Portman Supports Bipartisan Funding Agreement to Strengthen Border Security & Avoid Government Shutdown

February 14, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) released the following statement after he voted for the bipartisan funding agreement to strengthen border security and avoid another government shutdown: 

“I am pleased that President Trump will sign this bipartisan funding agreement into law.  I supported this bill because it takes important steps in the right direction on border security and because it avoids another government shutdown.  I’ve said repeatedly that the president has a responsible plan to strengthen our border security.  This agreement includes nearly $1.4 billion for new barriers and fencing, which will result in another 55 miles of new barriers along the border where it is needed most, according to the experts.  This is the most funding that has ever been provided by Congress in a single year on barrier construction.  We need to do more, but this is a positive step forward.  

“I agree with the president that we have a crisis on our southern border and that we need additional barriers and fencing.  As I have said before, I would prefer we work together to find a legislative solution instead of declaring a national emergency that will likely be tied up in the courts.  That’s why I voted for this bill to strengthen our border security not just with more new barriers, but also with bipartisan priorities for the Congress and the administration.  This includes $21.1 billion for additional Customs and Border Protection officers and law enforcement personnel, more technology and cameras along the border, more humanitarian assistance, and better screening at our ports of entry to help stop the flow of drugs into this country.  This is real progress for our country. 

“I hope that the House passes this bill later today so we can avoid another government shutdown.  I’m disappointed that this bill does not include my legislation to end government shutdowns once and for all.  My legislation – the End Government Shutdowns Act – would prevent shutdowns in the future by continuing government funding at existing levels when negotiations break down between the two parties.  My legislation now has 33 cosponsors.  There is a growing bipartisan consensus that we should stop shutdowns in the future.  I’m willing to work with Democrats to reach an agreement that can become law, and I continue to have good conversations with my colleagues on this issue.  I’m hopeful we can include it in upcoming budget legislation this year.”