Brown, Portman say defense budget good for Ohio as veto threat looms

Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) find common ground in defense budget.
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) find common ground in defense budget.(Gray DC)
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 1:14 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A political standoff looms in Washington, as Congress passes defense budgets and the president threatens a veto.

This week, both the House and Senate passed similar but competing versions of a $740-billion defense budget for the next fiscal year.

Ohio’s U.S. senators – Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman -- say the proposed spending plans would benefit Ohio and its service members. But, President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the budget because it calls on the military to rename bases named after confederate generals.

“If the president vetoes an essential defense bill because he’s standing up for the traitors that were generals in the civil war, trying to destroy our country, I don’t even understand that thinking,” said Brown.

“I think the presidential veto is unlikely,” said Portman without discussing the underlying controversy, “there are so many provisions in there that are good for our military, and right now, we need to ensure that our men and women know that we’re behind them.”

As for the impacts a new defense budget would have on Ohio, the senators highlighted a three percent raise for service members and continued operation of the Lima Army Tank Plant, as well as upgrades to Wright Patterson and other bases in the Buckeye State.

Portman voted for the Senate bill, but Brown voted no – citing concerns that a provision would make it easier for the president to conduct a nuclear test.

It may take another few weeks for the the House and Senate to iron out differences between their plans, before sending a final budget to the president for approval or veto.

Washington Correspondent Kyle Midura also asked the senators about the latest on negotiations surrounding another coronavirus relief package. The full interviews can be found in the videos below.

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