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Portman supports Obama hiring Jay Williams

Thursday, March 31, 2011

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman supports having Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams join the President Barack Obama administration.

The mayor is being considered as the nation’s auto czar.

Portman said today that he has “a concern” that the president appoints policy czars without having them meet with and be confirmed by the U.S. Senate like cabinet members.

But Portman, a Republican, said he hopes the president and his advisers could convince Williams, a Democrat, to join the administration in some other capacity because it “would be great for Ohio and the Mahoning Valley.” Portman also said Williams would be a great asset to the administration.

In October, Williams confirmed he’d been contacted by the White House for the position. While he is still under consideration, Williams has declined to discuss the issue since.

House Republicans approved an amendment to a bill in February to eliminate the salaries of the nine policy czars. Senate Democrats criticized the legislation and want to maintain funding for the positions.

For the complete story, read Friday’s Vindicator and