WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTRF) – He’s been representing Ohioans in the U.S. Senate for about a month, and Senator JD Vance has already introduced his first piece of legislation.

Senator Vance is part of a bipartisan group of Senators behind the PARTs (Preventing Auto Recycling Thefts) Act.

He said there have been multiple instances of catalytic converter theft rings in Ohio and parts of the Midwest that are costing people up to $15-20 million dollars.

The problem is, it’s difficult for law enforcement to catch who’s behind it. 

Senator Vance said this legislation makes it so any catalytic converters in new vehicles have an ID number that can be traced. 

Imagine going outside to get into your car to go to work in the morning and it won’t start because somebody’s stolen a $1,000 part that’s going to be hard to replace. Or, if you run a business and your entire fleet of trucks that deliver your good has been stolen or the catalytic converters have been stolen making those trucks completely worthless.

Senator JD Vance, (R) Ohio

The PART Act has support in the Senate, but also in Ohio. 

Attorney General Dave Yost and other representatives are also trying to address these thefts at a state level.

Senator Vance joins Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mike Braun, (R-IN) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in introducing this bill.

Senator Vance said it is important to take on this issue now because the Senate can do it in a bipartisan way.

In a divided government whenever you find something you can get done with the Democrats that’s a very good thing. 

Senator JD Vance, (R) Ohio

He also said he supports the bill because catalytic converter theft is a growing issue. Senator Vance’s office cited multiple thefts in a press release that happened recently including $19 million in Columbus and $18,000 in Youngstown, which were both in 2022.