With support of most Ohio Republicans, U.S. House OKs spending bill to avert government shutdown


With the support of Republicans Mike Turner of Dayton, Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington, and Troy Balderson of Zanesville, the U.S. House overwhelmingly approved Thursday the final version of a spending bill, which will keep the federal government open until the end of September.

The House passed the measure just hours after Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown joined 81 other senators to approve the same bill. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill, which will prevent the second partial shutdown of the federal government for the year.

The Senate passed the bill 83-16 while the House approved it by a vote of 300-128.

Among Ohio Republicans, Stivers, Balderson, Turner, Anthony Gonzalez of Rocky River, Brad Wenstrup of Cincinnati, Bob Gibbs of Lakeville, Bill Johnson of Marietta, and David Joyce of Russell Township supported the bill while Republicans Jim Jordan of Urbana, Warren Davidson of Troy, Steve Chabot of Cincinnati and Bob Latta of Bowling Green opposed it.

Democrats Joyce Beatty of Columbus, Marcia Fudge of Cleveland, Marcy Kaptur of Toledo and Tim Ryan of Niles supported the bill.

It would finance the operations of nine federal agencies through the end of September, provide $1.4 billion to build a 55-mile barrier along the Mexican border, and allocate another $22.5 billion for additional security measures aimed at curbing illegal immigration.

Portman said he was “pleased” that Trump planned to sign the bill, adding he “supported this bill because it takes important steps in the right direction on border security and because it avoids another government shutdown.”

“I’ve said repeatedly that the president has a responsible plan to strengthen our border security,” Portman said. “This is the most funding that has ever been provided by Congress in a single year on barrier construction. We need to do more, but this is a positive step forward.”

Trump has vowed to declare a national emergency on the border, which would allow him to spend money from other accounts, including the defense budget.

Portman said, “I agree with the president that we have a crisis on our southern border and that we need additional barriers and fencing. As I have said before, I would prefer we work together to find a legislative solution instead of declaring a national emergency that will likely be tied up in the courts.”

But Brown said, “Any effort to take funding away from our military to support the president’s vanity project is reckless and irresponsible.”

Ryan denounced Trump for considering a national emergency, saying “we aren’t going to solve this through an executive overreach.”