Minnesota’s Democratic members of Congress are blaming Republicans in the US House for the federal government shutdown that began last night. Republicans insist that a short-term spending measure should contain some sort of delay or repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Here’s how some members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation framed the stalemate.
DFL Sen. Al Franken: “This is no way to legislate. To run this place by crisis is ridiculous,” said Franken in an interview.
First District DFL Rep. Tim Walz: “It’s incredibly reckless that the House Majority has yet again chosen party over country and abdicated its duties in order to play political games and pander to their Tea Party base,” said Walz in a statement.
Second District GOP Rep. Rep. John Kline: “[Obama] himself has delayed major parts of this law. It is clear that the individual mandate is also not ready to go, they don’t have the means to enforce it, and so it makes sense to take that threat off the table, it doesn’t defund Obamacare,” said Kline in an interview.
Third District GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen: “I continue to vote for bipartisan legislation to ensure the government stays open. Minnesotans expect their government to work and I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to avert a shutdown,” said Paulsen in a statement.
Fourth District DFL Rep. Betty McCollum: “Despite the fact that ObamaCare is the law, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court as constitutional, and was the basis of President Obama’s re-election in 2012, House Tea Party Republicans still feel they can “negotiate” the dismantling of ObamaCare by holding the entire federal government hostage,” said McCollum in a statement.
Fifth District DFL Rep. Keith Ellison: “Our Republican colleagues say, ‘Well, we’ll pay for the government if you accede to these three or four demands.’ It seems like every day they come up with some new demands. They don’t ever arrive at funding the government,” said Ellison in a speech on the House floor.
Sixth District GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann: “If we do not delay or defund Obamacare for the next year, then the signal is going to go out to the job providers across the United States that this is here to stay and we’re going to see massive job loss,” said Bachmann in an interview.
Eighth District DFL Rep. Rick Nolan: “These amendments are intended for the sole purpose of shutting down the government, they’re not going anywhere. Everybody knows it,” said Nolan in a speech on the House floor.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner stood firm last night.
“The American people don’t want a shutdown and neither do I,” Boehner said. But he said the Affordable Care Act “is having a devastating impact. … Something has to be done.”
President Barack Obama clearly laid the blame for the shutdown at the feet of House Republicans, and said the GOP effort to use budget negotiations to stall or stop the Affordable Care Act would have no impact on the law.
“The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. That funding is already in place. You can’t shut it down. This is a law that passed both houses of Congress; a law that bears my signature; a law that the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional; a law that voters chose not to repeal last November; a law that is already providing benefits to millions of Americans,” Obama said Monday night.