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The Wall Street Journal: Portman: Four Things a GOP Senate Could Do Quickly

By Janet Hook | September 11, 2014

Sen. Rob Portman (R.,Ohio), trying to counter Democrats’ painting of the GOP as a party of “no,” said Thursday that he believed there were at least four things that the Senate could approve quickly if Republicans take control of the Senate this fall. Ticking them off in a breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Mr. Portman identified these areas of “common ground:”

1. The Keystone XL pipeline. Support for the pipeline has been growing among red-state Democrats and when a nonbinding measure endorsing the project came to a vote in March 2013, the vote was 62-37 with 27 Democrats voting with all Republicans.

2. Trade promotion authority. A measure backed by President Barack Obama to give him more power negotiate international trade agreements is believed to enjoy bipartisan support. But the bill is politically difficult for some Democrats because it splits business and labor constituencies, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.Nev.) has said it will not come to a vote before the election.

3. Easing regulation. Mr. Portman mentioned as an example legislation to require more stringent cost-benefit analysis before federal regulations are issued.

4. Tax reform. Members of both parties as well as the White House have long talked a good game about rewriting the complex tax code to make it simpler and fairer. Despite bipartisan interest, it is so complex that it is hard to imagine it passing the Senate quickly.

Read the full article here: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/09/11/portman-four-things-a-gop-senate-could-do-quickly/

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