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Georgetown recognizes Portman, Capito, McKinley for bipartisan efforts

WASHINGTON — Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia were ranked in the Top 10 in the Bipartisan Index by the Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

The annual index measures how much senators and representatives cross party lines on legislation.

All Republicans, Portman was ranked 4th and Capito was ranked 7th in the Senate. McKinley was ranked 10th in the House of Representatives, according to the index.

Ohio Rep. Bill Johnson and West Virginia Reps. Alex Mooney and Carol Miller, all Republicans, were ranked 281st, 393rd and 310th, respectively, in the House. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was ranked 27th and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, was ranked 59th.

In the previous ranking, Portman was 2nd, Capito was 3rd, Manchin was 25th, Brown was 58th, McKinley was 11th, Johnson was 149th and Mooney was 331. Miller was elected in 2018.

“The people of West Virginia’s First District did not hire me to just represent one party in Congress. They wanted someone who would work across the aisle to achieve results on the issues that impact them, and that is how I have sought to lead,” McKinley said.

“Our office has worked with members from both parties to find solutions to combat the opioid epidemic, expand access to healthcare, lower prescription drug costs, spur job creation and economic development, and protect miners’ pensions and healthcare,” he said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our efforts, and we look forward to continue working in a bipartisan manner.”

Portman finds common ground with colleagues, Emmalee Kalmbach, a spokesman for Portman, said.

“And this is a reflection of that,” she said. “Whether it’s responding to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic or continuing to secure funding to combat the addiction epidemic, he’s been able to navigate a challenging political environment and deliver results for the people of Ohio.”

West Virginia comes first in the decision-making process, according to Capito.

“I have always conducted my work as a U.S. Senator with the intention of bringing a strong voice for the Mountain State and advancing legislation that benefits my constituents and the country as a whole. I always strive to honor that commitment,” she said. “I’m proud to have good relationships with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and I will continue to work in a bipartisan way to find real and meaningful solutions that better the lives of all West Virginians.”

Not counting non-binding or ceremonial bills, the index is a measure of the frequency when a member of Congress introduces bills that are co-sponsored by lawmakers in the other party and how often they co-sponsor legislation from a member of the opposite party. It is a quantitative report without subjective analysis.

“Many functions and decisions within Congress remain bitterly partisan, especially those pitting the leadership of the parties against one another,” Dan Diller, Lugar Center Policy director, said. “Yet the Bipartisan Index continues to find an undercurrent of bipartisan cooperation between individual members of Congress on introducing and co-sponsoring legislation.”

The most bipartisan senator was Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. The most bipartisan in the House was Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.

The least bipartisan in the House was Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., and the least in the Senate was Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran for the Democratic Party nomination for president before he dropped out of the race.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.

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