Tags: | Portman | Congress | bipartisanship

Sen. Rob Portman: 'Common Ground' Possible on Keystone, Immigration

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 11:20 AM

Bipartisanship will prevail on several key issues if Republicans gain a majority in the Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections, said Sen. Rob Portman.

Republicans and Democrats could find agreement on legislation including approving the Keystone XL pipeline, lowering the business tax rate to keep companies from moving overseas, trade negotiation, and immigration reform, Portman explained.

"I think we can find common ground on some of these issues," the Ohio Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday. "With regard to the Keystone XL pipeline, and, by the way, I've talked about combining that with energy efficiency legislation, also some permitting legislation — all that's bipartisan. So, we have the opportunity to get to 60 votes in the Senate that are needed."

Portman said he hoped President Barack Obama would negotiate with lawmakers on energy legislation "in advance, so that he can have his input into it."

Business tax reform could be up for discussion, Portman said, since Obama had "talked about the fact that these companies are going overseas because our tax rate is the highest in the developed world."

"We need to lower that rate. And, when he says broaden the base, meaning getting rid of some of the loopholes and preferences, that's something Republicans can work with," Portman said.

On trade, Portman said it was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who held up legislation, even though Obama had expressed interest in negotiating new agreements. He suggested lawmakers could "have a good debate on that" if Republicans won a majority in the Senate.

Immigration reform was "something that we ought to do," Portman said, though changes should focus on "enforcement first." However, he maintained it was "possible to do it," and said there was "a lot of agreement on certain aspects of it."

Portman predicted voters would elect a Republican Senate "to change the status quo, to break the gridlock in Washington, hopefully, and get the president to the table."

"People feel worse about the country today than they did in 2010, when we had this wave election. By the way, the president's approval rating is also substantially lower than it was in 2010. So, both those things may play in favor of a Republican Senate," he said.

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Bipartisanship will prevail on several key issues if Republicans gain a majority in the Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections, said Sen. Rob Portman.
Portman, Congress, bipartisanship
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2014-20-04
Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 11:20 AM
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