lawmakers

Here’s why Ohio lawmakers haven’t done anything about scandal-tainted House Bill 6 so far

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Following the July arrest of then-House Speaker Larry Householder on a charge he oversaw a bribery scheme to pass House Bill 6, dozens of Ohio lawmakers quickly signed on as co-sponsors of bills to repeal the tainted energy law.

But months later, it’s still unclear what, if anything, the Republican-dominated Ohio General Assembly will do about HB6 before the legislative session ends in December and the public starts paying for a $1 billion-plus bailout of two nuclear power plants in January.

The main reason, lawmakers and observers say, is because – much like congressional Republicans’ unsuccessful attempts to repeal Obamacare in 2017 – there’s no consensus among GOP lawmakers on what, if anything, to replace HB6 with.

Some favor a straight repeal of HB6. Others think it should be replaced, and at least a few believe nothing at all should be done to alter it.

“They are all over the place,” said state Rep. Mark Romanchuk of Richland County about his fellow Republicans.

There are other reasons as well. Even Republicans who favor repealing and replacing House Bill 6 say they need time to study HB6, an enormously complex law that goes far beyond the nuclear bailout, and make sure that any changes they make to it won’t have unintended consequences for Ohioans.

Another factor is that the Senate appears to be leaving it up to the House to decide what to do, as HB6 originated in that chamber. And the House is led by Bob Cupp, a newly elected House speaker who is living up to his reputation for acting deliberatively.

“You’ve got Republicans in the caucus who think ‘This is all just going to blow over — if we just stonewall for long enough, people will forget about it,’” said state Rep. David Leland, a Columbus Democrat.

House Passes Bill to Allow Lawmakers to Oust U.S. Olympic Movement Leaders

Federal lawmakers passed a sweeping bill on Thursday giving themselves the ability to oust leaders of the U.S. Olympic movement, in the wake of scandals over the movement’s handling of finances, abuse claims and athlete welfare.

The legislation was approved unanimously in the House of Representatives, after passing in the Senate, also unanimously, in August. It now heads to the desk of President Trump, whose aides didn’t immediately comment on his willingness to sign the bill.

If signed, the law would allow Congress to vote to remove board members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which oversees domestic amateur sports. They would also be able to decertify a specific sport’s national governing body.

In addition, the law would significantly expand athlete representation in sports governing bodies, potentially setting off efforts among candidates to join a movement long dominated by professional sports leaders, while athletes’ rights activism is growing rapidly.

Lawmakers who crafted the bill, chiefly Sen. Jerry Moran (R., Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), frequently said they were motivated by what they had learned about national governing bodies such as USA Gymnastics’ handling of allegations of sexual assault and the case of former women’s team physician Larry Nassar, in particular.

The USOPC initially fought the bill, arguing that it could endanger Team USA’s ability to compete in the Olympic Games because of International Olympic Committee rules about national committees’ independence from their countries’ governments. At one point in late 2019, USOPC Chief Executive Sarah Hirshland shared with senators an IOC letter that set out what the proposed law should say and not say to comply with Olympic rules.

After senators, including Colorado Republican Cory Gardner who counts the committee among his constituents, rejected the argument, the USOPC dropped its opposition. This year, the USOPC took a markedly different

House rebuffs GOP lawmaker’s effort to remove references to Democrats in Capitol

The House on Tuesday tabled a resolution offered by conservative Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertRep. Dan Meuser tests positive for COVID-19 Watchdog calls for probe into Gohmert ‘disregarding public health guidance’ on COVID-19 Massie plans to donate plasma after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies MORE (R-Texas) calling on Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAirline industry applauds Democrats for including aid in coronavirus relief package Democrats unveil scaled-down .2T coronavirus relief package Trump tax reveal roils presidential race MORE (D-Calif.) to remove any references in the lower chamber to political parties that supported slavery or the Confederacy, including the Democratic Party.

The chamber tabled the measure in a 223-176 vote. Gohmert offered the resolution after the Democratic-controlled House voted in July to remove statues of people who served the Confederacy or otherwise worked to defend slavery from the Capitol.

Critics of removing the Confederate statues, including Gohmert, argued that lawmakers were attempting to erase history by doing away with the symbols.

“Due to parliamentary issues, I am re-introducing my Privileged Resolution and urging my Democratic colleagues to rid the House wing of the U.S. Capitol of any item that names, symbolizes or mentions their own political party because of its past support for slavery and the Confederacy,” Gohmert said in a statement reintroducing the resolution on Thursday.

“Though I personally believe we need to learn from history including the good, the bad and the ugly, the Democratic Party has initiated this purging but needs assistance to avoid unparalleled hypocrisy. So, it is time for Democrats to account for, be washed of, and rid our Capitol of the sins of their party’s past.”

The resolution — which was co-sponsored by GOP Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Jody HiceJody Brownlow HicePelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new