Two of Portage County's three representatives in Congress will be serving on one of its most powerful committees, and the third also will be serving on a committee that plays an important role in the federal budget process.
Rep. Tim Ryan has been reappointed to the House Appropriations Committee, which he has served on for several years. Joining him on the panel will be Rep. David Joyce, who was elected to Congress to succeed Rep. Steve LaTourette.
The House Appropriations Committee sets the expenditures for the federal government. Having Ryan and Joyce on the panel helps increase Portage County's chances of receiving federal funding. Ryan was instrumental in obtaining $20 million in federal money for the Kent Central Gateway, the PARTA transit center, which was one of the key elements of downtown Kent's revitalization effort.
Ryan, a Democrat, represents most of Portage County, including Kent and Ravenna. Joyce, a Republican, represents the northern tier of the county, including Aurora. A portion of southwestern Portage is represented by Rep. Jim Renacci, a Republican.
Renacci has been named to the House Budget Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential nominee. That commitee also is an important one because it oversees the concurrent resolution on the federal budget, which is the financial blueprint for governmental operations.
While having Portage County divided among three House districts isn't ideal, it is good news to see all three of its representatives playing important roles in Congress. Regardless of whichever party controls Congress, it appears that Portage will remain on the radar in Washington.