Steve Stivers

Steve Stivers

OHIO's 15th DISTRICT

Statement from Congressman Steve Stivers on the Financial CHOICE Act

2017/04/28

Regarding the Financial CHOICE Act, the following can be attributed to Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH):

"The regulations stemming from Dodd-Frank have caused great harm to consumers – including preventing some Americans from getting loans to buy a car or house – while doing little to protect us from future crisis," Stivers said. "The Financial CHOICE Act will reduce regulations and encourage economic growth and opportunity. I am proud to support this legislation."

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Representatives Stivers and Beatty Reintroduce Bill to Incentivize Assistance for Homeless Former Servicemembers

2017/04/27

Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Joyce Beatty (D-OH) re-introduced the Housing Our Military Servicemembers (HOMeS) Act, which would add “former servicemembers” as a subpopulation eligible for rehousing incentive payments through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  By codifying former servicemembers directly into HUD’s homeless assistance statutes, the agency can incentivize and reward housing grantees that help get all former members of the military off the streets. 

The bill also directs HUD to identify and report to Congress on a strategy to eliminate homelessness among former servicemembers who are not eligible for homelessness assistance offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“Our veteran population is particularly vulnerable to homelessness, and Congress has a responsibility to act on this problem,” Stivers said. “This bill recognizes the needs of all former servicemembers and assists housing grantees that are working hard to find these individuals the homes they deserve.  While the HOMeS Act will not solve the homelessness problem, it is an important first step.”

“Every servicemember deserves a place to call ‘Home Sweet Home,’ unfortunately many still do not,” Beatty said. “We can and must do more to help homeless servicemembers get back on their feet.” Beatty continued, “That is why I am proud to team up with Congressman Stivers to introduce the Housing Our Military Servicemembers Act which takes an important step in ensuring that all of our nation’s former servicemembers have a safe place to call home.”   

In 2009, the VA announced its effort to end homelessness among veterans.  Since that time, communities around the country, including Columbus, have made significant progress through the hard work of community shelter leaders, non-profits and government agencies.  However, many individuals who wore the uniform remain ineligible for the primary VA homeless assistance programs, like HUD-VASH. 

Additionally, little data is available on this non-VA eligible subpopulation and the specific challenges they face.  The HOMeS Act reporting requirements would help shed light on this subpopulation and ensure they are not left behind in the effort to eliminate homelessness among individuals who wore their country’s uniform.

Housing grantees compete for “bonus” funding from HUD in order to help house designated subpopulations.  By altering the U.S. Code to explicitly include former servicemembers as an eligible subpopulation, the HOMeS Act will help increase their profile for HUD homeless housing incentives.
According to data provided by HUD, the agency spent approximately $133 million on incentive payments in the fiscal year 2016. Organizations who have expressed support for the legislation include the American Legion, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS).

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Repaying Loans, Relieving Student Stress

2017/04/27

$1,407,200,000,000.  That is the current total of student loan debt in this nation. Trillions of dollars are weighing down on over 70 percent of college students and graduates.  Over 15 percent of those have either defaulted or have been delinquent in repaying their loans.  Seven out of 10 college students admit that their personal finances cause stress or worry. 

Even when I was going through school, this was a concern.  In fact, while earning my undergraduate degree, I made the decision to join the Army National Guard, partly in order to lift some of that burden.  Now, as the average debt per student borrower is approaching $28,000, there is no doubt that we need to work to address this issue.

Aside from the negative affects on the individual, the staggering student loan crisis has an impact on our nation’s overall economy.  According to a Gallup poll, one in five recent graduates says that they are hesitant to start a new business because of their student debt.  Debt is hindering the potential of our nation’s greatest resource: the next generation. 

For my constituents that are still pursuing their degrees, or who are recent graduates, I know that this is a particularly stressful problem as they often find themselves in difficult financial situations with student loans and entry level jobs.  Student loan debt can be a major obstacle in building a solid financial future. 

April is Financial Literacy Month, and as co-Chair of the Financial Literacy Caucus, I am committed to encouraging financial literacy among students, while finding ways to help relieve some of this debt. 

I will soon introduce legislation that will help this portion of the population by making it easier for employers to provide student loan programs and increase the amount employers can offer.  My legislation will also increase the amount that can be deducted by borrowers on their interest paid.
 
This is just one small step, but I am committed to working with my colleagues to help alleviate this problem. I also wanted to highlight some resources that are available to students attending the colleges or universities in the 15th District.  These on-campus resources can help you take the first steps towards financial wellness. 

If you are a Buckeye, consider making an appointment with Scarlet and Grey Financial.  Their peer coaches can help provide you more information about debt repayment, as well as financial goal setting and budgeting.

For the Bobcats, Ohio University’s Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships provides a great resource, GradReady.  The online platform provides informational videos and activities to help you manage your finances and set you up for financial success.

Ohio Christian University also offers online resources, and has launched Financial Aid TV (FATV).  FATV is a 24-hour online library that includes videos on topics like FASFA, financial literacy, loans and grants, and military benefits. 

Lastly, if you are a student at Wilmington College, consider stopping by the Student One Stop Center.  Their full time staffers are eager to help you with FAFSFA, loan applications, or entrance or exit loan counseling.

For students and recent graduates, improving financial literacy and economic education is crucial.  An understanding of financial decisions can make a huge difference as they enter the workforce and begin to build a successful future, and student debt should not stand in their way. 

If you, or someone you know, is having difficulty with student loans, please feel free to contact me in my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, my Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, or my Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.  I also encourage you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and through my e-newsletter at www.stivers.house.gov.

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Rep. Stivers Reintroduces Legislation to Get Medication to Patients in Need Sooner

2017/04/20

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Stivers (R – OH) today reintroduced the Speeding Access to Already Approved Pharmaceuticals Act.  The bill requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite the review of pharmaceuticals that are approved by the European Union (EU). Congressman Tim Ryan (D – OH) is the cosponsor of the bi-partisan legislation.

“Unfortunately, the United States FDA’s red tape causes delays of up to several years in approval for life-saving and life-changing medical treatments that may already be approved in Europe,” Stivers said. “This bill will help speed U.S. approval of drugs and medical devices deemed safe and effective by European authorities. It ensures the safety of these drugs while improving the quality of life for millions of Americans who need access to all available cutting-edge medical treatments.”

Specifically, the legislation requires the FDA Commissioner to facilitate the development and expedite the review of a drug within 90 days of the European Union approving a pharmaceutical.

Currently, it can take more than a decade for a product to get approved by the FDA.  For example since 2002, eight companies have submitted new and innovative ingredients for sunscreen, but all are still languishing in the FDA’s approval process. 

There are only three FDA-approved sunscreen ingredients available in the U.S which effectively guard against the sun’s UVA rays. Europe, on the other hand, has approved seven sunscreen ingredients that help protect against these harmful UVA rays.

Representatives Stivers and Ryan have introduced this bill in both the 113th and 114th Congress.

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Rep. Stivers Re-Introduces the Cents and Sensibility Act

2017/04/06

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) reintroduced the Cents and Sensibility Act.  The bipartisan legislation lowers the cost of producing pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters by ensuring they are minted with steel instead of minerals imported from outside the United States. Representatives Joyce Beatty (D – OH) and Pat Tiberi (R – OH) signed on as original co-sponsors of the bipartisan legislation.

“This legislation is a common-sense solution to lower the cost of minting our coins,” Stivers said. “Not only does this save taxpayer dollars in the production of the coins, it will also allow American steel to be used in production that can be manufactured in many of our communities.”

Since 2006, due to the rising cost of materials and labor, the manufacturing of some denominations of coins has become unprofitable.  Of the coins currently in circulation today, the cost of producing pennies and nickels is greater than the actual face value of the coins. 

Currently, pennies are made of copper and zinc; while nickels, dimes and quarters are made of copper and nickel. A majority of the copper, zinc and nickel used to make these coins are imported from Canada. Stivers legislation would require all four coins be made of American steel in the future, with the penny dipped in copper.  The appearance of the coins would not change, just the materials used to make the coins.

Both pennies and nickels cost more to mint than the face value of the coins.  According to the most recent report released by the U.S. Mint, it costs about 1.5 cents to make a penny and 6.3 cents to produce a nickel. The dime and quarter both cost less to produce than the face value of the coins.

Studies have attempted to quantify potential cost savings from altering the metal composition of coins.  For example, a study by Navigant Consulting reported that the U.S. Government could save approximately $2 billion over 10 years in metal costs alone by changing the composition of the nickel, dime, and quarter to steel, but did not examine the effect of similar changes to the penny.

This legislation is endorsed by the American Iron and Steel Institute.

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Representatives Stivers, Beatty and Tiberi Introduce Bill Supporting National Designation for the Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus

2017/04/05

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH), Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH) reintroduced legislation (H.R. 1900) to designate the Veterans Memorial and Museum being constructed in Columbus, Ohio as the “National Veterans Memorial and Museum.” The entire Ohio Delegation, Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Robert E. Latta (R-OH), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Mike Turner (R-OH), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Tim Ryan (D-OH), David Joyce (R-OH), Jim Renacci (R-OH), and Jim Jordan (R-OH), joined as cosponsors. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) plan to introduce companion legislation in the Senate.

The museum, located at 300 West Broad Street in Columbus, Ohio, will serve as a civic landmark to honor, connect, inspire and educate all Americans about the service and sacrifice of our nation’s more than 22 million veterans. It will be the only public museum of its kind that exists for the exclusive role of sharing the experiences of veterans across all eras, conflicts and branches of the military.

“As a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I understand the need to educate people on our military, while also sharing and preserving the stories of the incredible sacrifices our veterans make for our freedoms,” Stivers said. “I am proud to support this museum for all of the great contributions it will make for central Ohio and the veterans community across the country.”

“I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to our nation’s more than 22 million Veterans,” Beatty said. “The National Veterans Memorial and Museum will serve as a permanent landmark to the selfless service of so many brave Americans and as a memorial to all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.” Beatty continued, “I am proud to join Congressman Stivers, as well as Congressman Tiberi, in introducing this piece of legislation.”  

“I urge my colleagues to support the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio,” said Rep. Tiberi. “We owe an immense amount of gratitude to our military service members and veterans who have answered the call to serve our great nation. This museum will provide a unique opportunity for all Americans to honor the sacrifices they made to protect and support our precious freedoms.”

The veterans community has also joined in support of the museum and legislation.

“There are almost 22 million living veterans throughout the United States, from our Greatest Generation to our recent service members coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Major General Dennis Laich, US Army (retired). “The National Veterans Memorial and Museum will honor the sacrifice of these veterans and their families and the ones that came before them. It’s thanks to this sacrifice that we all enjoy the benefits of freedom, security and democracy.”

“Individual stories and shared experiences of veterans will be the heartbeat running through each exhibit, celebrating the everyday heroes,” said Colonel Tom Moe, US Air Force (retired).  “We want to focus the story here about the service of veterans, whether they be from Tallahassee to Anchorage, and also be a place where vets can call a home.”

“The stories of our veterans are rich and timeless and need to be shared,” said Dr. Peter Mansoor, Colonel, US Army (Ret). “They provide an anchor by which we can understand the definition of honor, duty and service above self.”

The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation is managing the project, leading the design, construction, exhibit development and fundraising elements for the National Veterans Memorial and Museum.

“The National Veterans Memorial & Museum will be a world-class destination, featuring an iconic design and thought-provoking exhibition programs,” said Guy V. Worley, President/CEO of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation. “With almost 22 million veterans alive today, it will serve as a civic landmark to honor, connect, inspire and educate visitors and Americans about the service and sacrifice of the country’s veterans and their families.”

The museum broke ground for construction in December 2015, following the generous donations from Les and Abigail Wexner, the State of Ohio, Franklin County, and many other foundations and corporations. The grand opening date for the National Veterans Memorial and Museum is expected to be in the summer 2018.

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An Oasis in Vinton County’s Food Desert

2017/03/30

For one in six Ohioans, hunger and food insecurity is a constant threat to their wellbeing and livelihood.  This is higher than every surrounding state, as well as the national average.  Often, these situations are exasperated by the inability to access nutritionally adequate food; when this inability becomes a chronic problem faced by a community, the area is defined as a food desert. 

In 2014, when the last full-service grocery store closed its doors in Vinton County, they became a food desert and food insecurity heightened as residents no longer had easy, reliable access to fresh produce and meats.  Families were forced to travel at least thirty minutes to Chillicothe, Athens, Logan, or Jackson to find a grocery store, which puts a strain on time and resources.  For the last few years, one of my top priorities has been to find a way to offer relief to the hardworking people of Vinton County, and on March 20th, we finally broke ground on the new Campbell’s Market.

Bringing Campbell’s Market to McArthur has been a collaboration between the federal and state government, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses.  I am grateful to State Senator Bob Peterson and Representative Ryan Smith for helping to secure state seed funding, which is provided at the state level to support new businesses that contribute significantly to the community. 

Likewise, thanks is due to the Finance Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is dedicated to connecting communities with public and private sources of capital.  The Finance Fund was awarded $2 million in federal funding through the U.S. Treasury’s Healthy Foods Financing Initiative to help provide healthy foods across Ohio. Campbell’s Market will benefit from a financing grant and loan package of $1.58 million from the Finance Fund Capital Corporation.

With both the grant and seed funding, it was possible to leverage private support for the new business, owned and operated by Mr. Richard Campbell.  This effort is truly a public-private partnership, and is a great example of how government and communities can work simultaneously to improve countless lives.  Again, a huge thank you is offered to everyone who has been involved with this project.

As your Congressman, it is my goal to do everything in my power to support the hardworking families of Ohio’s 15th District.  I strive to find solutions that empower citizens to provide for their families and share in the American Dream.  When Campbell’s Market opens in August of 2017, it will bring choices and access back to McArthur.  It will be an oasis for Vinton County, no longer a food desert. 

If you have any questions or comments regarding the efforts to end the food desert in Vinton County, please feel free to contact me in my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015 or in my Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654. I also encourage you to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and through my e-newsletter at www.stivers.house.gov.

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Celebrating the Women in Congress

2017/03/24

In 1916, Jeannette Rankin made history.  Hailing from the state of Montana, she was the first woman ever elected to the United States Congress.  Since then, women have taken large steps; today, nearly 20 percent of the seats in Congress are held by women, the most at any point in history.  While this is still a disproportionately low representation, my female colleagues are trailblazers. I am certain that their careers will encourage young girls everywhere to pursue their goals, including elected office.  As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I want to recognize the women in the 115th Congress for their commitment to public service and policy, their examples of leadership, and their mark on history.

The intelligent approaches these women take to policy are remarkable.  It is an honor to work closely with Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-3), as we attempt to tackle the issues facing Central Ohio, like aiding homeless veterans with the introduction of the HOMeS Act, and serving together as the Co-Chairs for the Financial Literacy Caucus. 

Congresswoman Katherine Clark’s (MA-5) commitment to fighting the opioid crisis in our nation has been invaluable, and I was proud to collaborate with her on the Protecting Our Infants Act and the Reducing Unused Medications Act – both which have become law.  I am also grateful to Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), and the 8 other women serving on the House Committee on Financial Services for their work towards financial responsibility and independence for our nation.  These women work unbelievably hard day-in and day-out by raising smart questions and innovative proposals to solve the problems facing our nation.

Moreover, each day these women conduct themselves with poise and exemplify the best qualities of leadership.  I want to thank Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) for her measured guidance of the House Republican Conference and Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s (SD-AL) hard work as a Deputy Whip.  Additionally, seeing Congresswoman Mia Love (UT-4), the first black Republican woman elected to Congress, and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21), the youngest woman to ever serve, represent their districts and break down barriers at the same time is a privilege.

I am continuously impressed by each of the 104 women in Congress, and am appreciative for their leadership both on Capitol Hill and across our nation.

In the 101 years since Jeanette Rankin took office, plenty has changed in the United States.  The strength and leadership of women, however, has not.  As the father of a young daughter, I want her to have intelligent and courageous role models whose examples encourage her to work hard and know that success is possible.  To the women of the 115th Congress, thank you for being those role models.  

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Representative Stivers Celebrates Groundbreaking of Vinton County Grocery Store

2017/03/20

 


WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) joined Senator Bob Peterson, Representative Ryan Smith, and Finance Fund President and CEO Diana Turoff at the groundbreaking of Campbell’s Market – signaling the end of the food desert status in Vinton County. Since 2013, Vinton County has been without a grocery store, and residents have been forced to travel up to 30 minutes to Athens, Chillicothe, Logan or Jackson to shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat.

“For far too long, the residents of Vinton County have lacked convenient access to healthy foods,” Stivers said. “I am proud to have joined with Senator Peterson and Representative Smith to work with Finance Fund in this truly collaborative effort to end the food desert in Vinton County. I also want to extend my thanks to Richard Campbell for bringing his business to Vinton County, and look forward to celebrating the Grand Opening of Campbell’s Market this summer.”

The Finance Fund was awarded $2 million in federal funding through the U.S. Treasury’s Healthy Foods Financing Initiative to help provide healthy foods across Ohio. Campbell’s Market will benefit from a financing grant and loan package of $1.58 million from the Finance Fund Capital Corporation. The federal dollars, combined with state seed funding, helped to leverage private funding for the grocery store, making this a true public/private partnership.

Campbell’s Market, which will be located near Vinton County High School in McArthur, is scheduled to be completed and open in August 2017.

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Representative Stivers Announces Reintroduction of Homeless Children and Youth Act at Huck House Shelter

2017/03/14


WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) announced the reintroduction of the Homeless Children and Youth Act at the Huckleberry House in Columbus. This legislation, which is cosponsored by Representative Dave Loebsack (D-IA), provides a more accurate system for the federal government to understand the problem of youth homelessness and help better serve this population.  The Senate companion bill is sponsored by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA). 

Stivers joined Becky Westerfelt, the Executive Director of the Huckleberry House, for a tour of the facility. He then spent time talking to other community leaders in the fight against youth homelessness, including members of the Crisis Shelter Team, Transitional Living Program Team, and Board of the Huckleberry House, representatives from SchoolHouse Connection, The OSU Star House and the Youth Empowerment Program, and the Homeless Youth Liaisons from Southwestern City Schools.

“No child should ever be without a home, let alone be forced to navigate bureaucratic red tape just to prove that they are actually homeless,” Stivers said. “This bill will be a first step in identifying the scope of the youth homelessness issue so we can help some of the most vulnerable in our communities. I want to thank everyone who came to the Huckleberry House today in support of this legislation for their work to combat youth homelessness.”

Currently, the Housing and Urban Development Department’s (HUD) definition of “homeless” is inconsistent with other federal agencies.  This legislation would expand HUD’s definition of “homeless” to include all children and youth who are already verified as homeless by several other federal educational and social services programs.

“As someone who was raised in poverty by a single mother who struggled with mental illness, I have seen firsthand how community supports can make a difference in people’s lives. I am also sadly aware that some children may slip through the cracks and we cannot allow that to happen,” said Loebsack. “In order for our children to excel, especially those who are homeless or have nowhere to go, we must make it easier on them to access homeless assistance programs. The Homeless Children and Youth Act will help communities best provide for those who are most in need.”

To read the full text of the bill, click here.

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Contact Information

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

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

Warren Davidson

OHIO's 8th 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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