Ohio's Republican Senator Acknowledges Trump's Tweet About A 'Good' Shutdown Was Unsettling

May 2, 2017

Ohio's Republican Sen. Rob Portman says he still hopes to work with the Trump administration on tax and regulatory overhauls.
Credit SCREEN CAPTURE

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman acknowledges he was unsettled by President Donald Trump’s Tweet today calling for a “good” government shutdown. But, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, Portman says he’s trying to focus on the policies, not what he calls “the noise.”

Portman says he generally agrees with Arizona Sen. John McCain, who suggested people should be watching what the Trump administration does rather than what it says – or what President Trump tweets.

“I want to work with this administration to reform the tax code, to deal with the outdated regulatory system we talked about, to address the opioid crisis. ... So there are things that I’m working with them closely on and that are good for Ohio and good for our country. But, yeah, some of the messages are confusing.”

That includes the latest Trump’s tweet calling for a federal government shutdown this fall so Congress passes his spending priorities.

 

Last week, Portman introduced a bill that would permanently prevent government shutdowns. He says the 2013 shutdown cost the U.S. economy $20 billion. 

Pressing the White House to move on CARA
Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman says the federal budget passed this week addresses one of his chief concerns: the battle against opioids.

The budget allots $36 million more to Portman’s Comprehensive Recovery and Addiction act than even he expected and fully funds an earlier addiction bill.

Portman says the priority now is implementation.

“The challenge with CARA now frankly is to get the administration to get the programs u and running because only three out of the eight programs have been implemented, and I continue to push the White House to do so."

President Obama signed CARA last year. It includes funding for prevention and education. It also expands access to Naloxone and medication-assisted and other treatments, funds recovery support programs, and includes criminal justice reform and prescription drug monitoring.

Celebrating other parts of the budget
Ohio’s Democratic and Republican senators are celebrating the good news they see for Ohio in the 2017 federal budget approved this week. That includes continued funding to clean up and protect the Great Lakes.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman says the budget includes a half-dozen allocations that are especially important to Ohio. It fully funds NASA Glenn, sets aside extra money for the opioid battle and continues $300 million for Great Lakes restoration, which President Trump’s budget proposal would have eliminated. Portman notes the Great Lakes cleanup also faced cuts under President Obama.

He says with fewer than a dozen states bordering the lakes, many people don’t understand their significance.

“It’s a matter of educating people and explaining that this is a national treasure. This is the greatest source of fresh water in the country and maybe the world, and what happens in the Great Lakes affects all of us. But it’s not frankly a surprise to me that we’ve got to make that case continually."

The budget also includes money to clean up the Piketon uranium enrichment site and to ensure retired coal miners get healthcare.