WASHINGTON — After 13 days of a federal shutdown government, and with only four to go before the United States risks a debt default, two Minnesota Democrats hit the political talk show circuit Sunday to discuss where things stand on some type of deal.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s answer: Not close yet, but still likely before Thursday’s debt-limit deadline.
“I do think it’s going to be done. I think it’s going to be done in part because of the kind of work that’s getting done where some people said we have to work for the people of America,” Klobuchar said on CNN’s State of the Union, alongside Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who put forward a bill to end the shutdown last week.
“We’re not just going to play these games,” Klobuchar said. “We’re not going to just speak in metaphors. We’re actually going to put a framework out and move forward and that’s what we’re doing in the Senate.”
Collins’ bill would have increased the debt limit through January, funded the government through March and delayed an Affordable Care Act tax on medical devices for at least two years. Democratic leadership rejected the bill over the weekend, though Democratic and Republican leaders have been working behind-the-scenes to forge some type of compromise. It’s widely believed that, at this point, any plan to fund the government and raise the debt limit will come from those negotiations.
“We’re talking about not having a default on our debt and being actually able to pay our bills again,” Klobuchar said. “We’re talking about doing something in the long term on the budget, something this country has cried out for, a balanced approach is what I’d like to see with this, some spending cuts but also revenue and doing some smart things.”
On ABC’s This Week, Rep. Keith Ellison said he and his fellow Democrats were open to discussing a long-term budget deal, but that Republicans need to open the government and raise the debt limit first.
“Let’s reopen the government. Let’s pay America’s debts,” he said. “And I’m open to discuss anything any Republican wants to talk about, but it will be us giving and taking and them giving and taking, not a situation like we have now, which is we will stop inflicting pain on America if you get rid of health care which brings insurance reform and access to millions of Americans. We can’t do that.”
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org