Republicans lukewarm to shutdown legislation

By Frank Lewis

October 18, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio-2) says Wednesday’s agreement to return the government to full operation does not go far enough.

“Today’s legislation doesn’t address our nation’s long-term spending problem and doesn’t fix the serious and fundamental problems within Obamacare. Both have negative consequences for Americans today and into the future, and Ohioans are gravely concerned about both. That’s why I do not support the legislation,” Wenstrup said. “The House of Representatives has fought and stands firm on the simple principles that everyone should be treated fairly under the law and that laws must be enforced as written. Unfortunately, President Obama, while refusing to come to the table and negotiate, continues to selectively enforce provisions of his own law while giving breaks to big business and Congress at the expense of individual Ohioans.”

After the government being shut down for 16 days, the Senate and House passed a bill Wednesday that would reopen the government and avert what has been described as a possible default on U.S. debt payments by raising the federal government’s debt limit.

The Senate voted 81-18 to pass the measure, and the House voted 285-144. The agreement, presented by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell funds the government through Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling through Feb. 7.

“I will continue to lead on the issues that Americans have always valued: liberty, the rule of law, fairness for all under the law, free markets, patient-centered healthcare that is accessible to everyone, and a strong national defense which supports our service members and veterans,” Wenstrup said.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was somewhat upbeat at the announcement.

“After weeks of Washington dysfunction, I am glad to see the government reopen and Congress working together to make sure we don’t default on our debts. I am also happy that my push for income verification to prevent fraud and abuse in the implementation of Obamacare and minimize the negative impact on Ohio families was part of the final agreement. This is a win for the American people,” Portman said. “Lurching from crisis to crisis is no way to rejuvenate America’s economy, and unfortunately, we do not have a long-term fix that will prevent another shutdown in January. In order to provide more certainty for our economy and government agencies and the families across the nation who rely on them, I will continue to fight for passage of my End Government Shutdowns Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure that Americans do not have the threat of a government shutdown hanging over their heads.”

Portman said there is still a need for more communication among the branches of government.

“Now that Congress has temporarily avoided this economic crisis, I am hopeful that President Obama will stick to his promise and come to the table. We’ve done our part, and now he must do his to negotiate on a path forward to deal with Washington’s underlying problem of overpromising and overspending that brought our nation to this boiling point in the first place,” Portman said. “My colleagues and I are here, ready and willing to negotiate on how to rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending on autopilot so that we not only prevent a future debt limit crisis in February, but also avoid putting a debt crisis on the backs of our children and grandchildren.”

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.