With all the debate that's over Minnesota's budget impasse and subsequent government shutdown, it's easy to forget that lawmakers in Washington are grappling with the same troublesome issues of spending and deficits.
Right now, President Barack Obama and members of Congress are at odds over whether to raise the debt ceiling and how to curb the nation's long-term spending deficits; Democrats want to see more revenue and Republicans are opposed to the idea.
Similar arguments are being made here in Minnesota, writes MPR's Brett Neely. He writes,
The debates are similar enough that members of Minnesota's congressional delegation are even taking heat for the state government shutdown. Over the July 4 weekend, Republican U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack was at a parade in Brainerd.
"There were a few people that were shouting out, 'Hey, you guys should be back to work,'" Cravaack said. "And I said, 'I'm on the federal side, but we'll probably be having that conversation in about a month.'"
Both in Minnesota and in Washington, Republicans like Cravaack say spending cuts, not tax increases, should be used to balance the budget.
For more on how Minnesota's budget battle mirrors the one happening in Washington, check out today's Midday interview with Minnesota native and political scientist Norm Ornstein.
Other connections between federal and state actions should be noted. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the US economy added only 18,000 jobs in June. Minnesota Republicans' July contribution, via the "laser focus on jobs," was minus 23,000.