Minnesota lawmakers push for end to shutdown


The partial federal government enters its third week with a debt default deadline looming, and world financial markets are on edge.

Minnesota lawmakers in Congress are calling for an end to the madness, with two of them among those making the rounds on national Sunday morning talk shows.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has been a part of closed-door meetings with a number of senators led by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on a proposal aimed at ending the stalemate dubbed the "Collins plan." The plan appeared to die over the weekend when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected it.

"We are talking about reopening the government and doing it in a smart timeframe," Klobuchar said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" program.

Collins joined Klobuchar on the show, sounding one note of hope – she said there were a lot of constructive conversations going on behind the scenes.

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., on ABC’s "This Week," echoed comments made by President Barack Obama, saying Democrats were open to discussing a broad, long-term budget deal – after Republicans open government and raise the debt limit.

“Let's reopen the government. Let's pay America's debts,” Ellison said.

Among the swelled ranks of Americans fed up with Congress over the shutdown are Minnesota veterans who rallied at the Vietnam Memorial in St. Paul over the weekend. They are upset about the closing of the national war memorials and the suspension of death benefits to military families, WCCO reports.

Also shut out by the shutdown are South Dakota ranchers who lost an estimated 20,000 head of cattle in a freak early October snowstorm last week. Many of them had insurance that did not cover suffocation snowstorm deaths, and are looking to the federal government for disaster relief. But when they call the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they get a voicemail message that says the agency is closed due to the shutdown, MPR News reports.

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