Ohio lawmakers push to reopen federal government
House Democrats have pledged to vote to end the partial government shutdown on Thursday when they take control of the House of Representatives, but it's still unclear when the shutdown will end.
Lawmakers from Ohio in both parties said Wednesday they wanted to make a deal.
None of them said the funding for President Donald Trump's desired border wall was necessary for them to vote to reopen the government.
“We’re into the new year," said Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, the director of Political Studies at Cedarville University. "We have a new Congress coming into session tomorrow, so I think you’re going to start to see negotiations pick up. (Incoming) Speaker Pelosi has an agenda. She wants to deny Trump the border wall funding, as do all the Democrats. I think having clearly defined roles now will actually help the process a little bit.”
Both the House and Senate voted to continue funding the government before the holidays. Republican Senator Rob Portman and Republican Representatives Steve Stivers and Troy Balderson said in separate statements they wanted to find a compromise to fund border security and reopen the government.
“That’s a deal we can do unless the president wants to continue his sort of rant, tirade and temper tantrum on the wall," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D - Ohio). "A wall he promised Mexico would pay for. His campaign promise was to build the wall and to have Mexico pay for it. Now he’s asking for US taxpayers to be on the hook for $25-30 billion dollars to build this wall. I just don’t think it’s what the American public wants.”
Smith said historically presidents "win" shutdowns.
"The president has the bully pulpit," Smith said. "The president really commands the most media attention. The president of course has styled himself as a brilliant, almost once-in-a-lifetime sort of deal-maker. I think that also puts more pressure on himself to come through with an actual victory and actual result.”
Here are the statements we received from Republicans and Democrats from Central Ohio.
Rep. Steve Stivers (R - Upper Arlington) : “I continue to believe that we must pass a funding bill, which includes border security.
”While securing our border is extremely important, it should not come at the cost of neglecting the fundamental duty of keeping the lights turned on. I voted to keep the government open, but unfortunately, we went into a partial government shut down. I will continue to vote to fund government at every opportunity, and I hope the Senate can find a compromise.
”We must reopen the government as soon as possible, and all sides should give a little to make that happen.”
Rep. Troy Balderson (R - Zanesville) : “It is my hope that Democratic and Republican leadership in the House and Senate will work with the President to reach a compromise that provides the necessary resources to the Department of Homeland Security and ends this partial shutdown.”
Sen. Rob Portman (R - Ohio) from 12/22/18: “There is a way forward to both strengthen border security and reopen government and I hope the current negotiations are successful in doing just that. I support increasing funding to better secure our borders, including more fencing, other barriers, and more technology and surveillance along the border, as outlined both the president’s budget and the bipartisan spending bill that passed the Senate earlier this year. A continued partial government shutdown would result in less funding for the border and, as always happens with shutdowns, would result in more government spending since back pay and other expenses are paid once government reopens. In fact, I’ve introduced legislation to end government shutdowns for good and will continue to push to make that legislation the law of the land.”
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D - Columbus) : “On the first day of the new Democratic majority in the 116th Congress, my colleagues and I will pass legislation to fund the government and provide certainty for hardworking Americans negatively impacted by President Trump’s government shutdown. Right now, countless Central Ohioans and families across the nation are anxious—uncertain of when they will get their next paycheck, how they will pay their bills and afford their mortgage—and every passing day is costing our economy billions of dollars. I believe it is long past time for Republican leadership to put country over party, stand up to Trump, and finally get serious about working across the aisle to reopen the government.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D - Columbus) : “The Senate did its job and passed a funding bill unanimously. It’s time President Trump do his job and realize his temper tantrum is hurting real people. Employees at NASA Glenn in Cleveland are off the job, border agents are working without pay, and farmers and rural communities aren’t getting the support they need from the Department of Agriculture,” said Brown. “He’s also hurting the many Americans who earn their living as custodians keeping our public spaces clean or as food service workers serving the public. They provide government services, but too often they are contracted out. They are paid too little to begin with and when the government shuts down, they have no way of making up those lost hours or wages. These are the people President Trump is hurting, and it needs to stop.”