Reps. Renacci & Carney Discuss Bipartisan Effort They are Leading in the House to Create Jobs


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ripon Society hosted a breakfast discussion yesterday morning with Republican Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16) and Democratic Rep. John Carney (DE-AL), who spoke about the bipartisan working group they are leading and their mutual interest in finding common ground on some of the most pressing challenges facing America, including job creation. 

“I consider John to be a close friend and an ally even though he is on the other side of the aisle,” Renacci stated. “Together, we have been able to form a bipartisan working group. And we hope to continue to grow this group on the idea that as long as we have a common goal, we should be able to work together to get something accomplished.” To that end, Renacci noted that he and Carney have introduced The Flexibility to Promote Reemployment Act, a bill that would encourage job creation by providing states with more flexibility to help unemployed individuals collect paychecks instead of benefit checks. 

The measure would amend The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 by giving states greater latitude to use federal unemployment insurance funds in such areas as worker retraining programs. According to Renacci, the bill is in part the result of his first-hand experience as a successful entrepreneur. “There were unemployed people walking into my business saying, ‘I’d like to have a job,’” he recalled. “They were on long term 99-week unemployment and would ask: ‘What’s the pay?’ I would tell them, and they would say, ‘That’s okay – I’ll come back in 55 weeks.’ And I thought this was a little bit ridiculous. We should be using these dollars to train people, instead.” 


Renacci is a Certified Public Accountant who, over the course of a 30-year career, has owned and operated over 60 entities, created more than 1,500 jobs and employed over 3,000 people. He points to his business background as the spark that fuels his interest in bipartisanship and putting aside political differences to achieve a common goal. 

Carney said he brings a similar approach to the job, one that he also said owes as much to the state he comes from as any position he’s ever held. 

“In Delaware, there is an expectation that Democrats and Republicans will work together,” he stated. “We have a tradition called ‘Return Day.’ It’s held on the Thursday after the Tuesday election every two years in the county seat of Georgetown. We have this great celebration, and at the end of it, there’s a ceremony where the Republican and Democratic chairmen gather on a podium. They take a hatchet and put it in a box, and then they actually bury the hatchet with sand from Dewey Beach. Obviously, it’s symbolic. But the idea is simple. We’re Democrats and Republicans, yes. But before anything else, we’re Delawareans.” 


Carney has spent over 20 years in public service working for the people of Delaware. Prior to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010, he served as Secretary of Finance and Deputy Chief of Staff under then-Governor Tom Carper, and was twice elected Lieutenant Governor of the state. When asked after his remarks about the seeming inability of Washington to approve small but important reforms, Carney pointed to the reemployment measure he was supporting with Renacci as a way Congress could reverse this trend. 

“It’s a very pragmatic way to help small businesses bring employees back and give them on-the-job training as opposed to getting the check and just sitting at home,” he said. “It’s also something we’ve worked on together that would really make a difference.” 

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.