Minn. Delegation Getting An Earful From Constituents

WASHINGTON (WCCO) — The tortured debate in Washington, D.C. continues as lawmakers are no closer to making a deal to solve the federal debt crisis.

Republicans continue to face a revolt within the ranks as House Speaker John Boehner urged his party to back his plan. Tea Party members, notably U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, continue to say “no” to the Boehner’s proposal.

But some conservative lawmakers appear to be getting behind the Boehner plan that is expected to be introduced on the House floor on Thursday.

Minnesota lawmakers continue to get an earful from constituents but the message they are getting is just as divided as the debate.

Minnesota congressional offices are swamped with phone calls and Minnesota’s congressional delegation reflects the deep divide.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken said that a default by one analysis could mean no payments to active-duty military and to border crossing agents.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Franken used a prop saying “welcome terrorists” as an indication of the kind of chaos that would result. Franken also warned of financial disaster in the event of a default.

“You’re going to see our U.S. Treasury’s credit rating downgraded and Minnesotans will then have to pay higher interest rates on mortgages and on credit cards and car loans and student loans,” he said.

But holding firm against a debt ceiling increase of any kind is what the Tea Party, led by Bachmann, wants.

“People have been saying to me, overwhelming, ‘Mr. President, do not raise the debt ceiling,'” she said.

Republican U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen asked for feedback on his Facebook page and he’s received comments urging him both to support and oppose a debt ceiling increase. Despite the threats, political analysts say the two sides are not closer to a deal.

“Somehow though that threat of dire consequences still doesn’t seem to be enough, at this point, to push legislatures into some type of an agreement,” said Hamline University Professor David Schultz. “Not just Democrat and Republican but the evidence is suggesting at this point that even within the Republican Party there seem to be enormous battles.”

The continued impasse is being blamed for the sharp drop in the stock market today. The Dow was down nearly 200 points and the S&P 500 Index was down nearly 2 percent. Analysts are predicting continued drops as long as the two sides are unable to reach a deal.

More from Esme Murphy
  • O-done-a

    For my fellow stock gurus—now’s the time to act. Shift assets from small/mid cap to solid large cap. Any funds should be at no more than the 60/40 mix in no loaders. Get out of risk and gainers and look for solid dividend payers. It’s time to hunker down. For the very weak in the knees—treasury bonds all the way– maybe some solid corporate or established munis, but measure the risk/reality ratio. Keep a 5-10% holding in your MMA’s so that when it hits bottom, you can go shoppin’ for deals. There’s gonna be plenty of deals Get it done before 2012.

  • Jason

    Us treasury takes in about 200billion a month. interest on the debt ($29 billion), Social Security ($49.2 billion), Medicare and Medicaid ($50 billion), active duty troop pay ($2.9 billion), veterans affairs programs ($2.9 billion =173.2 bilion. When Barack tells us that s.s checks will not be paid or veterans will not get their disability pay its not true. Another sky is falling tactic. Franken is a fraud. Washington time to take your bath. Time to live within your means. Stop buying votes with our money!

    • Rodney

      You have 4 programs? Is that all there is now? No federal prisons to operate, no federal highway program or construction, no state department, no payroll for congress, the Executive Branch? I must have missed some big news recently.

      • lerow

        We should only have 4 programs, all the other free loader programs need to go.

      • Jason

        @rodney. maybe your used to someone else to do your research. What im trying to show is maybe we can budget what we already pay in. Also do you have any suggestions?

  • Pain now....or bigger pain later

    Any plan to raise the debt ceiling without REALLY changing the current trend of spending more than we take in will only require the debt ceiling to be raised again…and again…and again. If nothing is going to change that, then SHUT THE GOVERNMENT DOWN NOW! A federal balanced budget amendment is long overdue. Postponing a REAL fix to the way government does business will only make the pain worse in the future for all.

  • JIm S.

    We leased this from the company we sold it to, and that way if falls under the monthly current budget, and not the capital account!


    ALL republicans are evil. Now and forever.

    • Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao

      Comrade GOPSUX-

      Please write more. Please share your obvious superior intellect and extensive vocabulary with those whom God did not bless with genius as he has blessed you! (Oops- please disregard our reference to God)

      Marxism needs you! Minnesota needs you! America needs you!


      Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao

      • June

        He can’t, your response cause him to have a brain embolism. He is now drooling on his keyboard, with his forehead stuck on the letters EBT….

    • lee

      You go that is evil GOP’S

  • Lier Lier

    Speaking on the Senate floor, Franken used a prop saying “welcome terrorists” as an indication of the kind of chaos that would result.

    Franken…are you pullin a “Bush?” US intelligence agencies gave information about Iraq to Bush…who did you get your information from…Franken…the dung heap out back?

  • Lil Joe

    The Party of “No,No,No” should just die.
    Sing this: Obama wants to raise the debt ceiling but I say No No No.

    Sorry Amy

  • waste

    Economists already said credit card rates won’t be impacted by the default. And yes, if you are still on an arm and haven’t been smart enough to get a 30 year fixed, rates will go up. I purchased my first home during Clinton’s presidency, and I had 9.0 %

    Not only that, there won’t be a default. The US takes in 180 billion a month. If you add up defense, social security, and our payments on our debt, the total is well under 180 billion.

    Al Franken is an idiot and is trying to use scare tactics to cause hysteria. Holy cow, where are the liberals who were so against inflammatory speech?

    If this isn’t incompetent, inflammatory speech, I don’t know what is.

    • O-done-a

      Unfortunately, it’s not the debt ceiling anyone needs to worry about. The US will still lose its vaunted AAA rating, which is an outcome that has already been signaled by the rating agencies. The venomous political process, coupled with the structural debt dilemma, warrants such a move and that will matter for mainstream America.

      How? Two words: higher rates. The consumer, many of whom are over-extended on their credit or underwater on their homes, will be forced to pay more interest on their credit cards, car loans, gas prices, and mortgages. It won’t be a sudden spike — it will be a gradual bleed — but those can be just as debilitating.

  • disgusted

    What a joke, here is the want-ad from the US to the world:

    “”Moving Sale, Richest nation on the planet cannot pay its bills””

    At the bottom of the sign: “”Will work for Food””

  • sensible

    why not review our foreign aid to see if we can cut out some $

    it was the wars that got us in debt.. that is the place to cut.

  • GN

    If needed, I can live with higher interest rates today if it means my grandkids have a future tomorrow. The way we are currently doing business today and the way Congress has driven us into the ground, my grandkids have no future.

  • Sam

    “You’re going to see our U.S. Treasury’s credit rating downgraded and Minnesotans will then have to pay higher interest rates on mortgages and on credit cards and car loans and student loans,” Franken said.

    The credit rating SHOULD be downgraded. A bunch of socialist liberals went on a wild spending spree and maxed out all credit.

    Only a raving lunatic would raise the debt limit to give them more money to squander and dig us into an even deeper hole.

    • SnowFire

      GOPers- any idea how many times the debt limit was raised during Bush’s reign which equaled an increase of 6.11 trillion.

      Comrade Lenin… are you going to lead the protesting of the new vikings stadium, the plan requires tax payers pay more taxes to fund it and we know that is not an option in your camp – right? It will come to pass and we can only hope this is the last straw for you and you will take your wealth and move out of MN. Will be waiting for you response!

      • Undercover

        And Oblowhole opposed debt limit increases ….. Until now.

        • Give me liberty

          I believe his specific comments were that increasing the debt limit showed “a lack of leadership.” It’s on tape, so don’t try to deny it.

          Oblowhole…..that has a catchy ring to it, I might have to re-use that.

  • leroy

    It looks like the Dems are mad that Bush raised the dept ceiling so many times. “Bush got to spend all the money he wanted, wahh, wahh, wahh.”

    It looks like the Republicans are also mad how much is being spent now.

    Soooooooo, we all agree,


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