Minn. Politicians Weigh in on Shutdown, Debt Ceiling

Updated: 10/15/2013 6:20 AM KSTP.com By: Stephen Tellier

Monday is the 14th day of the government shutdown, and the debt ceiling deadline is fast approaching. After nearly two weeks of our lawmakers arguing, there is still no deal in sight.

"Right now, I think we need to fire all the congressmen because I don't care what side of the aisle they're on, they just need to be gone," said Peggy Kullmann, who runs a business in St. Paul.

In Minnesota's state capital, anger and outrage. In the nation's capital, perhaps a glimmer of hope.

"I do think it's going to be done," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, declaring a deal will get done by Thursday while appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday morning.

"We are talking about opening the government again and doing it in a smart time frame. We're talking about not having a default on our debt and being actually able to pay our bills again," Klobuchar said.

But another Minnesota Democrat showed finding common ground won't be easy.

"There are a number of things we could do, but we cannot do it under the gun as we are now," said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, while appearing on ABC's "This Week."

Ellison said he'll talk, but not now.

"We can negotiate and talk all we want to after we reopen the government," Ellison said.

That's a far cry from what most House Republicans want.

A spokesman for Minnesota Congressman John Kline said he remains focused on, "a long-term solution that responsibly tackles our nation's debt and spending crisis." 

And until compromise comes, consternation will continue.

"I don't have a lot of hope in our current government," said Jared Sands, who was walking on Grand Ave. in St. Paul on Sunday.

"If they can't act better than elementary school children then they shouldn't be in the seats that they're in," Kullmann said.

The top Democrat and top Republican in the Senate spoke Sunday afternoon, but the two made little progress.

There does seem to be one point of agreement emerging among most lawmakers -- Obamacare will likely not be part of any budget or debt ceiling deal. However, even Ellison said he'd be open to "improving" the Affordable Care Act, after the current showdown is solved.