WASHINGTON – Minnesota’s congressional delegation has been slow to react to downgrade given U.S. government debt by Standard & Poors on Friday night and subsequent market turmoil. As of Monday evening, just three of the state’s ten House and Senate offices have issued a response.
Not surprisingly, the response has been pretty partisan. Echoing other Democrats, Rep. Betty McCollum has taken to tagging Republicans with the increasingly unpopular tea party label. Here’s a sample from McCollum’s statement:
Today’s turmoil on Wall Street and the ever increasing possibility of a recession are direct consequences of the Tea Party Republican’s careless, destructive political conduct which is now devastating the markets and middle class America.
Meanwhile, Republicans fired back with an “I told you so” argument, that said their “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal, which would have fixed a constitutional limit to the size of government vis a vis the economy, would have prevented the downgrade. Instead, as Rep. Chip Cravaack argued in his statement:
Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the nation’s AAA credit rating is extremely unfortunate, but not unexpected.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison also took the party line, blaming Republican brinksmanship for the downgrade. But he also tried to use a little of Republican President Ronald Reagan’s special sauce saying, in effect, “chin up, America!”:
But we should be careful not to take this downgrade at face-value. America remains the strongest economy in the world. It is no surprise that investors turned to U.S. Treasurys last week.
We’ll post excerpts from other statements by members of the delegation as they come in.