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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

OH-02: A Strange Twist

Posted by DavidNYC

The special election in Ohio's second district can't be scheduled, as I understand things, until Rep. Rob Portman actually gets confirmed as trade rep and steps down from his House seat. The committee responsible for his nomination approved him unanimously, but now there's a bit of a hold-up:

But Sen. Evan Bayh, an Indiana Democrat, has placed a "hold" on the nomination. This could block Portman from being confirmed in time to represent the United States at a trade meeting early next week in Paris.

Bayh wants Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, to schedule a vote on a China trade bill strongly supported by U.S. manufacturers and many other lawmakers in exchange for dropping his hold.

The bill Bayh is pushing would allow the Commerce Department to put duties on Chinese imports to offset government subsidies. That could encourage U.S. companies to file a flood of cases charging China with subsidizing exports. (Emphasis added.)

This is definitely an interesting move by Bayh, and if I wanted to, I suppose I could also label this a post on the 2008 presidential election. I have to believe that the DLC - a group with which Bayh, moreso than almost any other elected Democrat today, energetically associates himself - opposes this kind of "protectionism." Maybe I'm wrong on that specific detail, but nonetheless, this strikes me as a sort of economically populist move designed to showcase Bayh's bona fides for the sake of certain parts of the Dem base.

As for Ohio's second, this procedural move by Bayh could delay the special election there - for how long, I'm not certain. I have a feeling that Portman won't be made to cool his heels for very long, but if Bayh is tenacious (and this could get him exactly the kind of press he's hoping for), then maybe the nomination will get put on hold for a while. And Frist has shown himself to be an incompetent parliamentarian - I wouldn't be surprised if Bayh could deviously outsmart him on this one.

Posted at 04:37 PM in 2005 Elections, 2008 President - Democrats, Ohio | Technorati


It's an interesting scenario and I hope he gets his bill passed.

Posted by: Daniel [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2005 09:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment