One of the biggest debates in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris has been whether to accept refugees from Syria. The governors of 32 states have asked the federal government to not place Syrian refugees in their states, and there is speculation that Republicans in Congress may insert language into a key spending bill to block Syrian refugees from being accepted into the United States.
Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) believes Ohio Gov. John Kasich made the right decision by calling for Syrians to not be placed in Ohio.
"We need to ensure those coming over have no ties to ISIS or other terrorist organizations. We need to have a system in place, we need to be screening." Renacci said. "If we can't do that, we shouldn't just be allowing individuals to come in."
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles) sees it differently. While he also wants to make sure terrorists don't enter the country, he says there are safeguards in place to ensure the wrong people don't come in.
"If we don't know something... or we don't know who exactly you are, you don't get in the country," Ryan said.
When asked about the "gaps" in the ability to vet Syrian refugees noted last month by FBI director James Comey, Ryan said a refugee whose information falls into one of those gaps would not gain entry into the United States.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill that would, among other changes, require FBI background checks for refugees. The Associated Press reports President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
Rep. Tim Ryan hasn't given much thought to whether military recruiters should be allowed to be armed at recruiting centers, but he says he "can't see why that would be a problem."
The debate over whether military members at recruiting stations should be allowed to be armed was reignited by last week's shootings in Chattanooga, Tenn. that claimed the lives of four Marines and one sailor. In recent days, armed civilians have been showing up at recruiting centers to stand guard.
"We certainly want those men and women who are doing the recruiting to be protected, (while) at the same time not really escalating the situation," Ryan said.
In response to the National Rifle Association's call for legislation on the issue, Ryan said Congress doesn't need to be involved.
"Governors can probably make that decision and the military can probably make that decision too, coming out of the executive branch," he said.
Gov. John Kasich authorized Ohio National Guard recruiters to carry guns on Wednesday, but he does not have the authority to change the rules for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and Coast Guard recruiting stations.
Congress has been locked in a dispute for several weeks over whether to pass a fast track trade bill that would give President Obama authority to sign new international trade deals. Local Reps. Jim Renacci and Tim Ryan fall on opposite sides of the dispute.
Renacci supports the trade deal. He says Northeast Ohioans rely on exporting goods to keep the economy strong. Overall, Renacci says there is a trade surplus, meaning we export more than we import. When asked about the fast track authority that would be granted to President Obama, Renacci says Congress would still get an up-or-down vote on any trade agreements negotiated by the President.
Ryan, however, has been a vocal opponent to the trade deal. He says he is concerned about the impact on local workers if there are more imports from countries that do not have similar standards to the United States in pay and working conditions. He says there were many jobs lost in the area after the North American Free Trade Agreement passed in 1993 and that our trade deficit increased with Canada and Mexico. Ryan is also worried about the fast track authority, saying it would lessen Congress' role in negotiating trade agreements.
At every State of the Union address, the two political parties usually don't applaud the same things. It's no different among two Akron area members of Congress.
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan supported Obama's free community college plan as well as his proposed child care tax credit. He split from the President, however, on the issue of trade. Ryan called for a solution to the devaluing of currency by other countries to give them a competitive advantage in international trade.
Republican Rep. Jim Renacci was not as enthusiastic about the president's policy ideas. He challenged Obama's tax proposal, saying that the new taxes do not constitute tax reform. Renacci called on Congress to work first on things that both sides agree on and pass bills in those areas before moving on to more divisive issues. He said he supports the idea of sick leave for employees, but is wary about mandating sick leave he believes a one-size-fits-all approach may not work.
The House of Representatives passed a controversial continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill known as CRomnibus that, if signed by the President before the end of the weekend, will prevent the federal government from shutting down. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Tim Ryan both say they're not happy with provisions in the bill regarding banks, but not unhappy enough to shut down the government. Ryan explains his no vote while Brown talks about why he plans to vote no.
President Obama's prime time address and action on illegal immigration has created quite a stir over not only illegal immigration, but also over the role of presidential actions in developing laws. Reps. Tim Ryan (D) and Jim Renacci (R) reacted to Obama's move on the show.
On the Ebola political front Akron area Congressman Tim Ryan -- who's district includes Tallmadge -- splitting from the Democrat pack, now backing visa restrictions on travelers from West Africa into the U.S. For the most part Republicans want restrictions, Democrats don't. The White House reportedly considering it but it's experts say it's a bad idea. Ryan says the nation "cannot continue to risk American security" and a travel ban is reasonable.
Congressman Ryan spoke addressed the issue with WAKR's Jasen Sokol on the WAKR Morning News with Ray Horner.
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(Congressman Tim Ryan) Congressman Tim Ryan today called on the U.S. State Department to temporarily ban travel visas for citizens of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea until the West African Ebola outbreak has been contained and American safety can been assured.
"I have urged Secretary of State John Kerry to ban travel visas for the West African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak," said Congressman Ryan. "I am proud of the countless American doctors, nurses and health professionals who are putting themselves in harm's way to provide humanitarian aid the region and I applaud those who are selflessly assisting these nations and understand the need for safe transportation to the region, but we cannot continue to risk American security by allowing open travel into the United States by West African citizens while this health crisis persists. A visa ban is a reasonable measure to help limit Americans' exposure to this virus.
Congressman Tim Ryan sent the following letter today to Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. State Department:
October 16, 2014
The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Mr. Secretary:
As you are aware, the 2nd U.S. nurse infected with the Ebola virus, Amber Vinson, traveled to my Congressional district just prior to exhibiting symptoms of the disease. Consequently, my constituents and I are rightly concerned that the federal government take all reasonable and appropriate measures to contain the spread of this virus in the U.S. and prevent its arrival in Ohio.
As the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, stated in his testimony to Congress, the Administration remains open to any measures it believes will help reduce this crisis. As such, I urge you to implement an immediate ban on visas being issued to citizens of the West African counties that have been the worst hit by the Ebola epidemic – Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea – until this crisis in those countries has been brought under control.
While there are those who raise concerns that travel restrictions from West African counties could limit the ability of U.S. aid and health workers, I believe these temporary measures would help reduce the spread of the disease in the U.S., while not impacting the travel of essential U.S. personnel and resources to the region. The United States must do everything we can to help the men and women in West Africa who are suffering from this ongoing crisis and concurrently keep in mind the health and safety of our nation's citizens.
This ongoing Ebola epidemic is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and I applaud your work in helping to limit the spread of the virus while continuing to provide the West African countries with the resources necessary to combat this disease. I appreciate the time and attention you will give this important matter, and I look forward to working with you as we move forward to help combat this disease here at home and around the world."
Four Ohio legislators are sending a letter to Lockheed Martin asking the defense contractor to not close its Akron operation with 600 jobs affected. Senator Sherrod Brown and congressmen Tim Ryan, Marcia Fudge and Marcy Kaptur all signed the letter.
They says the company’s draft consolidation plan reportedly includes closing the Akron plant and relocating its workers to Lockheed Martin facilities in other states.
Staff members for area Republican lawmakers - Congressman Jim Renacci, Congressman Dave Joyce and Senator Rob Portman - tell AkronNewsNow.com that they've all contacted Lockheed Martin officials, and are working to try to keep the Akron operation going.
“Ohio has a rich manufacturing history with among the most skilled and hardest workers in the world,” Brown said. “That is why Lockheed Martin should do everything in its power to find an alternative to closing its Akron facility, eliminating jobs, and forcing workers to leave Ohio. This would significantly hurt the economy of Northeast Ohio and the community that has loyally served Lockheed for decades. My congressional colleagues and I therefore offer whatever assistance we can to ensure that that this doesn’t happen.”
13th district Congressman Tim Ryan is one of the area lawmakers who signed a letter to Lockheed Martin.
Representative Ryan says that the loss of about 600 jobs linked to the local facility would be devastating to the area.
"It's a hell of a hit to lose five or six hundred jobs," Ryan tells AkronNewsNow.com. "That's not something you can make up right away...those are good jobs, engineering jobs, high paying jobs."
Since reports of this consolidation plan came to light, the offices of Brown, Fudge, and Ryan have held individual discussions with Lockheed Martin’s management to express both their concern and disappointment that Lockheed would consider shuttering the competitive Akron plant.
Missiles may soon be coming to Camp Ravenna.
The military training center in Portage County more commonly known as the Ravenna Arsenal is one of five locations in the running to hold a new ballistic missile interceptor site.
WKYC reports the size of the nearly 20,000 acre facility helped make it a finalist.
Congressman Tim Ryan and Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman all gave their support to Camp Ravenna, which is competing with sites in Maine, New York, Vermont, and Michigan.
A final decision may not come for several years.
On the Web: www.wkyc.com