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Sen. Rob Portman is backing a bill to end government shutdowns for once and for all.
Congresses - Portman - R-Ohio - Bill - Government
For five Congresses now, Portman, R-Ohio, has pushed a bill that would automatically renew government funding if Congress and the White House can’t reach a deal to pass appropriations bills by the beginning of the new fiscal year.
This year, he’s got a new partner in the fight: Rep. Troy Balderson, a Zanesville Republican, introduced a House version of the bill late Friday, just as the latest latest shutdown was coming to an end.
Bills - Repercussions - Congress - Spending - Bills
Their bills come with repercussions aimed at keeping Congress from just passing the same spending bills at last year’s levels without the sort of oversight that the Constitution requires.
After 120 days, if Congress still didn’t pass its spending bills, they’d reduce spending levels across the board by one percent.
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After 90 days, it would go down another one percent.
Idea - Portman - Threat - Congress
The idea, Portman said, is to provide a threat to motivate Congress to act.
Every Congress he introduces the bill. Every Congress it goes nowhere.
Year - Portman - Bill - Heels - Shutdown
But this year, Portman said, may be different: The bill was introduced on the heels of a 35-day-long shutdown that was the longest in the nation’s history.
There’s also a level of urgency: Congress has fewer than three weeks before the current agreement, which runs through Feb. 15, expires.
Portman - Idea - One - Support
But Portman’s idea is the one that seems to have the most support.
Portman had 18 cosponsors, all Republican, as of Friday and he expected to have 20 by the end of Monday. And Democratic interest is there. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have embraced the idea conceptually; whether that means they’ll support...
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