Posted at: 09/04/2013 5:24 PM
Updated at: 09/04/2013 5:36 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
The crisis in Syria is front and center for the U.S. right now, but a federal budget deadline is looming.
"This month of September is going to be huge in the Congress," said Minnesota's 8th Congressional District Representative Rick Nolan.
Congress must pass legislation to keep the government funded by October 1, that's when their new fiscal year begins.
Rep. Nolan asked for ideas at UMD Wednesday during a public workshop called 'How Would You Balance the Federal Budget?' This past year the country's annual deficit was $1.09 trillion.
Jan Bustrak came down from Chisholm because she said she wanted to see some changes made.
"Make our government more efficient. Put more stuff on the state level where it is going to inherently be more efficient," said Bustrak.
Rep. Nolan said his top priority in lowering the deficit centers around ending what he calls 'Wars of Choice.'
"We need to put an end to that and I think we need to start rebuilding America, our roads, our bridges, and start investing in our kids," said Rep. Nolan.
Over at UW-Superior, Wisconsin's 7th Congressional Representative Sean Duffy had an open talk with voters.
Duffy talked about Syria and the looming fiscal deadlines, specifically the debt limit. White House officials say if we don't raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit by mid-October there could be a government shut-down.
"We have a long history of borrowing and there is no end in sight," said Rep. Duffy. "When we approach the debt limit I think we have to have a conversation about how we continue to reform the way we spend and reform our programs."
With a $17 trillion debt, Duffy said if Congress makes certain reforms, he sees no problem with raising the debt limit.