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Politics


Ohio's Portman is leaning "no" on $1 trillion spending bill
He says gimmicks make the savings look greater
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Sen. Rob Portman says he's still not certain how he'll vote on the omnibus spending bill, but has big reservations.
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The $1 trillion omnibus spending bill the Senate is expected to vote on tomorrow is nearly 1,600 pages long, and Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman says he hasn’t had a chance to digest it all yet.  But WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that he is leaning “no.”

LISTEN: Portman on spending reservations

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The GOP senator likes that the bill includes money to keep the Lima tank plant open. He doesn’t like that it reinstates only a fraction of the cost of living adjustments stripped from military retirees.

But Sen. Portman’s biggest reservation has to do with CHIMPS.

That’s the acronym for Changes in Mandatory Program Spending, and Portman says CHIMPS artificially inflate actual savings to make it look like the spending plan falls within limits.

“Specifically the crime victims fund is used here. But there’s about $18 billion in increases in discretionary spending that’s attributable to these CHIMPS. It’s an offset that’s not real, and that’s my biggest concern in terms of the number, the overall spending level. I did support the budget, as you know, and do support the overall spending level but I want to be sure it’s real.”

Ohio’s other senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, expects to vote for the omnibus bill, saying despite its flaws, it beats the drastic cuts under the sequester it would replace.

 

 

 

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