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Portman’s Legislation Would Endanger Kids

June 26, 2017

Portman’s Legislation Would Endanger Kids

TV Ad Targets Portman for Sponsoring Anti-Regulatory Legislation That Would Harm Children and Families

CINCINNATI – Lethal lunchboxes with contaminated food are among the likely consequences of legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), according to a TV ad sponsored by Public Citizen beginning today in the Cincinnati, Ohio, media market. Portman’s Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) (S. 951) would endanger children and families by blocking new, lifesaving regulatory protections.

“Senator Rob Portman sponsored a bill that could prevent essential safeguards of our food and our drinking water, prevent safety standards on everything from baby cribs to toys,” the ad warns. “If Senator Portman has his way, it could be nearly impossible to protect our families from tainted, contaminated foods or dangerous products.” The ad urges Ohio voters to contact Portman’s office and voice opposition to his legislation.

“Regulatory protections ensure that we have clean air, lead-free water, uncontaminated food, safe products and other basic protections that our children need to grow up healthy and strong. Portman’s bill would let big corporations block these protections,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Portman is delivering the goods to big business, but if he gets his way, kids in Ohio and across the country will pay the price.”

The victims of inadequate regulation and enforcement have heart-wrenching stories. Insufficient food safety protections sickened a toddler with salmonella. The absence of automobile backup cameras resulted in the accidental death of a young boy. And a young girl was strangled to death by a window blind cord deemed “child safe” by the company that made it. Each of these tragedies could have been prevented by commonsense safeguards that the RAA would block if it were law. National polling shows that by overwhelming margins, Democrats, Republicans and Independents want more protective rules and tougher enforcement – whether the question is framed in general terms or addresses specific regulations.

“Portman should stand up for families and small businesses in Ohio by standing up to corporate special interests in Washington, D.C., not by putting the health and safety of our children at risk by pushing legislation that allows corporations to cut corners,” said Chuck Lynd, a Public Citizen member, director of the Support Our Local Economy (SOLE) coalition and treasurer of the Ohio Sustainable Business Council (OSBC). “Smart regulations are those that keep our children safe, not those that cater to the whims of greedy corporations.”

The RAA is one of the greatest threats to our system of public protections in decades, Public Citizen maintains. Its consequences are incredibly broad – potentially impacting children’s health and safety, consumer protection, food safety, Wall Street reform, workers, women, our environment, disability rights, rural development and more. Similar legislation passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in January, and the RAA could be brought to the U.S. Senate floor for a vote within a matter of weeks.

Watch the ad. See Public Citizen’s fact sheet (PDF).