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Brown, Portman react to State of the Union
Brown hails Obama's manufacturing plan while Portman says more needs to be done

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz

During his state of the Union speech, President Obama touched on a number of topics that hit close to home in northeast Ohio.

About 70 percent of the speech was based on economic issues, including the creation of more manufacturing jobs.

The president used Youngstown's National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute as an example of public-private manufacturing hubs he wants to see spread across the country. The Youngstown facility uses 3-D printing.

Obama also wants Congress to move on Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown’s bill to establish a Network for Manufacturing Innovation, creating six new hubs. Brown says he’s thrilled for the support.

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"We're going to see a refocus on manufacturing," Brown says. "He pointed out we had not had growth in manufacturing from the late 90s up to 2010. Since 2010 we've seen manufacturing coming back. I'm confident this manufacturing hub bill that I'm working on has a real chance of passage I think it make a real difference in helping a number of people join the middle class."

The president also spoke on the push to raise the minimum wage. It’s an initiative Brown supports. He says he’s frustrated by the opposition to raising the minimum wage, and that most of the arguments against it aren’t supported by facts.

"People make the argument of minimum wage that prices will go up, people will lose their jobs," Brown said. "I never hear anybody make the argument when an executive gets a 3 million dollar pay increase or 900 thousand bonus that prices go up because of that. I just don't buy this argument."

Ohio Senator, Rob Portman issued a statement saying he agrees with the goal of an opportunity society where Americans can pursue their dreams. He disagrees, however, with the president's plan to get there.

He also says he hopes the president will work with Congress on policies.




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