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Government and Politics

Tim Ryan says government shutdown will hurt Ohio businesses and the nation's defense
Department of Defense officials meet with manufacturers in Akron against the backdrop of the threatened shutdown

Mark Urycki
Democrat Ryan says House Republicans are pushing far past any mandate that voters gave them.
Courtesy of MARK URYCKI
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In The Region:
Business leaders from Akron and Youngstown gathered for a TechBelt Defense Expo today at the University of Akron. Northeast Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan warned that a looming government shutdown could hurt both Ohio defense contractors and the Department of Defense.
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Chambers of Commerce in Youngstown and Akron organized the Expo, touting the “tech belt” that ties research and manufacturing in the two cities. Defense Department officials and contractors were meeting to discuss how to do business. But Democrat Tim Ryan, a member of the minority party in the U.S. House, says if Republicans shut down the government this week in a tactic to defund Obamacare, it’ll hurt people and the manufacturers who build things for the military.

"The Department of Defense has taken some of the biggest hits because they contract with so many people.So to have the instability of  saying 'two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, a year.' ... the manufacturers who do business with the Department of Defense, they have no clue of what the world looks like from week-to-week and that’s no way to run a railroad.”

Ryan says the Defense Department is already under constraints due to a half-trillion dollar cutback that was doubled by the sequestration deal. 

Elana Broitman of the Department of Defense says the government is looking to the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown as a model for public-private research partnerships. NAMII, which specializes in 3D printing, was the first such advanced-manufacturing institute in the country and it was touted by President Obama during his State of the Union Address in January. Ryan worries that sequestration cuts combined with a threatened government shutdown could slow down such advances and harm the Ohio economy.

“Every single day we’re missing opportunities. You see it here with businesses that want to invest. You’re seeing public/private partnerships that aren’t happening that could really help stimulate the economy in a big way. Whether it’s alternative energy or additive manufacturing, or computer software, roads and bridges, or bike trails and parks and quality of life things we need to reinvest in -- none of this is happening.”     

Broitman told the gathering that the Defense Department doesn’t want to let manufacturing skills go dormant during defense cutbacks or the country may not get them back again.

Ryan says Republicans are using the power they have in the House to make big cuts in government but he called last week’s vote to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program “extreme.” 

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