U.S. Senators From Ohio Say More Budget Fights Loom In Congress

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Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman arrives for news briefing at northeast side Columbus business.(Photo: Tom Borgerding/WOSU)
Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman arrives for news briefing at northeast side Columbus business.(Photo: Tom Borgerding/WOSU)

More budget fights loom in congress after a 12-member super-committee failed to reach agreement this week on a deficit reduction plan. Ohio’s two U.S. Senators expressed disappointment about the lack of compromise.

Economists had hoped the congressional supercommittee on deficit reduction would reach a ten-year deal to shave more than one trillion dollars of government red ink. But the committee failed. Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown faces a re-election bid next year. He said congress needs to keep focus when it returns to the Capitol.

“Well I’m disappointed that there wasn’t an agreement here. Our focus always needs to be on jobs and dealing with our federal budget deficit.”

Because the super-committee deadlocked, automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion will begin in 2013. Government agencies and programs face an across-the board, 10 percent cut. Republican Senator Rob Portman served on the 12-member committee. Speaking to reporters at a business near Port Columbus, Portman said he and other republicans want some ‘wiggle room’ on scheduled cuts for the Pentagon. The Defense Department already faces $450 billion in cuts to projected spending over the next 10 years, an amount that could more than double under automatic cuts established by the failure of the supercommittee.

“We are gutting our military at a time when we’re fighting a couple of wars and continue to have this terrorist threat. Should defense spending be on the table for reductions? Yes, it should, and there are ways you can save money at the Department of Defense but this is too much, too quick.”

Portman said congress must reach the $1.2 trillion deficit goal but he wants cuts to other non-defense programs to reach that goal.

Ohio Public Radio Contributed to this story.

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