(WKBN) – Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman finds a reason to visit the Mahoning Valley every six to nine months. On Wednesday he was back again, this time for two reasons: Lordstown Motors and the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Portman’s first stop was to the Lordstown Motors plant, where some of the robotics left by General Motors were running.
The last time Portman was at the plant was when Chevy Cruzes were being built.
“I pushed hard to get them to put another vehicle in here. They decided not to do that. I was very disappointed, but I’m also glad that now, we see a vehicle being produced here,” he said.
Portman checked out the all-electric Endurance pickup prototypes that were unveiled two weeks ago.
He affixed a sticker to one of the license plates, making it legal to drive.
Portman would also like to see more out of General Motors.
“I’m still pushing General Motors to make an additional investment in this plant. I think it makes all the sense in the world because this vehicle is something that I think fits very well with what General Motors feels it wants to do,” he said.
Portman then visited the Second Harvest Food Bank, where he helped the National Guard stock boxes and crates.
He voted for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which will provide six million additional pounds of food for Second Harvest between now and December.
“It also helps the farmers because a lot of these farmers were selling this product to restaurants — the restaurants said we don’t have any customers. So it gives them the ability to keep going,” Portman said.
Portman also said another round of stimulus money will be needed and that he would like to see some of it in the form of tax breaks for companies to keep their workers safe.
“We need to get people back into the hospitals, the doctors visits, back to school, back to their factories. But the federal government can help to provide some funding there so that can be done safely. That seems to me to be money really well spent,” he said.
Portman said there’s still money to come from the first four stimulus bills passed by Congress, which reconvenes on July 20. He said it’s likely some action will be taken on another stimulus program by the end of the month.