Ryan and Portman sound off on shutdown

Local Congressional officials were slow to release statements over the volleying of the votes on the spending bill aimed at keeping the government from shutting down today, both sides playing hot potato with the buzzer set to go off at midnight.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, ex-pressed his disapproval early with the back and forth over the bill.

“My colleagues and I were not sent to Washington to play political games, we were sent here to govern,” he said, “These Republican extremists have held the U.S. government hostage and wasted both time and money by obstructing a law that was passed over three years ago, signed by the president and deemed Constitutional by the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Rob Portman, R, Ohio, voted Monday afternoon against the tabling of amendments tacked onto the spending bill by the House of Representatives. Amendments tacked onto the bill included canceling subsidies for lawmakers and changes in contraceptive coverage and general disapproval of President Obama’s health care law.

Portman’s vote was outnumbered, though, and the bill with amendments removed was sent back to the House. He expressed disapproval with the branches’ inability to agree, which continued to bring the nation to the brink of shutting down as Monday night wore on.

“Government shutdowns tend to lead to hasty, budget-busting deals and also add unpredictability for the economy, government agencies and for the people who rely on government programs. Given the majority’s unwillingness to even allow us to vote on my bill to do away with the threat of government shutdown, or to even allow us to vote on amendments to have government live within bipartisan spending limits created just two short years ago, I can’t vote to move this forward and will oppose cloture.”

With the bill being seen twice by both branches before 11 p.m. Monday and still no resolution being made, the time ticked away to keep the government from shutting down.

“The solution is plain and simple,” Ryan said, “we must pass a clean continuing resolution to fund the government and put these petty differences aside for the better good of the United States of America.”

Ryan voted against new amendments to the bill in the House, but was ultimately outnumbered as the bill was returned to the Senate at 8:40 p.m. The Senate quickly removed the amendments before sending the bill back to the House around 9:30 p.m.