News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Akron Children's Hospital


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Ohio gets two on the powerful Senate Finance Committee
To an extent, Brown and Portman will "play defense" as the administration hunts for revenue
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Ohio's Sens. Brown and Portman will both sit on the Senate Finance Committee, the first Ohio senators to do so in 60 years.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

It’s been 60 years since any of Ohio’s U.S. senators have sat on the Finance Committee. Now two of them are on it. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on what that may bode for Ohio and the nation.

Loomis on Ohio's role

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:01)


Q and A: Ohio's role in the Senate

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:35)


Rarely does someone mention the Senate Finance Committee without throwing in the adjective “powerful.”  That’s because it is the oldest and – well – arguably most powerful committee in the Senate. It deals with taxes and trade agreements, Social Security and healthcare and something broadly called “fiscal responsibility and economic growth.”

And the 113th Congress will have both of Ohio’s U.S. senators, Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown, sitting on that powerful committee.

University of Kansas professor Burdett – call him “Bird” -- Loomis has edited a recent book about the Senate called “The U.S. Senate: from Deliberation to Dysfunction.” Still, he says the Senate has done relatively well in the last week – compared in the House. And he predicts it will have to do much more.

“Even in the era in which the executive has become stronger, there’s no question that these tax writing committees have substantial power. Not only substantial power to set taxes broadly, but as we’ve seen in the last few days, they can also carve out various kinds of exceptions. And so that means that for given industries, they’re extremely important.”

Special Ohio interests get strong advocates
And with two Ohio senators on the committee, he says the auto and auto parts industries may see some special consideration – or at least protections.

Loomis said party leaders have gained ascendance over committee chairman in the House. But in the Senate, “everything has to be done pretty much by general agreement. And so the committees, if anything, in the Senate have gotten somewhat stronger and particularly when you have skillful people. And I think both of your senators qualify -- (though) from different ideological points of view -- as being skillful senators.”

Loomis says much of the role of the senators on the Finance Committee over the next four years will be “playing defense.” The administration is looking for more revenue, and I think that on given issues, both (Portman and Brown) could protect some of those interests, whether it is low-income citizens, whether it is a certain kind of tax exemption for a given industry or a general provision that affects Ohio maybe more than it would a different state.”

But he says much of what will be done “may be behind the scenes very much of the time.” Still, “I think having a seat at that table is extraordinarily much important.”

The Senate's center stage
On broader terms, Loomis expects the battles in Congress to last well beyond the next debt-ceiling debate in a few months.

“I think it is for the rest of the Obama term, unless there’s a huge deal that is made. I think that you’re gonna have Congress having to deal with debt limits, having to deal with sequestration and having to come up with potentially more revenues. And so I do think we’re gonna see a series of these mini cliffs or whatever metaphor you want to use, over the next one, two to three years.”

Which, he says, is one more reason that Ohio’s senators “being there in the room, particularly having a member from both parties, is very important.”

Still, Loomis says it may have happened more by accident than design that both Ohioans are on the Finance Committee. Both Brown and Portman have simply proved their party mettle.

“The Democrat (Sherrod Brown) I think has demonstrated both political and legislative skill and certainly gets a major committee assignment. And you know Rob Portman is clearly one of the most admired politicians in the Senate. But some of it is simply luck of the draw, so I wouldn’t read too much into it. But it’s true that in the next few years that the Senate Finance Committee will be the home of a lot of action.”

 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio to appeal ruling keeping Akron's red light cameras in place
I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If you don't like tickets drive the speed limit and stop at red lights. It's really all up to you.

Who's on public assistance in Ohio?
legalize marijuana get over it,,, its here its been the main drug test scare of a lifetime. u got people that get drunk every night and work u got peoples on ...

Letters from a lost friend: A Beachwood survivor's Holocaust remembrance
What a great story -- and how important it was for both Marlene and her mother to tell it! Thank you.

Ohio lawmaker calls for an East Cleveland bailout
Instead of blaming Kasich and the Republicans for all of East Cleveland's fiscal woes, take a look at the facts. Some political entities in Ohio are too small ...

Legalized marijuana is a boon for a Cleveland-area grow light maker
Shouldn't he be in jail for paraphernalia? He knows he is selling for marijuana production.

Akron city council to vote on resolution for hiring ex-offenders
Great as a taxpayer I paid for the police to catch them, the free lawyer, the jail to house them , the food their kids eat the medical for them and all its goin...

5 of 8 rule headed for a vote
this is just another way for kasich to pass the buck and claim that it gives the local districts control. Few schools have enough money because of his cuts. T...

A passionate debate about parole in Ohio
I was heartened to hear that the legislators will consider ANY legislation to break the chains the parole board has put on these old law offenders who have serv...

Bill would allow Ohio religious leaders to refuse to do gay marriages
This is just a lot of political posturing. The free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment already protects clergy from being forced by civil authorities to perfo...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University