WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today commended Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) on delivering his maiden Senate Floor Speech.
“I look forward to developing a strong working relationship with Sen. Portman to create Ohio jobs, promote Ohio innovation, and ensure the tools are in place to build Ohio’s middle class,” Brown said. “Rob and I don’t agree on everything, but we are both committed to working to create the kind of good paying jobs that create a strong and vibrant middle class.”
To view Sen. Brown’s remarks, please click here.
Sen. Brown’s remarks are provided below:
MR. BROWN: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I JOIN THE REPUBLICAN
LEADER IN CONGRATULATING SENATOR PORTMAN ON HIS FIRST SPEECH
ON THE SENATE FLOOR. I REMEMBER THOSE DAYS SOME FOUR YEARS AGO
WHEN I HAD THE HONOR OF DOING THAT. I KNOW HOW CLOSE ROB AND
JANE ARE WITH THEIR CHILDREN, AND I HAVE SEEN THEM A GREAT
DEAL OVER THE LAST YEAR. I KNOW THE SACRIFICE AND DIFFICULTY OF
LEAVING HOME AS ROB POINTS OUT, AND I KNOW HE FEELS THAT WAY
ABOUT HIS FAMILY.
SENATOR, I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING TOGETHER. I LOOK FORWARD
ALREADY TO WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY COLLABORATED ON, ESPECIALLY
ON MANUFACTURING JOBS. ROB, SENATOR PORTMAN, HAS VISITED, AS HE
SAID, SOME 80 MANUFACTURING PLANTS IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, AND
HE SEES WHAT I SEE ON THESE SHOP FLOORS, THAT IF WE KEEP THESE
JOBS IN THE UNITED STATES, THESE MANUFACTURING JOBS, MUCH OF THE
INNOVATION WILL BE DONE ON THE SHOP FLOOR. WE'LL
CONTINUE TO LEAD THE WORLD IN INNOVATION; CONTINUE TO LEAD THE
WORLD IN JOB CREATION. THAT'S THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING WITH
SMALL, MEDIUM-SIZED, AND LARGE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. I --
I ALSO WOULD ADD THAT SENATOR PORTMAN ALREADY UNDERSTANDS THAT
OHIO'S THE HOME OF TWO MAJOR FEDERAL INSTALLATIONS: NASA GLENN
IN CLEVELAND AND WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE IN DAYTON. WE’RE
ALSO HOME TO THE BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE IN COLUMBUS, WHICH,
WHILE NOT A FEDERAL AGENCY, SERVES MUCH OF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT BY RUNNING THIS COUNTRY'S ENERGY LABS. THE SYNERGISM
AMONG THOSE THREE COUPLED WITH OHIO STATE AND
CASE WESTERN AND UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI - I MET TODAY
WITH UC PRESIDENT WILLIAMS OF SENATOR PORTMAN'S HOMETOWN –
PROMOTES INNOVATION AND HIGH-END MANUFACTURING AND
JOB CREATION. WHETHER IT'S USEC IN SOUTHERN OHIO OR
THE SOLAR INDUSTRY IN TOLEDO OR THE AUTO INDUSTRY IN THE NORTH
OR THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY ESPECIALLY IN SOUTHWEST BUT
THROUGHOUT THE STATE, THE KIND OF WORK WE DO WILL
ABSOLUTELY MATTER WHEN IT COMES TO PUTTING PEOPLE BACK
TO WORK AND CREATING
THE KINDS OF GOOD-PAYING INDUSTRIAL JOBS AND
GOOD-PAYING OTHER JOBS THAT OHIOANS ASPIRE TO.
THESE JOBS CREATE A STRONG AND VIBRANT MIDDLE CLASS.
I CONGRATULATE SENATOR PORTMAN. I YIELD THE FLOOR.
MR. PRESIDENT, I -- I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.
Sen. Brown’s legislative priorities for 2011 are:
1. Innovation: Brown’s top priority is creating jobs and creating an economic climate that ensures that U.S. manufacturers and small businesses can hire new workers, expand operations, and compete globally. Brown discussed how he is working to ensure Ohio is a national leader in innovative technologies and entrepreneurial success, including proposals to promote clean energy manufacturing, spur the development of business incubators, match 21st century jobs to skilled workers, and support the success of new business ventures. He also outlined the components of a “National Manufacturing Strategy” that he has discussed with the Obama Administration and he will discuss his proposal to extend tax credits for clean energy manufacturing and promote business incubators.
2. Education: In order to promote job creation and attract new employers to Ohio, Brown is working to ensure that federal workforce development initiatives help train workers for high-growth, regional industries. Brown discussed Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act, which would support the development of specialized workforce training programs at two-year colleges to meet the regional workforce needs of emerging industries. The bipartisan legislation addresses the disparity between high unemployment rates and a shortage of skilled workers for many emerging industries. Brown also discussed efforts to promote college affordability, protect students against unfair lending practices, and promote science and math education.
3. Infrastructure: Brown has held more than 160 community roundtable discussions in Ohio – including at least one in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. At nearly every roundtable, he’s heard—from business leaders, mayors, and economic development groups—about the importance of infrastructure in attracting employers and promoting economic growth. Brown discussed his Clean Water Affordability Act, which would protect communities from large rate hikes, and his efforts to create a National Infrastructure Bank.
4. Deficit Reduction: Brown is a strong supporter of efforts to reduce the deficit, but believes the budget should not be balanced on the backs of seniors. Brown discussed ways to reduce the deficit – including leading by example through a congressional pay freeze, reducing health care costs, and expanding federal revenue by increasing manufacturing output—while fighting efforts to cut Medicare or raise the retirement age for Social Security.
5. Reforming Government: Brown discussed efforts to promote more bipartisanship in Congress. Brown sat with his colleague Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) during the State of the Union Address. He also discussed his bipartisan work with Republican members of the Ohio Congressional Delegation. Tomorrow, he will cosponsor legislation that would repeal the automatic pay raise that Members of Congress receive each year.