military, it is extremely moving for me to attend a Memorial Day service or to visit a cemetery and to see a sea of American flags lovingly placed nearby the headstones of fallen soldiers. It is a stark but important visual reminder that our freedom comes at a great cost.

As the years go by, when there are fewer family members and friends left to visit these memorials to individual service members, we are fortunate that there are dedicated veterans service organizations and community members who have taken up the mantle to ensure these brave men and women will never be forgotten. I have been pleased to work alongside many of them, including the Ohio History Connection, the Ohio Cemetery Association, the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the Green Lawn Cemetery Association and Foundation, the Cleveland Grays Armory, the Woodland Cemetery Foundation and students at Washington High School in Washington Court House, Ohio, to get a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rule changed to ensure that they can continue their work to mark the graves of, and properly honor, all those who have served.

The rule required that in order to request a headstone or marker from the VA, the applicant must be the decedent’s next-of-kin. When it comes to honoring veterans of wars fought early on in our history, there are few surviving next-of-kin. And so this rule was hindering the ability of Ohio veteran- and history-related organizations, as well as those in the funerary profession, who have done extensive research to identify Americans who fought and died or their country, to secure for these veterans the proper recognition.

For example, between 2001 and 2013, Washington Court House history teacher Paul LaRue and his students made it a class project to honor veterans with unmarked or neglected graves. Their first project, at a nearby cemetery where several African American Civil War veterans were buried, involved researching the veterans, requesting headstones from the VA and then rolling up their sleeves to install them. They turned a sad, neglected plot of graves into a source of pride for the community. Following their success, Mr. LaRue’s class was invited by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to take on a similar project in Cincinnati. In all, Mr. LaRue’s students installed more than 70 headstones in five cemeteries in Ohio.

The Washington Court House students’ philosophy is that all veterans, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or gender should have a headstone. Fortunately, the class had started their projects before the VA began enforcing the next-of-kin policy, otherwise, they would not have been able to complete them.

I introduced a bill that would have changed the VA rule to ensure individuals like Mr. LaRue, his students and others would be able to request veteran headstones in the future; however, before it could pass, the VA agreed to revisit the policy and recently released its new guidelines. They expanded the list of those eligible to apply for a burial headstone or marker from only family members to also include representatives from state, local and Congressionally-recognized veteran organizations, as well as to those responsible for burial and memorialization of unclaimed remains. In the case of veterans whose service ended prior to 1917 – those least likely to have a surviving family member -- anyone can apply on their behalf. This was very welcome news to me and to the outstanding Ohio organizations and individuals who have dedicated their time, intellect and energy to the goal of making sure all veterans get the recognition they deserve – both on Memorial Day and year round.

This Memorial Day, let us all rededicate ourselves to the memory of our fallen heroes. And as always, if you have concerns, ideas or need help with a federal agency, please call my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington at (937) 283-7049.

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Stivers Wins House Support for Bipartisan Bill to Cut Red Tape, While Maintaining Consumer Protections for Homebuyers

2016/05/24

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Stivers (R – OH) recently won House support for H.R. 2121—the SAFE Transitional License Act. While maintaining high standards for mortgage loan originators (MLOs), the bill ensures that these professionals will have more flexibility when they transition jobs between bank and non-bank employers.

“This is a jobs issue, providing qualified mortgage professionals more portability and a minimal amount of work disruption when making a change in an employer,” Stivers explained. “I am pleased to have worked across the aisle and with state regulators to ensure we could reduce red tape without compromising important consumer protections.”

Background

Stivers’ bill modifies the SAFE Act, originally passed in 2008 as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA). The SAFE Act created two different sets of requirements for the qualification of mortgage loan originators (MLOs) depending on whether the MLO works for a state-licensed non-depository entity or a federally-regulated depository. MLOs employed by non-bank lenders must be licensed, which includes pre-licensing and annual continuing education requirements, passage of a comprehensive test, and criminal and financial background reviews conducted by state regulators. These MLOs are also registered in the National Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS).  By contrast, MLOs employed by federally-insured depositories or their affiliates must only be registered in the NMLS, and do not have to meet testing and specific education requirements.

Under H.R. 2121, an individual who is employed by a financial institution and has been a registered loan originator under the SAFE Act for the preceding 12 months may continue to originate loans after submitting background and credit information to the state until the application is approved, denied, withdrawn, or deemed incomplete. This would ensure the MLO would face little or no disruption during the transition to a different employer. It is important to note that MLOs eligible for this temporary authority may not have previously had a loan originator license application denied, an MLO license revoked or suspended, been subject to a cease and desist order, and convicted of a felony that would preclude licensure.

Similarly, a state-licensed loan originator in one state who takes a similar position in another state may be granted the same transitional authority while pursuing licensure in the new state. In both instances, the temporary transitional authority expires after the granting of the state license, withdrawal or denial of the application, or 120 days if the application is incomplete.

Congressman Stivers is grateful to his colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee for working with him on this common sense legislation, and especially to his lead co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle -- Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Luke Messer (R-IN).

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Watch Congressman Stivers’ floor speech urging passage of HR 2121: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM3--VNBjHM

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Stivers and Speier Introduce Legislation to Advance Energy Technology

2016/05/20

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced the Energy Tax Fairness Act, H.R. 5289, a bipartisan bill which will help manufacturers and businesses reduce energy costs, mitigate pollution, and bring much needed parity to the Tax Code for participants in the distributed energy generation market.

Specifically, this legislation will encourage the development of linear generators, a low-cost and highly efficient technology that can produce electricity from almost any fuel source, including clean natural gas and biomass. Currently, U.S. companies developing this technology are at a competitive disadvantage because linear generators do not qualify for an investment tax credit under section 48 of the Tax Code. The tax credit is available to many other existing distributed generation solutions, such as solar, fuel cells, microturbines and combined heat and power systems.

“I believe in an all-of-the-above energy strategy to encourage the production of traditional and renewable sources of energy,” Stivers said. “Our Tax Code plays an important role in allowing new and innovative sources of energy to come to market, and this bill will allow companies to compete on a level playing field. Additionally, the increased development of linear generation technologies will create jobs, enhance energy security and lower costs for Americans.”

“As a representative from the Bay Area, the heart of American technology, I’m happy to support high-tech innovation in the energy sector. We need creative solutions to address our pending energy crises and give our children a healthy future. Linear generators show that we don’t have to choose between profits and sustainable energy - we can have both. This bill ensures that this emerging technology will have the ability to compete on the open market without the fear of being unfairly punished by the tax code” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14).

Linear generation technology can be used meet large- and small-scale needs, benefiting in particular commercial and industrial users, public sector facilities, like schools and hospitals, and residential homes. Additionally, these generators provide power that can run uninterrupted, even in an electrical grid outage.

The Energy Tax Fairness Act will begin to roll back the harmful provisions of the Tax Code that picks winners and losers, giving this technology an equal footing in the developing energy market.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY), Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) all joined as original cosponsors of this important legislation.

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Making Progress in the Battle Against Opiate Abuse

2016/05/16

Every week, I read heartbreaking stories about how the lives of families across the country have been devastated by drug use. A study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revealed that about 6.5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs – most being opioid painkillers. The opiate abuse epidemic in our country has the potential to affect anyone, regardless of race, gender, income, or where you live. Unfortunately, Ohio has not been immune to the issue; drug overdoses are now the number one cause of accidental death in our state. The drug addiction issue needs to be fought all on fronts, from our local communities up to the federal government. 

Last week, the House of Representatives took action to address the crisis through a series of bipartisan bills. These bills deal with many different sides of the issue, from how prescriptions are filled to how we educate the community about opiates. In total, the House passed more than 15 bills in a united effort to combat opiate abuse.

One of the bills passed was the Reducing Unused Medications Act, legislation I introduced with Representative Katherine Clark (R-Mass.). Our bill seeks to reduce the number of unused prescription drugs in circulation by allowing pharmacists to partially fill prescriptions at the request of a patient or doctor. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 70 percent of adults who misuse prescription opioids get them from friends or relatives. This bill will allow patients and doctors to determine the appropriate treatment plan, while limiting the amount of unused medication left in medicine cabinets and vulnerable to abuse.

As part of the package of bills, the House also took aim at establishing education programs to prevent drug abuse and empowering law enforcement to better keep the community safe.  Specifically, legislation was passed to provide grants for each state to use to combat the drug abuse problems they face. The grants can also be used to make naloxone, a drug that helps in the reversal of drug overdoses to save lives, more available to law enforcement agencies and other first responders in our communities.

While these bills are important, this problem requires coordination between treatment experts, law enforcement, impacted families, and policy makers at all levels of government. That’s why I take time every year to meet with representatives from these groups in the community, so I can better understand how Congress can provide support and pass effective legislation to address opiate addiction. This will not be an issue that is solved overnight, but I am confident that by working together, we can curb the epidemic.

If you have any questions or comments about this or other issues facing our federal government, you can call my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington at (937) 283-7049.
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Stivers and Clark Legislation to Combat Opiate Epidemic Passes House

2016/05/12

WASHINGTON, DC – As part of a series of bills taken up by the U.S. House this week to address the opiate epidemic across the country, Representative Steve Stivers (R – OH) and Representative Katherine Clark (D – MA) won House support for the Reducing Unused Medications Act (H.R. 4599). This legislation would allow prescriptions for opioid medications to be partially filled by pharmacists at the request of patients or doctors, thereby reducing the number of unused painkillers that could be diverted or abused.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that roughly 6.5 million Americans are abusing prescription drugs, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 70 percent of them are getting those drugs from friends or relatives.

“Combatting the opiate epidemic is a multi-front battle,” Congressman Stivers said. “This legislation will help prevent highly-addictive painkillers from getting into the wrong hands as we work in other ways to provide services and treatment to help addicts, and to support our law enforcement and health care professionals as they deal with the consequences of drug abuse.”

“Millions of half-filled bottles of unused prescription drugs line our families' medicine cabinets, and too often, that is where opioid addiction begins,” Representative Clark said. “This is an important step in reducing the amount of unused and unwanted pain medication that is fueling our opioid epidemic. I’m grateful that the House put its differences aside to give our communities one more tool to save lives.”

Current Drug Enforcement Administration regulations permit drugs in schedules III, IV, and V to be partially filled, but the regulations are narrower and less clear for schedule II drugs, which include prescription opioids. The Reducing Unused Medications Act will clear up the ambiguity, thereby allowing states considering partial fill policies to move forward.

Other measures taken up by the U.S. House this week seek to expand treatment, prevent overdoses, combat international drug trafficking, provide more resources to local governments in the fight against opiate abuse, work with health care professionals to evaluate the prescription and use of opioids in treating pain, and better educate citizens about the addictive nature of prescription painkillers.

Representatives Clark and Stivers have previously worked together on opiate-related legislation. In 2015, they passed legislation, now law, designed to curb the instances of neonatal abstinence syndrome. There has been an alarming rise in the number of babies born to addicted mothers, causing newborns to suffer from withdraw and serious and costly health complications. The Protecting Our Infants Act passed with strong bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate and was signed into law in November.

Clark and Stivers hope to see the Reducing Unused Medications Act also become law in the near future. In this effort, they are working closely with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), who jointly sponsored companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.  
 
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15th District Update

2016/05/09

District work periods are the time when I have the freedom to travel the 15th Congressional District to hear directly from my constituents on the issues that matter most to them. I believe this time is a good way for me to effectively understand and represent the interests of people I have been elected to serve. Here’s a brief update of what I have been doing lately around the 15th Congressional District.          

Recently, I joined business owners and local officials from Pickaway County at the Berger Health System to talk about what was on their minds. In addition to health care, we covered a wide range of topics from energy costs to taxes to trade, as well as about the impact of burdensome federal regulations and ensuring we have skilled workers to fill available jobs. We have no shortage of strong business leaders and entrepreneurs in our region but there is no doubt that government regulations are getting in the way of their growth and ability to create jobs. Based on this valuable feedback, I left the meeting even more convinced that we need to continue our work in Congress to bring common sense back to our regulatory environment and tax code.

While in Madison County, I hosted a workforce development roundtable with area leaders and employers at the Tolles Career and Technical Center. We discussed the need to align our education system and workforce training programs so that workers, be they just graduating high school, trying to move up in their existing jobs, or switching careers later in life, have the skills employers need to fill existing positions and the jobs of the future.       

In an effort to connect job seekers in the 15th Congressional District with employers, I held my annual job fair in April.  Approximately 85 businesses with nearly 6,000 available jobs participated. Hundreds of job seekers came through the fair and we have started to hear from employers who found their newest employees through this event. I hope to hear of many more successful connections in the weeks ahead.

Agriculture issues took center stage when I joined the Ohio Farm Bureau and farmers and agribusiness leaders from Fairfield and surrounding counties at the Miller Farm in Pleasantville. We covered a lot of ground, but much of our discussion centered on various federal regulations that are causing our food producers to spend more time with forms, files and spreadsheets rather than crops, land and livestock. Agriculture is our state’s number one industry and we need a reasonable regulatory environment to keep it that way.

Though our state is a major contributor to our nation’s food supply there are communities in both urban and rural areas of Ohio where residents have limited access to healthy foods. For example, since September of 2013 when its only grocery store closed, constituents in Vinton County have had to travel 30 minutes to access fresh foods. That’s why I was pleased to join with the Finance Fund and others at the launch of the Healthy Food for Ohio program, which provides capital through grants and loans to increase the number of supermarkets and other healthy food retailers that operate in underserved communities. This program has the potential to make a big difference and I was pleased to be a part of it.

Before their semesters ended, I visited with students at The Ohio State University, Ohio Christian University and Ohio University. At Ohio State, I learned about Scarlet and Gray Financial, an innovative peer financial education and coaching program that helps students plan and meet their financial goals so they get started off on the right footing.  

Finally, I had the opportunity to host office hours in Hocking County, inviting residents to come talk to me about any issue on their minds, or to get help with a federal agency or program.  I am grateful to all who took the time to come out and share their concerns and ideas with me. These one-on-one sessions are extremely valuable and help me to stay in touch with what matters most to you. I plan to do more of them, but in the meantime, if you have concerns, ideas or need help with a federal agency, please call my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington at (937) 283-7049.


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Congressman Stivers Honors Joyce Garver Keller

2016/05/02

All of the following may be attributed to Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) on the passing of Joyce Garver Keller:

"I was saddened to hear of the passing of Joyce Garver Keller. She was a good friend and colleague who passionately represented the Jewish community in Ohio and advocated for all through her organization’s good works and services. She has left a meaningful legacy.

“My thoughts and prayers are with her husband Steven, their children and grandchildren.”

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Financial Literacy Is a Lifelong Pursuit

2016/04/29

Do you consider yourself educated about managing finances?

Recent studies show the majority of Americans are not educated enough in topics such as mortgages, retirement, and investments. A survey conducted by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation in 2012 found that when asked five general finance questions, only 39 percent of adults could answer at least four correctly. Even more concerning, Ohio was nearly at the bottom among all states, with only 33 percent answering at least four correctly.
As co-chair of the House Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus, I want to be sure we can address the issue of financial literacy for people at all stages of life – from children to those at retirement age. Each year in April, we recognize Financial Literacy Month to remind all Americans that taking charge of their own financial well-being not only will improve their quality of life, but it strengthens our nation as a whole because the more families we have on solid financial footing, the stronger our economy.

Building a successful financial future starts with our kids. We need to start early to teach children good spending habits, such as saving money from doing household chores and keeping money in a savings account. As our kids go to college and begin careers, managing finances becomes even more important as they navigate student loans, new jobs, and in many cases, living away from home for the first time.

Adults also need to be aware of how their financial decisions can affect their futures. Whether you are buying a house, taking out a loan, or deciding what to invest in or when to retire, the decisions you make can have lasting effects. A resource important to most Americans to help navigate the complicated nature of financial and retirement planning are financial advisors.

Unfortunately, earlier this month, the Department of Labor released an overreaching rule that will limit the ability of millions of lower- and middle-income families to receive professional advice from financial planners, and reduce their options for retirement saving. Additionally, this unnecessary rule will impact individuals, families, as well as small businesses who provide 401(k)s and other retirement savings for their employees. In Congress, I remain committed to fighting this regulation to be sure everyone has the opportunity to access good financial advice in the future.

In the end, I believe the best consumer protection is increased financial literacy and Americans who are empowered with the information they need to take charge of their own financial portfolios. It’s a lifelong pursuit and so I encourage you to take some time this month to brush up on your own personal financial education.  There are many great resources available to help you keep updated on finances. The Financial Literacy and Education Commission and Money Management International have created financial education websites at MyMoney.gov and www.financialliteracymonth.com  where anyone can go for tips, updates and education materials on financial literacy.

If you have any questions or comments about this or other issues facing our federal government, you can call my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington at (937) 283-7049.

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Stivers Invites Students Interested in Attending Military Service Academies to Attend Informational Seminars

2016/04/28

COLUMBUS – Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) is inviting all students with an interest in attending one of the United States military service academies to attend one of two informational sessions conducted by 15th Congressional District staff.

Here, they can learn more about the application process and how to secure a Congressional nomination. Additionally, representatives from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy will be on hand to answer any questions students or their families may have.

Sessions will be held on Thursday, May 5th in Lancaster and on Thursday, May 12th in Upper Arlington. Students are encouraged to RSVP by calling Congressman Stivers’ Lancaster District Office at 740-654-2654. More details below:

15TH DISTRICT SERVICE ACADEMY INFORMATIONAL SEMINARS:
(Media are encouraged to post this information in community calendars.)
 
LANCASTER SESSION:
WHEN: Thursday, May 5, 2016
TIME: 6:00PM – 7:30PM
LOCATION: Fairfield County District Library
219 N. Broad Street, Lancaster, Ohio

UPPER ARLINGTON SESSION:
WHEN: Thursday, May 12, 2016
TIME: 6:00PM – 7:30PM
LOCATION: Upper Arlington Municipal Building
3600 Tremont Road, Upper Arlington, Ohio

For more information about military service academy nominations, visit Congressman Stivers’ website at www.Stivers.House.gov.

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Contact Information

1022 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2015
Fax 202-225-3529
stivers.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Rules

Raised in Ripley, Ohio, Steve Stivers learned from his mother and father the importance of family, hard work and public service, which have been the values he has carried with him through his life, whether as a student at The Ohio State University, a soldier serving overseas, as a State Senator, or as a Member of Congress.

Stivers is currently serving his third term as a Member of Congress and represents Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, which is made up of 12 counties including: all of Athens, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Madison, Morgan, Perry, Pickaway, and Vinton counties, and parts of: Fayette, Franklin, and Ross counties.

Stivers is serving his third term his third term on the Financial Services Committee, which oversees the banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities industries. Members who serve on the committee also work on housing and consumer protection legislation and oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Reserve Bank.

In addition, Stivers has been tapped to serve on the Committee on Rules, which is charged with determining which bills reach the House Floor for a vote. Historically, the Committee is often known as “The Speaker’s Committee” because it was chaired by the Speaker up until 1910 and is the means through which the Speaker of the House manages the House Floor. The Committee also determines how long and under what rules the full body of the House will debate each bill.

Throughout his career, Steve Stivers has led the way supporting programs and initiatives to encourage job creation, promote economic development, and put our country’s fiscal house in order. As he wrapped up a successful first term in office, two of Stivers veterans bills, the HIRE at Home Act and TRICARE for Kids, were rolled into the National Defense Authorization Act and signed into law by the President. In his second term in office, Stivers had two bills make their way to the President’s desk. These two bills, H.R. 1391 and H.R. 4189,would re-name two postal facilities located in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District after our fallen veterans. These bills are a small measure Congress can take to honor the lives of brave service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Prior to running for Congress, Stivers served in the Ohio Senate and before that worked in the private sector for the Ohio Company and Bank One, where he focused on promoting economic development and encouraging job creation.

A career soldier, Stivers has served 29 years in the Ohio Army National Guard and holds the rank of Colonel. He served the United States overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar and Djibouti where he led 400 soldiers and contractors and is proud that each and every one returned home safely to the United States. Stivers received the Bronze Star for his leadership throughout the deployment.

Stivers received both his bachelor’s degree and his MBA from The Ohio State University and resides in Columbus with his wife, Karen, and children, Sarah and Sam.


Serving With

Steve Chabot

OHIO's 1st DISTRICT

Brad Wenstrup

OHIO's 2nd DISTRICT

Jim Jordan

OHIO's 4th DISTRICT

Bob Latta

OHIO's 5th DISTRICT

Bill Johnson

OHIO's 6th DISTRICT

Bob Gibbs

OHIO's 7th DISTRICT

Michael Turner

OHIO's 10th DISTRICT

Pat Tiberi

OHIO's 12th DISTRICT

David Joyce

OHIO's 14th DISTRICT

Jim Renacci

OHIO's 16th DISTRICT

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