Minnesota Vets, Lawmakers Push For End To Shutdown
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The partial government shutdown is now in danger of stretching into a third week. On Sunday, the nation’s veterans took a stand, calling for the government to get back to business.
In Minnesota, veterans rallied at the Vietnam Memorial in St. Paul to show their support of the national movement. They talked about the closing of the national war memorials and the suspension of death benefits to military families.
The speakers said they’re disappointed by the way veterans have been treated during the shutdown.
“To see those families subjected to the treatment they’ve gotten, I’m ashamed,” veteran Charles Patterson said.
Still, there’s no deal in sight. There have been numerous proposals thrown out there on both sides of the aisle to raise the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit and fund the government, but so far none of them have succeeded.
Minnesota lawmakers hit the national circuit Sunday pushing to get furloughed federal employees back to work.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar told CNN Sunday she believes the talks are a sign things are heading in the right direction.
“We have to work for the people of America. We’re not going to play these games — speak in metaphors. We’re going to put a framework forward and that’s what we’re doing in the senate,” Klobuchar said.
Sen. Bob Croker, R-Tennessee, agreed.
“I think we finally have gotten to a pretty good place,” Croker said.
Republicans have proposed raising the nation’s borrowing limit for six weeks given concessions from President Obama, such as delaying the Affordable Healthcare Act.
“We could do some mandatory reforms and substitute those for some discretionary cuts and still end up at the same levels of spending that are in this bill and that are more intelligent for our nation,” Croker said.
However, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison says Democrats won’t support it and Americans are growing impatient.
“Not a situation like we have now, which is ‘we will stop inflicting pain on America if you get rid of health care,’ which brings insurance and reform to millions of Americans,” Ellison said.
Adding to the mounting pressure, the debt ceiling deadline is in just four days.
“We need to end it. We need to put people back to work and we need to also pay our bills,” Klobuchar said.
Calls to Republican congressmen John Kline and Erik Paulsen were not immediately returned.
Someone who is never short on opinions, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, also weighed in on the government shutdown Sunday.
He was at the Mall Of America, signing copies of his latest book, “They Killed Our President,” which explores the different theories about who was behind John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Ventura says the shutdown is a prime example of the corruption he’s trying to expose.
“They’ve created a system, the Democrats and Republicans, based completely on bribery and the concept of it. If you participate in system, then you get bribed,” Ventura said.
To help change Washington, Ventura says he wouldn’t rule out running for president in 2016. He mentioned shock jock Howard Stern as a possible running mate because he says Stern would have money to run, without catering to lobbyists.
Congress has until Thursday to raise the debt ceiling–or the government will default on its loans.