Portman wants to reopen the government

Introduced legislation yearly to end shutdowns since 2010

YOUNGSTOWN — U.S. Sen. Rob Portman couldn’t escape questions about the government shutdown while on a bus tour of downtown Youngstown with community leaders Friday afternoon.

Portman, R-Ohio, gave some insight into the shutdown before hopping on a bus to tour the future autonomous bus route.

“I’m confident that we’ll solve the government shutdown one way or another. I think we’ll get there, it’ll be okay,” said Portman. “Honestly, it’d be nice to have some certainty on that.”

Portman thanked those workers who are continuing to work without pay and wants to reopen the government quickly to make sure those workers get paid.

Portman is part of nine senators co-sponsoring legislation that would end government shutdowns.

The End Government Shutdowns Act would ensure essential government services aren’t disrupted by creating an automatic continuing resolution for any regular appropriations bill or existing continuing resolution, keeping the federal government open when budget negotiations falter before key spending deadlines.

The legislation would create the resolution for spending bills not done by Oct. 1 and then after the first 120 days, funding in the resolution would be reduced by 1 percent and 1 percent again every 90 days thereafter until Congress finalizes spending legislation.

Portman has introduced the legislation every year since he was elected to the Senate in 2010.

“I don’t like them, I don’t think they make sense, and they dont help the taxpayers. I’m told that it could happen relatively quickly, probably with the president invoking some sort of a national emergency order with regard to the border, maybe within a couple of days,” Portman said.

Portman added that the wall President Donald Trump wants to build on the border of Mexico is more of a fence and that both sides have supported more fencing and barriers in the past. Portman spent that last few days in D.C. in an effort to bring both sides together for a compromise.

Although he was unsuccessful, he said he will not give up.

“This shouldn’t keep us from reopening the government and moving forward,” he said.