Big Changes in Store for Ohio Congressional Delegation
Prospects for new and returning Ohio Representatives in the 110th Congress are discussed today in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Columbus Dispatch. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), who will be both the longest-serving woman and the longest-serving Democrat from Ohio, will probably head an Appropriations subcommittee. She pledged to work with Republicans to gain federal money for Ohio to keep the state from being "outgunned by places like California, Texas and Florida," and to "restore attention being paid to all regions of Ohio, including the areas that have been so heavily impacted by job washout." Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland) looks to head up a Ways and Means subcomittee, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland) is angling to lead a Government Reform subcommittee in charge of national security and international relations. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles), who reportedly has a close relationship to apparent Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), wants to join Kaptur on the Appropriations Committee, or take one of the seats on the Energy and Commerce Committee being vacated by senator-elect Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) and governor-elect Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon).
The Republican members of the Ohio delegation are going to lose a lot of stature. Rep. John Boehner (R-West Chester) will no longer be majority leader, although he has indicated that he will seek to be minority leader, and Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) has announced that she will relinquish her leadership role as chair of the House Republican Conference (assuming she is even still around after the final vote count). Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Dublin) will no longer be Deputy Majority Whip or chair the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee. Ralph Regula (R-Navarre) sustains a major blow in losing his leadership of the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health, Human Services and Education funding, which has the largest domestic discretionary budget at $140 billion. Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Concord Township), who boasts frequently about his prowess in bringing federal money to his district, will be doing a lot less of that when he no longer chairs a Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee. "There’s no way to sugarcoat it — it’s a huge loss in clout," said Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Genoa Township), who wants to move to a seat on the Ways and Means committee but as a member of the minority can't chair a subcommittee.