Nearly every DFL member of the Minnesota House signed their name to a letter sent to President Donald Trump Thursday urging him to “end this shutdown immediately.”
“The ongoing federal government shutdown—now the longest in the history of our nation—is threatening the well-being of Minnesotans, putting our state tax dollars at risk and forcing Minnesotans to deal with declining federal services like the Transportation Security Administration,” the letter begins.
Thursday’s letter was signed by 72 DFL state representatives, including House Speaker Melissa Hortman (D-Brooklyn Park), and House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D-Golden Valley). The Minnesota House DFL claimed on Twitter that “in the spirit of bipartisanship” it “invited House Republicans to sign on but none did.”
Today, members of the DFL House Majority sent this letter to President Trump respectfully requesting he re-open the government and end the shutdown. In the spirit of bipartisanship, we invited House Republicans to sign on but none did. https://t.co/VHACCmHNIl #mnleg
— Minnesota House DFL (@mnhouseDFL) January 17, 2019
“As the president, and leader of our nation, we count on you to set the tone and consider the national interest over any one political goal,” the letter continues. “You can end this shutdown immediately, re-open the government, then resolve your differences with Congress on border security.”
“This government shutdown is hurting the lives of real people. The impacts of this shutdown to Minnesotans are severe,” it adds, listing several examples of how the shutdown is affecting Minnesotans.
According to the House DFL, 6,000 federal employees in Minnesota are currently “furloughed or working without pay,” while another 3,000 workers “are at risk because their positions are funded by federal dollars.”
[pdf-embedder url=”http://battlegroundstatenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/House-DFL-letter.pdf” title=”House DFL letter”]
The 400,000 low-income Minnesotans on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, will lose “that assistance when funding expires February 28.” Additionally, housing assistance for 21,000 Minnesotans could potentially expire February 1.
“The consequences and harm to Minnesotans will only become greater the longer this shutdown continues,” the letter concludes. “We urge you in the strongest possible terms to end this gridlock, end the shutdown, and reimburse Minnesota for any state funds that may be used to make up for the failure to meet the federal government’s obligations.”
Earlier this week, Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) was joined by a group of bipartisan lawmakers and local faith leaders for a press conference discussing the state government’s “action plan” for addressing the shutdown. During the press conference, Attorney General Keith Ellison revealed that his office was prepared to take “legal action” against the federal government if the shutdown continues.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Melissa Hortman” by Melissa Hortman.
Photo “Liz Olson” by Liz Olson.
Background Photo “Minnesota capital” by McGhiever. CC BY-SA 4.0.