Senator Portman: GOP Has More Leverage In Future Budget Talks

Oct 17, 2013

Credit StatehouseNews

The government shutdown is over, and lawmakers agreed to fund it until January 15th* and raise the debt ceiling through February 7th.  Republicans like Ohio Senator Rob Portman are now looking towards future negotiations.

In a conference call with reporters, Portman called this week’s deal a “mixed bag”. He was happy the country didn’t default on its debts and the government is back in business, and that there’s a new provision to verify income levels for people applying for the Affordable Care Act. But he says the agreement does nothing to address the nation’s long-term debt.

Next time around, Portman says he thinks Republicans will have more leverage because they can exchange lifting parts of sequestration for cuts on mandatory programs like Social Security and Obamacare.

“Will it be a grand bargain? Probably not. Can it be a bargain that’s good for the American people? Yes,” says Portman.

As for repealing Obamacare,  Portman says that’s not going to happen, unless Republicans can win the majority of the Senate in next year’s election.

*Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly noted that January 15th is debt ceiling limit.