Rob Portman is currently in his sixth year in Congress representing the Second Congressional District in Southwest Ohio.
Rob has become widely recognized as one of the most effective legislators in Congress. In fact, during the last Congress alone, nine bills authored or co-authored by Rob passed the House and Senate and were signed into law by the President.
Rob is perhaps best known for his work to reform the Internal Revenue Service. He served as Co-Chairman of the National Commission on Restructuring the IRS, a blue-ribbon panel of experts that developed the most comprehensive overhaul of the IRS since 1952. The Commission’s recommendations served as the basis for the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act — the sweeping IRS reform legislation that became law on July 22, 1998. Many observers regard this legislation as the most important accomplishment of the 105th Congress.
In 1995, after less than two years in Congress, Rob was chosen to serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. He is one of the most junior Members ever to be named to this panel, which has jurisdiction over key national policies, including federal tax laws, Social Security, international trade, and health care and welfare reform. While serving on the committee, he has authored a number of bills that have been signed into law that expand the availability of retirement plans for millions of Americans; simplify the complex rules governing certain classifications of small businesses; exempt most home sales from capital gains taxes; improve Medicare’s hospice benefits; and protect the pension plans of state and local government employees.
Rob has also been a leader in the fight to prevent unfunded federal mandates — costly requirements imposed by Congress on state and local governments and the private sector that represent a “hidden tax” on consumers, workers and businesses. He authored landmark legislation to stop unfunded federal mandates on state and local governments was enacted into law in 1995.
On budget matters, he has led efforts to get federal spending under control. He has consistently received high ratings from the National Taxpayers Union and Citizens Against Government Waste for his commitment to reduce wasteful spending and hold the line on taxes. He has been recognized by the National Federation of Independent Business with a 100% rating for his efforts to defend small businesses and the jobs they create.
Before his election to Congress, Rob practiced business and international law as a partner in the Cincinnati law firm of Graydon, Head and Ritchey. He left Cincinnati from 1989 to 1991 to serve in the Bush White House — first, as Associate Counsel to the President, and then as Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. Rob was born and raised in Cincinnati. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School. He continues to keep his home in the Second District with his wife, Jane, and their three children.