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Government and Politics

Ohio's Kaptur and Portman weigh in on budget deal
Both expect progress this week, but Kaptur says a food-stamp extension should be part of the deal

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair

A new federal budget deal is expected to be completed this week, with relatively limited compromises on spending cuts and fee hikes. WKSU’s Jeff St. Clair has more on the expectations of some of Ohio’s congressional delegation.

LISTEN: St. Clair on the budget deal

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Ohio’s Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman sits on the committee charged with coming up with the deal, and told ABC’s This Week that several concerns are paramount to him.

“The key that we not have another government shutdown, that we do keep the spending caps in place, that we don’t raise taxes at a time when the economy is still weak. And I think we can accomplish that over the next couple days.”

The compromises would ease back on the sequester, cut federal employee pensions and raise airline passenger and other fees.

Democrats are apparently backing off a push to extend long-term unemployment benefits. But Rep. Marcy Kaptur – whose district stretches from Cleveland to Toledo – says the expiration of the benefits should concern Ohio.

“What a terrible thing for families that have not been able to reposition because the jobs still haven’t been created at a level that everybody goes back to work. So what are you going to do, have another group of Americans go bankrupt and lose their homes? How does that help anything.”

The budget deal does not address changes in Social Security and Medicare. It does ease the sequestor’s impact  -- especially on defense. 

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