As Congress continues to debate a spending bill to fund the federal government, U.S. Senator Rob Portman says he's standing by his fellow Republicans' insistence to defund Obamacare.
On a conference call with reporters Thursday, Portman said he remains committed to repealing and replacing the health care law. But Portman says he has an idea to avert a government shutdown, which looms on October 1st if Congress doesn't come to an agreement.
"Let's at least put in a backstop where if we don't get our work done in time, then there is a process by which government continues to operate. You don't have a government shutdown."
Portman says earlier this year, he introduced the so-called End Government Shutdown amendment, which would automatically continue federal spending at the previous year's level if no budget bill is in place by September 30th. That funding level would drop by one percent every 120 days thereafter.
Portman says he's optimistic Congress will come up with a spending plan before Monday's deadline. He says his vote will depend on the extent to which it increases spending, and the types of amendments it includes.