WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced his subcommittee assignments for the Senate Committee on Appropriations for the 112th Congress. Brown will serve on the following subcommittees that will allow him to advance key Ohio priorities: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Labor Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Legislative Branch, and State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies.
“Ohioans of all backgrounds – our farmers and pharmacists, firefighters and engineers, students and seniors – deserve a voice in the corridors of Congress. The Appropriations subcommittees are an opportunity to address their concerns in a very real and meaningful way,” Brown said. “This assignment is an opportunity to advocate for Ohio’s economic development and improve the lives of families throughout our state.”
In July 2010, Brown was selected by Majority Leader Harry Reid and his colleagues to serve on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Brown is the seventh Ohioan in history to serve on the committee in its 140+ year history. The Appropriations Committee is responsible for setting funding levels for all federal programs that are subject to non-entitlement spending, which accounts for $1 trillion dollars of the $3 trillion budget.
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies
One in seven Ohioans have jobs related to agriculture. The jurisdiction of this subcommittee covers the entire United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), including rural economic development programs and the Food and Drug Administration. USDA has offices in every county in Ohio to provide technical and financial assistance for agriculture, conservation, and rural economic development. The Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee also directs USDA’s national food and agriculture initiative which funds numerous research programs across Ohio at institutions such as The Ohio State University, the University of Toledo, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster. As the first Ohioan ever to serve on both the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee and the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Brown continues to be an advocate for the small towns and agricultural communities that are the lifeblood of Ohio.
Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies
Many of the agencies within the jurisdiction of this subcommittee are of critical importance to Ohio, including NASA, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), and key economic development mechanisms. Ohio is home to the only NASA center north of the Mason-Dixon Line. NASA’s Glenn Research Center and its Plum Brook Station date to the beginning of our nation’s efforts in space exploration. Because Glenn is a major economic engine in northeast Ohio, NASA’s budget has a significant bearing on local jobs and economic activity.
Ohio’s economy has been hard hit by trade-related job loss; however, many communities in the state are poised to increase job growth and business expansion in clean energy, green technologies, and sustainable manufacturing. Brown will pursue key investments in programs under the Commerce Committee’s jurisdiction, including the Economic Development Administration.
Labor Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies
This subcommittee oversees agencies that affect many Americans ranging from children in the Head Start Program, Elementary and Secondary Education students, and America’s seniors through the Administration on Aging.
AmeriCorps, Medicaid and Medicare, the National Institutes of Health, and Pell Grants are also included in the jurisdiction of this subcommittee. Ohio is home to numerous universities and critical research institutions like Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Clinic, The Ohio State University, the University of Cincinnati, University Hospitals, The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, and more facilities that benefit from funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Brown will also work on behalf of students at Ohio’s world-class colleges and universities and their families to ensure that college remains accessible and affordable for the next generation of American innovators.
Seniors have not received a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase for two consecutive years. Yet, Congress receives an automatic pay increase. This assignment is an opportunity to address much-needed government reform, including a repeal of the automatic pay raise that Members of Congress receive each year.
Brown has cosponsored legislation that would revise the flawed formula that determines annual COLA benefits so that it better reflects the expenses retirees typically face. Brown has also announced his support of a bill that would prevent the automatic COLA members of Congress receive each year.
Brown also serves on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, where he is Chairman of the Financial Institutions Subcommittee. He is the first Ohioan to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in more than 40 years and also serves on the U.S. Senate Veterans Committee, through which he has held unprecedented hearings in Ohio on access to VA health care.