WASHINGTON, D.C. - While each chamber of Congress has passed separate budget bills which would delay a government shutown Tuesday, it still could happen.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - While each chamber of Congress has passed separate budget bills which would delay a government shutown Tuesday, it still could happen.

While the Senate and House have each approved budget bills, a compromise between the two will have to be reached and signed by President Barack Obama to prevent the shutdown.

On Thursday, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced he was going to introduce an amendment to the Senate’s Continuing Resolution (CR) that would prevent government shutdowns when budgets are not approved by deadlines.

Portman’s legislation - titled End Government Shutdowns - was not permitted to be included as an amendment to the bill. Because of that, Portman voted against the measure.

“Given the majority’s unwillingness to even allow us to vote on my bill to do away with the threat of government shutdown, or to vote on amendments to have government live within bipartisan spending limits created just two short years ago, I can’t vote to move this forward, and will oppose cloture,” Portman said.

Portman’s legislation would have gone into effect if a regular appropriations bill was not passed by the Oct. 1 deadline and would put the appropriations of the previous year in place, meaning there would no longer be a risk of a government shutdown if a deal is not made quickly enough. If an agreement was still not reached within 120 days, funding would be reduced by 1 percent and would continue to be reduced by 1 percent every 90 days until a deal is reached.

“I think these CRs are a bad way to govern,” Portman said on Thursday. “It’s a result of Congress not getting its work done.”

Portman noted the White House and Congress have not passed an appropriations bill on time for the past four years and the Senate has passed only one out of the last 48 appropriations bills on time.

“Let’s at least put in a backstop ... so you don’t have a government shutdown,” Portman said.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, voted in favor of the bill.

“Today, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate came together to avert a government shutdown,” Brown said. “Now members of the House of Representatives must put old political fights behind them and put middle-class families, senior citizens, and our men and women in uniform first.”

Portman also noted the CR from the House of Representatives includes defunding the Affordable Care Act, which he supports.

“I think it’s bad economic policy, bad health policy,” Portman said of the act, adding he feels it is driving up costs in Ohio and hurting working families.

When asked whether defunding the health care law should be included in a measure that, if it’s not passed, could partially shut down the government, Portman restated his support of removing funding of the health care.

“I don’t think we should have a shutdown,” he said, but added he feels the individual mandate portion of the law should at the very least be delayed. “I think it’s terrible policy.

“I’m going to continue to fight for defunding,” he added.

Portman added he is concerned by current discussions which would reverse cuts in the Budget Control Act, which pledged to cut $2.1 trillion over 10 years in discretionary spending.

“I think we can avoid a governmental shutdown, but keep within the budget control act we passed two years ago,” he said, adding more focus should be placed on oversight for the appropriations process and eliminating wasteful spending.

E-mail comments to jenl@northwestsignal.net .