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Sen. Sherrod Brown talks politics, economics
When new Republican members of Congress are elected, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown does more than welcome his new Ohio counterparts – he sits down with them to talk about how to improve Ohio.
“I think we have a more cooperative attitude and relationship in Ohio than most states do,” Brown said during a recent taping of Town Hall Ohio where he talked about politics, the state’s economy and the upcoming farm bill.
Brown said during the show that while Ohio is losing congressional seats because of low population growth, it still has a strong representation in Congress with the speaker of the House from Ohio and two senators “who work well together.”
He said the U.S. government has become “too dysfunctional” because the two main political parties, executive branch, judicial branch and legislative branch are not working well together and are constantly criticizing each other.
“We all criticize the government, we all criticize our colleagues and we all criticize our opponents. Is it anywonder that people think the government doesn’t deliver?” he asked.
The economic downturn also has made voters more jaded, and the next president will probably come down to “whom to trust to lead this country through hard times.”
“Voters will continue to hold their nose and vote against somebody more than for somebody, and that’s what American politics is too much about now,” he said.
Brown, who is the first Ohio senator in 40 years to serve on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, said Congress wants to get an early start this year on writing the new farm bill and getting itimplemented. He praised the process of having legislators meet with farmers in roundtable discussions to talkabout their concerns in the agriculture industry and proposed changes by the government.
“Farmers are business people and don’t want to rely on the government. They want a safety net if prices are too low or yields too low,” Brown said. “They want a way that if things go badly, they have some protections. Farmers want to be as self reliant as possible.”
The senator said Ohio is starting to make an economic turnaround with job growth over the past year. He praised the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and agriculture industry for their work in advancing new technologies and creating new jobs.
“Five years from now, I see a different state – a better state. A state that weathers recessions better than it has the last 30 to 40 years,” he said.
Photo credit: Photo by Seth Teter