Lawmakers react to shutdown deal

Published 7:18 am Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Longest in U.S. history; Had been going on since Dec. 22

WASHINGTON — Members of Ohio’s delegation to Congress reacted to the news of a deal reached Friday to end the federal government shutdown.

President Donald Trump announced he would agree to legislation that would re-open the government for three weeks.

The shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, had been going on since Dec. 22, as the president refused to sign funding legislation unless it included $5 billion for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, one of his signature issues during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Democrats, who have controlled the House of Representatives since winning the 2018 midterms, said they would not agree to the funding.

The deal, which does not include wall funding, also calls for bipartisan commission to study funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as border issues.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, hailed the short-term deal, while lawmakers worked on a long-term solution.

“President Trump’s announcement to re-open the part of the federal government that is shut down represents a step in the right direction,” Johnson said in a news release. “However, the main sticking point on funding for selective physical barriers on our southern border still remains. I am hopeful this bipartisan group will seize this opportunity to work together to reach a deal whereby Americans get both border security and a federal government that works for them.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said the president’s actions prior to the deal had harmed federal workers.

“The President decided to do his job 35 days too late, after inflicting a world of unnecessary pain on workers across this country – all for a border wall he promised Mexico would pay for,” Brown said in a news release. “We must take action to ensure all workers get the paychecks they are owed, including janitorial, food service, and other contract workers who have been hurt by the President’s shutdown.”

While U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, spoke in support of the deal.

“I support the approach the President has outlined,” Portman said in a news release. “For the last several weeks, I have worked with both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate along with the Administration to reopen the government and address the President’s request for additional border security measures.”