Senator Rob Portman and Senator Sherrod Brown have both managed to snag seats on the powerful Senate Finance Committee for the new 113th Congress, which ensures that Ohio's representatives in the U.S. Senate will be at the center of the action for three of the biggest issues currently facing policymakers in the nation's capital: reducing the debt, tweaking entitlement programs, and overhauling the tax code.
It remains to be seen if Brown, a Democrat from Avon, and Portman, a Republican from Terrace Park, will become a bipartisan force for compromise or if they'll simply cancel each other out. The two do agree that it is good for Ohio to have two representatives on the panel, and hope to help the committee reach a bipartisan consensus on the issues.
Lauren Kulik, a spokesperson for Brown, said:
“Having two voices who can advocate for priorities important for Ohio is always an advantage."
While the two Senators' positions on matters may seem at odds, Brown and Portman have worked together on an assortment of issues important to Ohio in the past. Working together, they've managed to secure funding for Piketon's American Centrifuge Project and have accomplished things like enforcing trade laws that impact home-state manufacturers.
Brown and Portman's new committee assignment will also give them increased clout when they confront issues like unfair trade practices by global competitors and China currency manipulation, amongst many others.
“Although Sen. Brown and Sen. Portman have different views on many issues, they have and will continue working together to help Ohio create jobs and boost economic developmen. Senator Brown hopes that their diverse views will help the Committee reach bipartisan consensus on these issues, which is what has unfortunately been lacking in today’s polarized environment.”