U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who represents the 17th District stretching from Youngstown through Portage County, announced Wednesday his reappointment to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations.
Ryan said sitting on the committee, which sets the expenditures for the federal government, puts the region in position to build on ongoing initiatives to increase funding for research, manufacturing and education.
"Even in tough deficit talks and tough budget times, there's still a lot of money that gets invested by the federal government," he said in a conference call Wednesday. "By being on the committee you're in a really key position to align the local interests with where the money is down here, so it's a big benefit even in tough budget times."
Newly elected U.S. Rep. David Joyce, who in November won 14th District seat vacated by Steve LaTourette, also was appointed to the appropriations committee, and Ryan said he's looking forward to working with him.
"I knew David when I was a state senator in Geauga County, he's a nice guy," Ryan said. "I think being on that committee in a bipartisan way really helps us cover a lot of the bases because David can work the Republican side, I can work the Democratic side. With the Democratic administration and the Republican House, it's very important to have those kinds of relationships."
Ryan also gave his perspective on the fiscal cliff showdown on Capitol Hill, and what could happen if an agreement isn't reached before the looming year-end deadline.
"It could potentially lead to a double-dip recession, so it is a serious thing we're talking about here, but I don't think there's going to be an immediate withdrawal," he said, adding that programs across the board, including funding for infrastructure, Pell Grants, Community Development Block Grants and women's health care will take hits. "These are key investments that we need to make as a country and to say, 'Well, we're going to cut them all immediately' in the short term, in a very fragile economic time isn't very wise."
Ryan said in order to reach a deal, Republican and Tea Party conservatives need to cut their losses and bring serious, specific cuts to the negotiation table.
"They're going to fall on the sword protecting the Warren Buffets of the world, all while we potentially go off the fiscal cliff, and it's a completely irresponsible act on their part," he said. "They need to actually do the mature thing and make some honest proposals."
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Drunk drivers like Tim Ryan should not even be in Congress, much less appointed to the Appropriations Committee.