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Democratic Congress will boost clout of Ohio Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Tim Ryan

November 8, 2018

Democratic Congress will boost clout of Ohio Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Tim Ryan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Northeast Ohio Congress members Marcy Kaptur and Tim Ryan are in line to head a pair of plum subcommittees when Democrats take charge of the U.S. House of Representatives next year.

Currently, they’re both senior members of the House Appropriations Committee, which makes the nation’s funding decisions. Right now, Ryan is the top Democrat on its subcommittee that funds the government’s legislative branch, and Kaptur is the top Democrat on its subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies.

They’re likely to chair those subcommittees when their party takes control, which would give them huge sway over how federal money is spent. Chairs of those subcommittees are known as “cardinals” because of their clout.

“It is a big deal that we will control two of the 12 subcommittees,” said Ryan, whose subcommittee funds entities including the Library of Congress and the U.S. Capitol Police.

The portfolio that Kaptur’s subcommittee supervises is particularly diverse and relevant to Ohio. It includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees construction projects on waterways such as the Great Lakes, as well as the Appalachian Regional Commission, which promotes economic growth in a region that includes parts of Ohio. The subcommittee also funds the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and the nation’s nuclear waste cleanup efforts.

If confirmed as the subcommittee’s chair, Kaptur said she’d use the post to boost infrastructure funding, promote U.S. independence from foreign energy sources and limit nuclear proliferation. She also said she’d like to modernize and broaden a federal programs that’s helped weatherize 28,000 homes in Ohio since 2010, so it will cover fixes like roof repairs.

She also said she’d like to conduct hearings on the proposed shutdown of nuclear plants around the country, including Ohio’s Perry and Davis-Besse facilities, and examine the impact the closures will have “not just tomorrow, but 25 years from now.”

“Basically, the administration has told us this is a private sector decision, but we need to look at what consequences this will have for the nation,’ said Kaptur.

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