WASHINGTON - Ohio will be well-represented on the Senate Finance Committee this year. Republicans tapped Sen. Rob Portman for a slot on the prestigious committee yesterday, just weeks after Democrats named Sen. Sherrod Brown to it.
WASHINGTON — Ohio will be well-represented on the Senate Finance Committee this year.
Republicans tapped Sen. Rob Portman for a slot on the prestigious committee yesterday, just weeks after Democrats named Sen. Sherrod Brown to it.
That fact could present some interesting intrastate debates, setting up the potential for disagreements between the Ohioans on issues relating to trade, tax policy and entitlements.
The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over tax and revenue measures as well as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Portman served on an equivalent committee — Ways and Means — when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Portman, in a statement, said the committee has oversight of issues “that must be addressed to avoid a fiscal crisis” and said he looks forward to using his spot on the committee to assist the economy and cut federal spending.
“This means we must reform and preserve our vital yet unsustainable entitlement programs, modernize and simplify an out-of-date tax code and substantially increase our exports by opening new markets for American workers, farmers and service providers,” he said.
Portman offers a unique perspective to the committee: He served as both U.S. trade representative and director of the federal Office of Management and Budget, cabinet-level positions that touch on issues the committee oversees.
Portman will leave the Senate Armed Services Committee to take his place on Finance. He will continue to serve on the Senate Budget, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Energy and Natural Resources committees.
Portman’s office said that, since 1981, no Republican senator has joined the Senate Finance Committee so early in his or her term in the Senate.
Portman’s office also announced yesterday that he will continue serving as a deputy whip for Senate Republicans.