Government

Ryan: Shutdown Harms Both Dems, GOP

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Democrats might see a “modest” political benefit from the federal government shutdown, but ultimately neither Democrats or Republicans are looking terribly good in the dispute, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said last night.

Ryan, D-13 Ohio, appeared on MSNBC’s “Kasie DC” shortly before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a vote will be held at noon today to approve a continuing resolution to fund the government through Feb. 8.

“Out in places like Ohio, people think that the whole thing is a mess, but the real issue is that Donald Trump is in charge and Republicans have the Senate and the House,” Ryan told host Kasie Hunt. “They’re responsible for getting those deals done.”

Ryan, who voted against the continuing resolution that passed the House of Representatives Thursday, said last night the shutdown is “hurting everybody” politically. A Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 48% blame Republicans and President Donald Trump for the shutdown, 28% blame Democrats and 18% blame both parties equally.

“I don’t think this is good for Democrats or Republicans. It’s ridiculous, so we have to figure it out, so I hope tonight we can come together,” Ryan said.

“At the end of the day, I think it will have a modest benefit for Democrats because Trump is this tremendous dealmaker who was supposed to come here and wave his magic wand, and he’s making matters worse,” he continued. “He’s blowing up a lot of these compromises that were already there so at the end of the day Democrats will get the benefit.”

The shutdown began at midnight Saturday. Over the weekend, Democrats and Republicans alike – and their allies – aggressively sought to position their parties and assign blame for the government shutdown. The GOP has branded it as “the Schumer shutdown,” after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, while Democrats are calling it “the Trump shutdown” in an attempt to tie it to the President.

Within hours of the shutdown, Trump’s political campaign released an ad accusing Democrats, who have called for addressing immigration reform as part of any deal, of being “complicit in every murder committed” by illegal immigrants.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, scheduled the noon vote after Schumer objected to a plan for a vote at 10 p.m. Sunday.

“The shutdown should stop today, and we’ll soon have a vote that will allow us to do exactly that,” McConnell said last night. “So let’s step back from the brink, let’s stop victimizing the American people and get back to work on their behalf.”

Despite the discussions underway, Schumer said both sides had yet to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

When the “Democratic filibuster of the government funding bill ends,” McConnell said, the “serious bipartisan discussions that have been going on” regarding issues such as military spending, disaster relief, health care, immigration and border security will continue.

“It would be my intention to resolve those issues as quickly as possible,” he said. Should they not be resolved by the time the continuing resolution expires Feb. 8, assuming the government remains open, he said he intended to proceed with legislation to address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, border security and related issues, as well as legislation regarding increased defense spending, disaster relief and other issues.

Both of Ohio’s U.S. senators lamented the shutdown yesterday.

Just before the announcement that a vote on a continuing resolution would be delayed until today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, introduced a motion to immediately reopen the government and let both parties work over the next three days on a long-term compromise, according to a statement from his office. It was met with objections from Republicans.

“There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to get this done. There’s no reason we can’t reopen the government right now,” Brown said in a statement from his office. “And there’s no reason we can’t strike a bipartisan compromise over the next few days to ensure we don’t end up right back here in three weeks.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, D-Ohio, called for passage of his bipartisan legislation, the End Government Shutdowns Act. In Ohio, he said, nearly 50,000 federal workers are seeing their paychecks halted, from park rangers to employees at NASA Glenn Research Center.

“The lesson of the 2013 shutdown is that they don’t work. I think they are a bad idea,” he said. “They are unnecessary disruptions. They hurt our economy, they hurt our families and our troops. Ultimately, they also cost the taxpayers more money, not less.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.