In midterm elections Nov. 2, Republicans shifted the balance of control in Congress by winning the House and increasing their presence in the Senate. Two significant Republican victories involve the plastics industry.
John Boehner from Ohio, who has served as House minority leader since 2007, in January will replace Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as speaker of the House. In his pre-political career, Boehner was president of Nucite Sales LP, a small Cincinnati distributor of plastics and packaging products.
In the Senate, Ron Johnson, a newcomer to politics with Tea Party support, unseated Democrat Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. Johnson is president of sheet extruder Pacur LLC in Oshkosh, Wis.
John Engler, president of the Washington-based National Association of Manufacturers, said Johnson really grasps NAM's message. In a Nov. 3 teleconference, Engler also praised Boehner, who he said will be a strong voice for manufacturing and understands industry's priorities.
Boehner has done a good job he said, and will have better command and control than Pelosi.
One thing I'm excited about is the fresh look in Congress, Engler said, referring to smarter, younger, talented people taking charge. We think it's a good time for manufacturing and a good time for us to move forward.
Regarding Johnson, Bill Carteaux, president and CEO of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in Washington, said, I am particularly pleased to welcome one of our own to the Senate Wisconsin's Ron Johnson. His victory was one of several where the candidate who best appreciates U.S. manufacturing's challenges was elected.
Carteaux also pointed to the election to the Senate of Repulicans Rob Portman from Ohio, Rob Kirk of Illinois and Mark Coats of Indiana; and the re-election of Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., as other examples.
Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, also said the many Republican wins will benefit business.
Today Americans sent a powerful message to Washington: Focus on job creation and economic growth, Donohue said in a Nov. 2 news release. Voters have resoundingly rejected more government spending, higher taxes and more burdensome regulations that have caused crippling uncertainty for businesses.
In a plastics-related win at the state level, Republican Bill Schuette is back in public office, winning the race for Michigan attorney general. Schuette is a former congressman, state senator, state agriculture department director and state Court of Appeals judge. His step-father was chairman and his father was a vice president and general manager at Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich.