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Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman Decry Threat Of Government Shutdown

J. Scott Applewhite
Associated Press

The clock is ticking towards a federal government shutdown as Congress has yet to approve a spending bill. The main point of contention is the allotment of $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The U.S. House on Thursday approved a new funding measure that included border wall funding, but it’s unlikely to pass a vote in the U.S. Senate. In a tweet early Friday, Trump threatened that “there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has been a vocal critic of shutdowns, and even introduced a bill that would take shutdowns off the table in future budget negotiations. While he acknowledges the border wall has become a wedge to both sides, Portman is hopeful legislators can find a middle ground.

“There has to be some sort of a compromise where we would have some kind of border security be increased and you can still avoid shutting down government,” Portman said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) equated Trump’s stance to a temper tantrum.

“While the Senate did its job and unanimously passed a bill to keep the government open, President Trump instead chose to throw a temper tantrum,” Brown said. “The president says he wants border security yet he’s forcing border agents to work without pay over the holidays, he’s harming farmers who need FSA offices and food banks that rely on USDA over the holidays, and he’s hurting working Americans who expect elected leaders to do their jobs.”

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.