WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is calling on Republican leaders – who control both houses of Congress and the White House – not to shut down the government. Brown is urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to keep the government open by passing a short-term continuing resolution for a few days, so both sides can stay at the table and continue working to reach a bipartisan deal. Senate Republicans have also called for a short-term bill to allow negotiations to continue (here).
If the Republican Leader forces the government to shut down by refusing to negotiate, it will be the first time the government experiences a full shutdown and furlough of federal workers with one party controlling the White House and Congress.
The latest one-month bill proposed by House Republicans is the fourth stop-gap spending measure Republicans have proposed since September – creating dangerous uncertainty for the military, the economy and Ohio families. Brown says it’s critical both sides stay at the table and keep working for a long-term deal so Ohioans don’t have to endure the same uncertainty again a month from now.
“We have the opportunity to reach a bipartisan deal, and we owe it to the people we work for to keep working until we get the job done,” said Brown. “The uncertainty created by Republican leadership in Washington is hurting Ohio businesses, jeopardizing our military readiness, and forcing too many families to live in fear – whether it’s fear their children will lose health insurance, fear the retirement they worked for will be taken away, or fear they will be ripped away from the only home they’ve ever known – enough is enough. Leader McConnell must keep the government open and allow us to pass a solution that gives Ohio businesses, military installations and families the certainty they deserve.”
Brown, who has been imploring Republican leaders for months to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), criticized Republican leaders for using Ohio kids as political leverage. He plans to move to take up and pass a CHIP bill with no strings attached immediately.
“These are not bargaining chips, they are 209,000 Ohio kids who are depending on us to do our jobs. Republican leaders must stop holding CHIP hostage to their failed budget process and allow a vote to extend children’s healthcare immediately,” said Brown.
Brown introduced a bipartisan, five-year CHIP extension in September 2017 and passed it out of the Finance Committee in October. He has repeatedly called on Republican leaders to take it up and pass it since then and Republican leaders have refused time and time again.