Portman ‘Hopeful’ Congress Will Avoid Another Shutdown

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said Sunday that he is optimistic about Congress’ ability to reach an short-term budget deal and avert another government shutdown.

“I’m hopeful that even by the end of the week we’ll be able to come together and achieve that,” he said on ABC’s “This Week” when asked about a budget deal. “They key is that we do not have another government shutdown.”

Portman indicated that he would like to handle an extension of longterm unemployment benefits separate from the budget deal.

“It’s about $25 billion that no one was talking about, George, until the last week,” Portman said. “So it’s an additional cost within this budget agreement. I think the thought always was that it would be handled separately.”

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Sunday that Democrats are not united in demanding that an extension of longterm unemployment benefits be included in a budget deal, despite House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) statement Thursday that unemployment benefits must be included in a budget agreement.

 

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