Steve Stivers

Steve Stivers


Financial Literacy Month


Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman once said, “The number one problem in today’s generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.”  This month is National Financial Literacy Month and as co-chair of the House Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus, this issue is especially important to me.  Educating people, young and old, about making responsible financial decisions is extremely important.

We must ensure Americans have the knowledge to make sound decisions for a financially secure future. For instance, learning about mutual funds, regularly contributing money into a savings account or even starting a retirement plan for the first time are just a few steps that can make the difference between retiring at a time of your choosing or having to work well past retirement age.

Also as the father of two young children, I know how important it is to begin teaching children about making fiscally responsible decisions, like paying yourself first by placing money into a savings account.  This education becomes even more important as children go into high school and college, as they take a more active role in their financial decisions.

If you are interested in learning more about finances there are many great resources available. I would recommend the U.S. Treasury Department’s resource center, which can be found at  Also,, which has helpful tools like:

•    Free Webinars – You can sign up for free webinars designed to help you on your path to financial wellness. Topics include: goal setting, credit reporting, managing credit, debt repayment and budgeting.
•    Income Worksheet - Use the income worksheet to help you determine the amount of income you can realistically count on.
•    Record of Daily Expenditures - Knowing where your money is going is critical for a successful budget. Track your daily expenses and then ask yourself if you are spending your money wisely.

Completing these simple steps can help you and your family more easily manage your finances and plan for the future.  As always, I look forward to hearing from you on federal issues facing our nation and I appreciate the opportunity to serve Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.  I invite you to call my Washington D.C. Office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard Office at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster Office at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington Office at (937) 283-7049 to share your thoughts with me.

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Stivers' Statement on Reauthorization and Reforms to the Export-Import Bank


WASHINGTON—The following statement can be attributed to Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) urging Congressional action on reauthorization and reforms to the Export-Import Bank:

"We should reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank as soon as possible. Failing to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank will most certainly hurt jobs at companies like Davenport Aviation in my district, as well as others across the country,” said Stivers.  “For decades, Ex-Im Bank has filled gaps in private sector financing, which would have otherwise resulted in losing export sales by small U.S. companies.”

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Stivers' Bi-Partisan Legislation to Boost Housing Market Passes House


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Stivers’ (R – OH) legislation, H.R. 299 – the Capital Access for Small Community Financial Institutions Act of 2015 – unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday.  This bill would provide regulatory relief for small, community-based enterprises in an effort to boost the housing market.

“Purchasing a home is an important part of the American dream,” said Stivers. “With the continued stagnation in the housing market, I believe it is important to ensure all credit unions have the liquidity and ability to make home loans to their members.  I am excited to see this bill unanimously pass the House and I hope the Senate will pass this common sense legislation”

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System, established in 1932, has been an important source of credit and liquidity for mortgage lending over the past 80 years, particularly for main street institutions.  Although thousands of large and small institutions are members of the FHLB, there are still a small number of privately-insured credit unions, representing firefighters, teachers, churches, and small business which have been blocked from membership for over 20 years, due to a legislative oversight.

Stivers’ legislation corrects this oversight and provides these institutions the ability to apply for membership in the Home Loan Bank System.  Currently, there are a select number of small credit unions in nine states, approximately 132, that are not insured by the federal government, but by a mutual insurance company, governed by credit unions. 

Credit unions did not have federal insurance until 1970, and many small institutions decided to remain privately insured and state regulated.  All of these institutions would qualify as a small community institution.  Private insurance is governed under federal law, and consumer disclosures are regulated by the CFPB. 

Representatives Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Andre Carson (D-IN) were the bill’s lead co-sponsors.

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Portman disturbed by ‘disconnect’ in remarks on Iran nuclear deal


WASHINGTON — Sen. Rob Portman warned on Friday of a “continued disconnect” between what the United States and Iran say they agreed to in a potential deal announced this month aimed at delaying Tehran’s apparent effort to build a nuclear bomb.

In a conference call with Ohio reporters, Portman, R-Ohio, said he was troubled because the United States contends that international economic sanctions imposed on Iran will be lifted gradually as the deal unfolds. By contrast, the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says he wants all sanctions lifted as soon as a deal is finalized.

“You hear one thing from the administration and we hear another thing from Iran,” said Portman, adding that there is a “continued disconnect between” the U.S. “negotiators’ interpretation” of the principals they agreed will guide future negotiations and what the “Iranians believe they have committed to.”

Portman repeated his call for Congress to examine any nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran and said Congress should “re-impose” previous sanctions if the Iranians do not make an “enforceable commitment.”

On Thursday, Iran’s National Day of Nuclear Technology, Khamenei spoke publicly about the deal framework for the first time, in remarks to a crowd that chanted “Death to America,” Reuters reported. He also said military sites would be off-limits to nuclear inspectors.

The United States, China, Russia, France, Germany and Great Britain have said the agreed-upon framework would limit Iran’s nuclear program and gradually remove economic sanctions that have damaged the Iranian economy.

Portman said he is “interested in seeing the details of the agreement” and would “love to see us be able to conclude an agreement that is enforceable” and that “actually does not permit Iran to be a nuclear power or (on the) threshold of nuclear power.” However, he said that, from what he has heard, he is “not convinced” that the agreement has reached that stage yet.

Other Republicans expressed worries on Friday, with Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, saying he was “concerned about the ability to enforce the proposed agreement with Iran through weapons inspections.”

Stivers added: “The sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table, and potential sanctions should be used to hold Iran accountable to the spirit and letter of any agreement.”

Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, likened “dealing with a terroristic state like Iran” to “ dealing with a state like North Korea,” adding it is not surprising that the nation’s leaders will “ manipulate and deceive.”

“While the president believes he can negotiate with terrorist nations, there’s real concern among many of us in Congress that they will never abide by a deal,” Tiberi said.

Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Jefferson Township, called it “imperative” that “we ensure our national security as well as the safety and security” of regional allies.
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Local Students Named Winners in Ohio's 15th Congressional District Art Competition


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Stivers (R – OH) yesterday congratulated Jasmine Haraburda, Michael Dick, Cassidy Boyuk and Selena Dornfeld for placing in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District Art Competition. The competition awards ceremony was held at The Columbus Museum of Art on April 8, 2015 and there were 245 pieces of artwork under consideration for the top prize.

“We had a great turnout of high school students participating in this year’s Congressional Art Competition and I congratulate all of our award winning artists,” Stivers said.  “I would also like to thank all of the students who participated in the competition; it was their artwork that made the event a success.”

Jasmine Haraburda was the first-place winner of the competition.  As the first-place winner Haraburda will have her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. She also will be awarded a trip Washington, D.C. to attend a reception and to see her artwork hung inside the Capitol building.  She is the daughter of Edward and Indira Haraburda and is a sophomore at The Wellington School.  Her first-place piece of art was an acrylic painting of a duck on canvas titled “Marsh Creature.”

Michael Dick won second place in the competition and his art will be displayed in Stivers’ Washington D.C. Office for one year.  He is the son of Susan and Herman Dick and is a senior at Fort Hayes Career Center.  His award-winning work of art is titled “Graphic Construction” and is made of paper cut outs.

Cassidy Boyuk was named the third-place winner in the competition and her artwork will be hung in Stivers’ District Office for a year.  Boyuk is the daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Boyuk and is a sophomore at Hilliard Davidson High School.  Her work of art is untitled and is a self-portrait drawn in pencil.

Selena Dornfeld, the daughter of Mark and Monica Dornfeld and is a senior at Pickerington High School North, was the People’s Choice Award Winner.  The People’s Choice Award goes to the work of art with the most votes in favor of the piece on Stivers’ Facebook Page.  As the People’s Choice winner Dornfeld’s work of art will be displayed in Stivers’ District Office for a year. Her award-winning piece was titled “Kudu Skull” and is an acrylic painting of a kudu skull on a black background.
The Congressional Art Competition is held every year to recognize the extraordinary artistic talents of the nation’s high school students. The goal of the competition is to support and promote the arts and to foster creativity and artistic expression among our nation’s youth. The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 and since that time, more than 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition.

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Congressman Stivers holds listening roundtable at Hocking College, Logan campus


LOGAN – A roundtable session was held last week at the Logan campus of Hocking College with U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, public officials and concerned citizens. Stivers said he periodically holds the roundtable sessions to keep in touch with his district and any issues that may come to surface.
Stivers spoke of several concerns including educational opportunities in Hocking County as well as economic development.

“I try to do these every year and haven’t done one in Logan since we did one at the library two years ago,” Stivers said, speaking of the roundtable. “I’ve been here, but hadn’t done a listening session open to constituents since then.”

Stivers said he wanted to hold the roundtable to hear from his constituents regarding their concerns and thoughts for the local area and hopes to be able to hold more roundtable sessions in the future.

“My job is representative and I can’t represent them unless I hear from them,” he added referring to his constituents. “I want to have an open dialogue with them and can’t have that without holding meetings such as this. Since I don’t have an office here in Logan, I want to make sure I come here and let them know what I’m working on and hear what they care about and are focused on.”

Stivers talked about the Main Street Fairness Act and told The Logan Daily News if it passes it would stop penalizing brick and mortar businesses (retail shops) and make sure Internet sales businesses and brick and mortar businesses are treated the same.

“That would help bring in more revenue to the city as well as the state,” he said. “Internet businesses should not have advantage over businesses established within the community.”

The Main Street Fairness Act would level the playing field between online retailers and storefront retailers by making the online retailers collect sales tax, just as a retail shop would. Although this type of bill hasn’t passed in the past, according to Stivers, it has a good chance this time because many states are desperate for tax revenue.

He also said Hocking County should encourage the 1.5 million people within an hour’s drive to visit Hocking Hills, which would help increase the local revenue.

“The Hocking Hills is a huge attraction that could create a great economic drive to the area,” Stivers remarked. “Hocking Hills is a great asset to the area for tourism — we need to get that 1.5 million people here somehow.”

On the top of his list to help Hocking County, Stivers wants to work with public officials to help bring more jobs to the area and work on Internet connectivity with 4G Internet access, which he said many businesses now need in order to thrive.

“We need the same technology in Hocking County as in Columbus or Cleveland,” he said. “We need to create a level playing field.”

Before opening the floor to those in attendance, Stivers talked about jobs throughout the area and said his number one priority is to get companies and small businesses engaged in creating more jobs in the area. This includes providing businesses with more certainty on taxes, regulation, healthcare costs and energy costs. “It’s important to get people trained for the jobs by linking unemployment benefits to workforce development training such as here at Hocking College,” he said.

He also touched on healthcare issues including Obamacare, which he said still has serious issues including the inability of some to sign up on the website. Stivers said he believes everyone deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare, but that Obamacare is not a responsible plan.

During his presentation, he talked about hosting yearly job fairs, town hall meetings, opiate roundtable discussions, veteran’s benefits workshops, military academies to which he nominated 23 outstanding students this year, and many community service projects he and his staff are involved with such as the Mid-Ohio Food Bank and Toys for Tots program.

Some of his accomplishments include the Hire at Home Act, which helps returning veterans get back to work faster; Tricare for Kids, assists the Department of Defense in its efforts to develop and encourage healthcare practices to address healthcare needs of military children; Place of Remembrance, creates a place of remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery as a final resting place for unknown veterans’ remains from every military conflict moving forward; and the School Nutrition Flexibility Act, provides local school administrators more flexibility to better support children and provide nutritious school meals.

Stivers addressed the unemployment rate in Ohio and stated that as of September 2014, there were 42,100 unemployed adults in Ohio. “Many others were not counted,” he said. “Because they simply stopped looking for work.”

He said there are four key components to job creation: certainty, provide certainty on taxes, healthcare, energy costs and regulations; workforce development, improve workforce development and train job seekers for the jobs that are here today as well as jobs of tomorrow; access to capital, give businesses access to capital to allow them to build and grow; and fix unemployment, it should only be an off-ramp to a job.

Stivers also discussed border security, amnesty and moving forward. “We must first and foremost secure and protect our borders,” he said. “Amnesty is not the answer to our broken immigration system, but instead we need to enforce our current laws and secure the border.”

He rounded out the listening session talking about the tidal wave of debt incurred since World War II, the federal budget, and the Balanced Budget Amendment.

The floor was opened to the audience with questions surrounding several national, state and local issues. Dr. Betty Young, interim president of Hocking College, addressed the issue of lack of funding for more programs at the college. Young said she would like to offer other programs such as a welding, but can’t afford the startup costs of the equipment needed to add the class. She stated the college doesn’t have an extra $500,000 in the budget in order to expand the Logan campus curriculum.

Others addressed healthcare issues, job creation and border control.
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U.S., Iran applaud nuclear agreement; some skepticism lingers


LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Capping exhausting and contentious talks, Iran and world powers sealed a breakthrough agreement Thursday outlining limits on Iran’s nuclear program to keep it from being able to produce atomic weapons. The Islamic Republic was promised an end to years of crippling economic sanctions, but only if negotiators transform the plan into a comprehensive pact.

They will try to do that in the next three months.

The United States and Iran, long-time adversaries who hashed out much of the agreement, each hailed the efforts of their diplomats over days of sleepless nights in Switzerland. Speaking at the White House, President Barack Obama called it a “good deal” that would address concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called it a “win-win outcome."

Those involved have spent 18 months in broader negotiations that were extended twice since an interim accord was reached shortly after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani entered office. That deal itself was the product of more than a year of secret negotiations between the Obama administration and Iran, a country the U.S. still considers the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Opponents of the emerging accord, including Israel and Republican leaders in Congress, reacted with skepticism. They criticized the outline for failing to do enough to curb Iran’s potential to produce nuclear weapons or to mandate intrusive enough inspections. Obama disagreed.

“This framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon,” he declared. “This deal is not based on trust. It’s based on unprecedented verification.”

If implemented, the understandings reached Thursday would mark the first time in more than a decade of diplomatic efforts that Iran’s nuclear efforts would be rolled back.

It commits Tehran to significant cuts in centrifuges, the machines that can spin uranium gas to levels used in nuclear warheads. Of the nearly 20,000 centrifuges Iran now has installed or running at its main enrichment site, the country would be allowed to operate just over 5,000. Much of its enriched stockpiles would be neutralized. A planned reactor would be reconstructed so it produced no weapons-grade plutonium. Monitoring and inspections by the U.N. nuclear agency would be enhanced.

America’s negotiating partners in Europe strongly backed the result. President Francois Hollande of France, which had pushed the U.S. for a tougher stance, endorsed the accord while warning that “ sanctions lifted can be re-established if the agreement is not applied.”

Obama sought to frame the deal as a salve that reduces the chances of the combustible Middle East becoming even more unstable with the introduction of a nuclear-armed Iran. Many fear that would spark an arms race that could spiral out of control in a region rife with sectarian rivalry, terrorist threats and weak or failed states.

Obama said he had spoken with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and he would invite him and other Arab leaders to Camp David this spring to discuss security strategy. The Sunni-majority Saudis have made veiled threats about creating their own nuclear program to counter Shiite-led Iran.

The American leader also spoke by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, perhaps the sharpest critic of the diplomacy with Iran. A final agreement “must significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear capabilities and stop its terrorism and aggression,” Netanyahu said in Israel.

But Obama saved his sharpest words for members of Congress who have threatened to either try to kill the agreement or approve new sanctions against Iran. Appearing in the Rose Garden, Obama said the issues at stake are “bigger than politics.”

“These are matters of war and peace,” he said, and if Congress kills the agreement “ international unity will collapse, and the path to conflict will widen.”

Hawks on Capitol Hill reacted slowly to the news, perhaps because the framework was far more detailed than many diplomats had predicted over a topsy-turvy week of negotiation.

Among Ohio’s delegation, House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, said the parameters for a final deal “represent an alarming departure from the White House’s initial goals.”

“My longtime concerns about the parameters of this potential agreement remain, but my immediate concern is the administration signaling it will provide near-term sanctions relief,” he said. “ Congress must be allowed to fully review the details of any agreement before any sanctions are lifted.”

Boehner was in the Middle East — including Iraq and Israel this week — and he said the trip left him with increased concerns about Iran’s “efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror."

“It would be naive to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear program, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region,” he said, adding that Congress will continue to press the administration for details of the parameters and unanswered questions about the deal.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he looked forward to being briefed on the terms of the deal.

“Americans want to find a peaceful means of ensuring Iran cannot develop a nuclear weapon,” he said. “It appears the framework agreement with Iran reached by the U.S. and other U.N. Security Council nations will serve as the basis for the kind of comprehensive and verifiable agreement for which we had been hoping.”

He said he was optimistic about initial reports. “Congress must now give the administration the time to fill in the details necessary to make the agreement effective, strong and durable,” he said.

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, said the U.S. needs to live by the Reagan mantra: “Trust, but verify.”

“The United States needs to do everything we can to prevent a nuclear Iran,” he said. “I would not limit the U.S. government’s options in meeting that goal."

And Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, also urged careful scrutiny of the deal. “Congress must have the opportunity to review and vote on any deal that is made before any Congressionally-approved sanctions are lifted,” he said.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said his panel would vote this month on legislation giving Congress the right to vote on a final deal. Freshman Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who penned a letter that many GOP senators signed last month to Iran’s leaders, said he would work “to protect America from this very dangerous proposal.”

Many of the nuclear limits on Iran would be in place for a decade, while others would last 15 or 20 years. Economic and financial sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programs would be suspended by the U.S., the United Nations and European Union after the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Iran’s compliance.

In a joint statement, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iran’s Zarif called the agreement a “decisive step.” Highlighting Iran’s effort to show a new face of its government, Zarif then held a news conference, and Obama’s statement was carried live and uncensored on Iranian state TV.

Still, all sides spoke with a sense of caution.

“We have taken a major step but are still some way away from where we want to be,” Zarif told reporters, even as he expressed hope that a final agreement might ease suspicion between the U.S. and Iran, which haven’t had diplomatic relations since the 1979 overthrow of the shah and the subsequent U.S. Embassy hostage crisis in Tehran.

Zarif said the agreement would show “our program is exclusively peaceful, has always been and always will remain exclusively peaceful.” But he also said it would not hinder the country’s pursuit of atomic energy for civilian purposes.

Kerry lashed out at critics who have demanded that Iran halt all uranium enrichment and completely close a deeply buried underground facility that may be impervious to an air attack.

“Simply demanding that Iran capitulate makes a nice sound bite, but it is not a policy, it is not a realistic plan,” Kerry said.

Dispatch Reporter Jessica Wehrman contributed to this story.
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CAUV formula to be improved


COLUMBUS – Increases in farmland valuations will be reduced following the Ohio Department of Taxation’s decision March 6 to enact administrative changes to the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) formula recently proposed by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.

Farm Bureau initiated an extensive review of the program as tax bills for many farmers recently doubled or even tripled at a time when farm income has fallen dramatically.

The formula will now more closely tie tax values to current economic conditions in agriculture and will also more accurately value woodlands. This will lower valuations in counties being reassessed in 2015, for taxes payable beginning in 2016.

As an example, Farm Bureau projects cropland valuations will be 26 percent lower and woodland valuations will be 54 percent lower than previously projected for Ohio’s most prominent soil type (Miami silt loam). Part of the CAUV formula is based on soil type, which reflects the land’s productive capacity. There are more than 3,500 soil types in Ohio.

These projected reductions apply only to the valuation and not to the overall tax amount, which is also affected by local millage rates and other factors. While tax bills will likely be higher, this formula change will moderate the amount of increase.

The CAUV tax hike was a major topic of discussion at an Agriculture Roundtable meeting held March 9 at Wilmington College. It was sponsored by 15th District Rep. Steve Stivers, who represents Clinton County.

At the meeting, several residents complained to Stivers about the huge jump in their property taxes this year based on the “old” CAUV formula.

Ohio Farm Bureau member Andrea Troyer announced to the group that in the Farm Bureau meeting the previous Thursday with Tax Commissioner Joe Testa of the Ohio Dept. of Taxation, “They actually accepted our first four recommendations and other recommendations we made.”

Clinton County resident William Settlemyre told the congressman that his county’s property taxes went up more than 160 percent in the last year. He said that in 2013 in Clinton County, there were 4,619 parcels under the CAUV calculation, totalling 219,000 acres with the taxable value calculated $168 million by the County Auditor’s office. “In 2014, there were 4,608 parcels, 218,000 acres and the calculated value is now is $295 million - that is a 176 percent increase in the calculated value in one year,” he said.

Settlemyer said that in 2013, the Clinton County Treasurer collected CAUV taxes of about $6,200,000; this year, it is calculated to be $10,128,000. That is a 162 percent increase for Clinton County. “That’s millions that Clinton County farmers are not going to have available to spend on anything else, to buy products, to participate in the economy - it is going directly into the tax well - and that’s wrong.”

Stivers said he recognizes that every tax dollar sent to Columbus is a dollar that the public can’t put into the local economy, to grow or reinvest in the local economy. Settlemyer said a simple solution would be to place a cap on the amount of increase. He said that some states already have a 10 percent increase tax. He told Stivers that this change could be added in “one sentence.”

Stivers asked if this 10 percent cap was included in the Farm Bureau proposals to the Department of Taxation. He said this cap on the increase is a good idea.

Farm Bureau has already begun discussions on further adjustments to the CAUV formula with the tax department and its Agricultural Advisory Committee.

Among those options are making the formula better reflect the value of land for farming and be less affected by non-farm factors. Farm Bureau is also raising concerns with tax officials about minimum values, treatment of conservation lands and woodlands and the current method of factoring an average millage rate into values, which negatively affects the most vulnerable farmland in areas threatened by development.
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Women's History Month


Trail blazing women like Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice; and, Condoleezza Rice, the first African-American female Secretary of State, not only made history, but will influence countless generations of women in the generations to come.  Each March we celebrate Women’s History Month and reflect on women’s contributions to our society—both past and present.

That is why last summer I supported a package of bills reflecting priorities that would empower women across the nation including: equal pay for equal work, strengthening charter schools, incentivizing flexible work schedules, along with tax breaks for children and families.  This package of bills passed the House of Representatives, but unfortunately was stuck in the Senate.  It is my hope the new Republican majority in both the House and Senate will allow us to get these important priorities accomplished.  

Women’s History month is also about celebrating women who have shaped your life.  Growing up I have many great memories of my mother and both my grandmothers volunteering and organizing charity events for their communities.  My mother especially instilled in me the importance of giving back to your community, through her work on Ripley’s Village Council and her active participation in the Women’s Club, Ripley’s Heritage Organization and the Southern Ohio Health Network.  Her example inspired me to pursue a career in public service.

As a son, a husband and a father to a wonderful little girl, I count myself lucky to have these incredible women in my life.  This week I am inviting constituents to post a short comment or story about a woman who has made a difference in their life on my Facebook page (RepSteveStivers). The celebration of Women’s History Month should be a part of our daily lives and I hope you will consider getting online this week and posting the story of a woman who is important to you.    

I look forward to hearing from you on issues facing our nation and as always I appreciate the opportunity to serve Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.  I invite you to call my Washington D.C. Office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard Office at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster Office at (740) 654-2654, or Wilmington Office at (937) 283-7049 to share your thoughts with me.

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Afghanistan president's address to Congress provokes memories from one Ohio veteran


When Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzaiappeared before Congress Wednesday, he gave a special shout-out to Ohio.

Specifically, talking about women’s rights in the nation, he mentioned Khatera Afghan, a young lady from Kandahar who went to school despite receiving threats of disfigurement by her neighbors and threats of disownment form her uncle.

The girl eventually went to the American University of Afghanistan, then, aided by a Fulbright scholarship, went on to get her master’s degree from the Ohio State University.

UPDATE: An Ohio University professor emailed to report - and the registrar's office confirmed - that Afghan actually graduated from Ohio University, in Athens.

“Today, Khatera’s formerly angry uncle is so proud of her that he tells his grandchildren, both little boys and little girls, that they must all be as brave as their aunt Khatera,” he said.

As Ghani talked about the strides his country has made in recent years, another Ohioan – Lawrence Smira, 25, formerly of Lyndhurst in northeast Ohio, sat in the crowd, invited to attend by Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington.

Smira served two tours in Afghanistan as a Navy Corpsman -  one from November 2008 to July 2009 and the other from December 2009 through June 2010 – and he said he was happy to hear Ghani welcome troops to help train Afghanistan’s police forces.

He said when he left the country after each tour, he felt some trepidation that the police weren’t well-trained. Now, knowing that they’re being trained “it’s very much reassuring.”

Smira, who now attends college in Washington, D.C., said he was also gratified to hear Ghani express thanks to those who served in Afghanistan, including the fallen and wounded. He’s been thanked before, he said, but being thanked by the president of the country you had served in, he said, meant a lot. Some 2,315 servicemen and women were killed in the conflict, and more than 20,000 were wounded.

He’s been away from Afghanistan for more than five years, but says he’s still pulling for Afghanistan to thrive. “I am absolutely, 100 percent, rooting for that country,” he said.

Stivers, too, said he was impressed by where Ghani said he wants to take the nation.

“I think they are moving things in the right direction,” he said.
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Contact Information

1022 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2015
Fax 202-225-3529

Committee Assignments

Financial Services


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


Brad Wenstrup


Jim Jordan


Bob Latta


Bill Johnson


Bob Gibbs


John Boehner


Michael Turner


Pat Tiberi


David Joyce


Jim Renacci


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