COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, who will retire after the 2022 election, says he will spend his final year in office working for bipartisan progress on Capitol Hill, focusing on cooperation at a time of contentious division going into Ohio’s midterm congressional elections.
Portman, who was first elected to the Senate in 2010, said the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package President Joe Biden signed into law Monday is proof that Republicans and Democrats can work together for the good of the country.
“We started with a bill that came to us from the administration that had high taxes in it and had a lot of non-infrastructure funding — so-called social infrastructure or human infrastructure,” Portman told NBC4. “We decided as a bipartisan group we would take out the core infrastructure only and take out the taxes and find a bipartisan solution, and it worked.”
Portman, 65, was also one of only a handful of Republicans who showed up this week for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s ceremonial signing.
“We did have to find other funding sources, we had hurdles along the way, but we kept together, and over a five-to-six-month period we were able to put together legislation that finally signed into law,” he said. “So, it was important not to just show up, but to make that point that bipartisanship can still work.”
Portman added he is optimistic a spending bill to keep the federal government running can be hammered out by the Dec. 3 deadline, but he is opposed to the larger and more costly Build Back Better plan from the Biden administration. And like all other Republicans, he said he will vote against it.
As for the infrastructure bill signed this week, Portman has a detailed breakdown on his Senate webpage on what it means for central Ohio.