We Need to Act or Get Thrown Out: Sen.-Elect Portman

The newly elected Congress needs to “get to work” to solve some of the country’s biggest problems or the American people will throw them out in two years, GOP Sen.-Elect Rob Portman of Ohio told CNBC Wednesday.

“There are some very specific parts we should be able to address in the next few years,” said Portman, who served in the House for 10 years and is a former director of the Office of Management and Budget. “We’ve got to: That’s what we were asked to do by the voters.”

Portman said he’s optimistic about what the new Congress can accomplish in the areas of employment, taxes, the economy, dealing with the deficit and health care.

He favors repeal of the health-care measure approved this year, because it raises costs.

“One of the things we Republicans haven’t focused on in this health-care debate is that businesses all over the state of Ohio and all over the country who are not hiring because of the increase cost of health care,” he said.

Portman said that there's common ground between Republicans and Democrats in many areas, especially in tax reform.