Democrats and Republicans react to president’s decision to end shutdown


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Democrats from the Mahoning Valley are criticizing the president for taking 35 days to agree to end the partial government shutdown for three weeks while Republicans in the region support Donald Trump’s decision.

Both sides said they hope a bipartisan effort can be reached to work out a long-term solution

“Make no mistake, President Trump could have done this before he shutdown the government, avoiding the pain and heartache we have endured as a country,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th.

“From day one of the new Congress, Democrats have worked to reopen the government. It took President Trump 35 days to finally come to his senses and put people back to work and get them paid.”

He added: “I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, a wall across our entire southern border will not work. We need to invest in technology, bolster our security at ports of entry, and identify the weak points at the southern border. But we’re not going to make the taxpayers foot the bill for a vanity project the president has endlessly bragged that Mexico would pay for. Ultimately, the conversations must be bipartisan and evidence-based.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, said: “President Trump’s announcement to reopen the part of the federal government that is shut down represents a step in the right direction. However, the main sticking point on funding for selective physical barriers on our southern border still remains. I am hopeful this bipartisan group will seize this opportunity to work together to reach a deal whereby Americans get both border security and a federal government that works for them.”

Johnson also said, “It is clear that if a good-faith agreement cannot be reached over the next three weeks that contains money for real border security, President Trump will have only one option left – and that is to declare a national emergency on the southern border.

“It’s important that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and their Democrat colleagues come to the table and negotiate in good faith.”

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican, said: “I support the approach the president has outlined. For the last several weeks, I have worked with both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate along with the administration to reopen the government and address the president’s request for additional border security measures. I’ve had countless discussions with many Democrats in the Senate, and I believe there is a commitment to give the President’s request fair consideration.”

He added: “I’ve said repeatedly throughout this process that government shutdowns are a bad idea. They hurt federal employees and their families, disrupt critical government services and increase the cost to taxpayers. This shutdown confirmed what we already knew about shutdowns. Let’s do something about it now while the pain and inefficiency of this moment is fresh on our minds. In five Congresses I have introduced a responsible solution called the End Government Shutdowns Act that would stop government shutdowns for good, and I will strongly push for its inclusion in any final government funding bill over the next few weeks.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, said: “The president decided to do his job 35 days too late, after inflicting a world of unnecessary pain on workers across this country – all for a border wall he promised Mexico would pay for.

“Democrats and Republicans agree we need to work together to secure our borders, and we should work together to fix our broken immigration system. I hope the president has learned he cannot hold the paychecks of American workers hostage in that process.”

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