POLICASTRO: Senator Rob Portman is one of the Republicans here in Hershey, Pennsylvania for the Republican retreat – Senator, talk to me about what goes on behind closed doors.
PORTMAN: Well it’s an opportunity for us to talk about the agenda. So for instance, right now, the House and Senate are talking about our agenda to increase jobs, help to expand exports, how to deal with the Keystone XL Pipeline, which many of us think is really important to get to help keep energy prices down. So it’s an opportunity for us to talk together about how to coordinate to get that done. Of course, bills have to pass the House and the Senate, and then come up with a compromise between the two, so this is an opportunity for us to get in front of that. And, be sure that we’re taking advantage of this new majority and actually pass things that help the people that we represent.
POLICASTRO: How confident are you that Republicans are going to be able to join together this Congress to get more done, because there haven’t been a lot of bills passed in the past several years?
PORTMAN: Look, I’m excited about it. We’ve got a good start. The House already passed Keystone XL Pipeline, which adds more jobs, about 40,000 jobs according to the administration next year alone. But also, makes us more energy independent in North America, which is really important. And frankly, great for Ohio because we’ve got a lot of manufacturers in Ohio who create stuff – pipes, structural steel, monitors, compressors, and pumps, that go into the Keystone. So I’m encouraged by that, and hopeful that we’ll then move right on doing some other things to get the economy right on track.
POLICASTRO: OK, Senator Rob Portman at the Republican retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I’m Jacqueline Policastro.