PROGRESS? IN CONGRESS?

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It may be Friday but at least a couple of Ohio’s elected officials aren’t starting the weekend early.

This morning, Dennis Kucinich introduced an amendment to the health-care bill to the House Committee on Education and Labor that would allow individual states to institute single-payer programs if they chose to. And for those who try to claim Dennis never gets anything done, the amendment passed 25-19 with 12 Democrats (including 11th District Congresswoman Marcia Fudge) and 13 Republicans (remember they used to be big on states’ rights?) voting for it.

Progressive Democrats of America has the story:

The amendment now has to pass scrutiny of the full House and Senate. But it’s a start: If one brave state takes the plunge (Ohio?), who knows where it might lead. Canada’s universal coverage began in a single province.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherrod Brown posted a column today at Huffington Post advocating for a coordinated national policy to retain manufacturing-sector jobs and create new ones, and to revise trade agreements that have cost Ohio hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in the last couple of decades.

He says, “Later his month, I'll be introducing the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment (TRADE) Act, which would ensure our trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, South Korea, or with any nation create a level playing field for U.S. manufacturing.”

That will be music to the ears of Ohioans, who have shown an understandable distaste of NAFTA, CAFTA and similar free-trade deals, and elected Brown in large part because of his opposition to them.

Don’t say we’re not getting our money’s worth from these guys. — Anastasia Pantsios

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