Government

Brown, Congressmen Begin New Terms

WASHINGTON – The three congressmen representing the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys and one of Ohio’s two U.S. senators were sworn in Thursday afternoon as members of the 116th Congress.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who was elected to a third six-year term in November, said the first order of business must be to reopen the government, and again called for an end to the ongoing government shutdown.

“I am grateful to the people of Ohio for giving me the opportunity to serve them, and I look forward to continuing our fight together to uplift the dignity of work and stand up for all workers. We need to start by reopening the government and getting thousands of workers in Ohio and across the country back on the job, and I’m calling on President Trump to end his shutdown immediately,” Brown said. “Then we need to work together to solve the pension crisis, lower health-care costs and raise wages for all workers.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, first elected in 2002, began his ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Reps. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, and Mike Kelly, R-3 Pa., each started their fifth term.

“It’s an honor and privilege to continue serving Ohio’s 13th District. Since my first day in our nation’s capital, I have been committed to fighting for the people in Northeast Ohio, and I will continue to do that every day,” Ryan said in a statement.

“We must rise above partisan politics and work together to solve our nation’s problems, while at the same time performing Congress’ constitutional duty to act as a check on the executive branch,” he continued. “As we begin a new term, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that no American is left behind. I look forward to the next two years as we move our nation forward and help families all across Ohio and the United States.”

Johnson said he is “humbled and honored” that the residents of his district again put their faith in him to represent them in Congress.

“I will continue to be a strong voice on their behalf, and I’ll do so by continuing to work with members of both parties. No one has a monopoly on good ideas, and my first question on legislation remains whether it will have a positive impact on those I represent,” he said.

His priorities remain bringing good-paying jobs to eastern and southeastern Ohio, revitalizing infrastructure, continuing the rural broadband build-out, ensuring national security is stronger than ever, “including border security,” and securing energy independence, Johnson said.

Said Kelly in his statement, “As with my past four terms in office, all of my work in Congress going forward will be guided by what is truly best for every hardworking family in western Pennsylvania. They can rest fully assured that their deeply held values, concerns and priorities will be represented each day I come to work.”

The previous Congress saw “historic legislative achievements and results for all Americans,” including “pro-growth tax cuts and common-sense deregulation,” rebuilding the nation’s military and combating the opioid crisis, Kelly said.

“As we embark on the 116th Congress, divided government will look different and present new challenges, but my job will remain exactly the same: passionately bringing western Pennsylvania’s voice to Washington, and never the other way around,” he continued. “It is my sincere hope that the House will work with the Senate and President Trump to build on the success of the recent past. Together, we owe it to the American people to stay focused on smart policies that make our country prosperous, job-filled, safe and free.”

Ryan, a member of the Democratic majority elected last November, voted for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reclaimed the post she held until the 2010 election when Republicans overtook Democrats in the House.

Johnson and Kelly voted for U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy for speaker.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.