WASHINGTON — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today (October 16) after voting in favor of a Senate-led plan to reopen the government and avoid default:
Common sense prevailed today as we voted to reopen the government and ensure that America pays its bills on time, but Minnesotans are tired of hearing about the latest manufactured crisis in Washington. People who are still unemployed need work; our communities need common-sense gun safety reforms; and we need an immigration system that doesn’t tear families apart. The plan passed today funds the government, lifts the debt ceiling and creates a conference committee between the House and the Senate to set our spending priorities for 2014.
This crisis hurt Minnesotans and our economy. Hundreds of people were furloughed and thousands more didn’t know if they were going to be paid for the month of October. People seeking new Social Security cards found the Minneapolis office closed. Veterans’ Administration offices were understaffed. School trips were cancelled because National Parks were closed. Fitch, a credit rating company, put the United States on credit downgrade watch, jeopardizing our nation’s AAA credit rating. Consumer confidence in the improving economy dropped dramatically.
The last two weeks have increased uncertainty for thousands of families who are already getting by on less and less. We cannot continue to push our economy to the edge and then wonder why we’re struggling to create good jobs for working Americans. It’s irresponsible and it’s wrong. Dysfunction and brinksmanship in Congress must give way to constructive dialogue and innovative ideas.
Keith Ellison is U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district.