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Politically Speaking is WVXU Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson's column that examines the world of politics and how it shapes the world around us.

Analysis: How Tri-State legislators voted on the government shutdown

Senator Mitch McConnell wears khakis, a navy blue blazer, white collared shirt and green and white diagonally striped tie as he walks away from a crowd
Andrew Harnik
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accompanied by Republican Senators, walks towards the Senate floor after speaking to reporters following a closed-door caucus meeting about preventing a federal government shutdown, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Washington.

As you might expect, the opposition to the Saturday night's last-minute vote in Congress on a continuing resolution to avert a federal shutdown came mostly from far-right Republicans in the House and Senate.

But not all of them. Many conservative members broke with the hard-core MAGA crowd and voted in favor of the compromise.

After the vote, President Biden said in a statement that the resolution means "active-duty troops will continue to get paid, travelers will be spared airport delays, millions of women and children will continue to have access to vital nutrition assistance, and so much more."

Here's the scorecard of Tri-State members of Congress:


Of the six U.S. Senators from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, three of them voted Saturday night for the continuing resolution that kept the government open for business and three of them did not.

In all three states, the votes for and against were split.

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Kentucky's senior senator, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, urged members of his Republican caucus to vote yes on the plan, a "clear" and "clean" resolution which had been stripped of all else — including funding to assist Ukraine in fighting off the Russian invasion.

The resolution has a short-shelf life — it expires Nov. 17.

Moments before the vote, McConnell took the floor of the Senate to urge passage.

"I'm confident the Senate will pass further urgent assistance to Ukraine later this year," McConnell said on the floor. "But let's be clear, the alternative to our action today — an entirely avoidable government shutdown — would not just pause our progress on these important priorities, it would actually set them back. And in the process, it would saddle the people we represent with unnecessary hardships."

In the end, the resolution passed 88-9 — the nine being Republicans who refused to go along and voted in favor of shutting down the government.

That small group of senators included three from the Tri-State: Sen. Rand Paul, McConnell's fellow senator from Kentucky; freshman J.D. Vance, the junior senator from Ohio; and Indiana Republican Mike Braun.

Paul issued a statement Saturday night about his vote.

"When I said I'd do everything I could to stop the U.S. government from being held hostage to Ukraine, I meant it," Paul said. "We cannot continue to put the needs of other countries above our own. We cannot save Ukraine by dooming the U.S. economy. I'm grateful to all Members of Congress who stood with me, but the battle to fund our government isn't over yet — the forever-war crowd will return."

j.d. vance wears a gray suit, white shirt and blue tie as he gestures while speaking during a senate committee hearing
Andrew Harnik
Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, speaks as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Vance has repeatedly stated his opposition to sending more U.S. financial resources to the Ukraine. He voted against the resolution, even though the Ukraine funding was stripped from the resolution and set aside discussion between now and Nov. 14.

His staff did not respond to a request for an interview with the junior senator.

It's pretty clear that there are enough votes in the Senate and the House — from both Democrats and Republicans — to pass a Ukraine aid package. But Vance will clearly not be among the "yea" votes.

The lone Democrat among the six Tri-State senators, Ohio's Sherrod Brown, voted for the continuing resolution Saturday night.

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"It should have included critical support for Ukraine as they fight against Putin's invasion," the senior senator from Ohio said. "I am calling on Senate leadership and the White House to immediately move to provide support for Ukraine."


Only two of Ohio's 15 members of the U.S. House — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Warren Davidson of Troy, whose district dips into Hamilton County — voted no.

Jordan was a given; he has been the House's leading voice for former president Donald Trump, who was telling his followers in Congress they should vote to shut down the government.

Davidson issued a statement on social media shortly after the vote.

"Joe Biden's spending plan continues to bankrupt our country while engineering a massive southern border crisis," Davidson said. "Today we saw the status quo preserved when the House passed a continuing resolution with no reform. My constituents are demanding change and surrendering to these failed policies is not an option."

thomas massie, before the steps of capitol, points with his right hand while holding a cell phone in a blue suit
Susan Walsh
In this March 27, 2020 file photo Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., talks to reporters before leaving Capitol Hill in Washington.

Thomas Massie, Northern Kentucky's Republican congressman, also voted no. He put his explanation on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter).

"The conservative option (8% cut) being defeated the day before (ironically by conservatives), the House passed the 45 day, no cuts, no Ukraine bill on Saturday," Massie wrote. "Dems who wanted the senate bill reluctantly voted for house bill, as did 100+ repubs (not I, but I don't fault them)."

Two Southwest Ohio Republicans, Mike Turner of Dayton and Brad Wenstrup of Columbia-Tusculum, voted in favor of the stop-gap measure to avoid a shutdown.

Not surprisingly, freshman Democrat Greg Landsman of Cincinnati, voted in favor of the resolution.

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"Thankfully, we have an agreement to keep the government open for 45 days, averting, for now, a devastating shutdown," Landsman said. "After days of dealing with the chaos of a few on the far, far right, Republicans and Democrats came together to do right by the American people and our economy."

Round two of a possible government shutdown will come before the Thanksgiving turkey arrives.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.