MINNEAPOLIS -- With just hours to go before a possible partial government shutdown, the Minnesota congressional delegation remains divided about proposals to continue funding the government.
Congress was closed for the day on Sunday after a post-midnight vote in the GOP-run House to delay by a year key parts of the new health care law and repeal a tax on medical devices, in exchange for avoiding a shutdown.
The Senate is set to convene Monday afternoon, just hours before the shutdown deadline. Majority Leader Harry Reid has already promised that Democrats would kill the House's latest volley.
Meantime, several Minnesota members of Congress offered their perspectives on the showdown.
In an interview with KARE 11, Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen said, "I'm willing to cross party lines. I'm willing to work on common-sense proposals. So my record will stand on its own. But I do not want to see the government shut down."
Rep. Betty McCollum -- a Democrat -- had this to say about the showdown.
"There is a group of Republicans that is putting ideology ahead of country, and that's just the wrong thing to do. And it's dangerous for the economy."
The following lawmakers weighed in with written statements:
"The American people are sick and tired of the gridlock and political brinkmanship in Washington," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat.
She continued, "The House of Representatives has again passed a bill that the President has said he would veto. Now is the time to come together to find common ground."
"Republicans are doing all of this because they don't like the Affordable Care Act, which was passed by Congress through the normal course of legislative business and was signed by the President," said Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat.
He continued, "The Republicans have not tried to improve the Affordable Care Act. They have only tried to repeal health care reform -- over 43 times. Now they have resorted to holding the entire federal government hostage."
Rep. John Kline, a Republican, said, "For the second time in eight days, the House has voted to keep the government running and protect all Americans from the devastating effects of ObamaCare. Now, Washington must set aside the partisan bickering and political brinkmanship and do what's best for our country so critical government services and programs keep running."
Rep. Paulsen also issued a statement referring specifically to the House effort to repeal the medical device tax.
"Medical device innovation affects us all, accounting for more than 400,000 U.S. jobs and countless new life-saving and life-improving technologies."
And finally, writing on behalf of Rep. Tim Walz, a Democrat, spokesman Tony Ufkin said, "When House Republicans are ready to come back to reality, work with those who disagree with them, and keep the government open, Representative Walz will be here ready to work with them."
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