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Keith Ellison Says Government Shutdown 'Unconscionable', but Will Keep His Pay

"If handing back pay would help furloughed workers I would find a way to survive without pay, but of course it won't," Ellison told WCCO. "Only allowing a vote on a clean continuing resolution will do that."

Minnesota Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison. Credit: The Congressman's official government website.
Minnesota Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison. Credit: The Congressman's official government website.

With reporting by Shawn Hogendorf

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Fifth District) appeared on MSNBC'S The Last Word Monday night to decry the then-impending federal government shutdown.

"These people have mortgages, they've got bills to pay, they've got rent to pay, they've got tuition to pay, they've got groceries to buy--this is unconscionable,” he said, referring to the 800,000 Americans who were furloughed because of the shutdown.

"I am absolutely opposed to the shutdown and stand ready to vote for a continuing resolution to fund the federal government, all of it. But the Republican House majority has conditioned funding the federal government on delaying, defunding, and destroying the Affordable Care Act, even though it was passed according to law, confirmed by the Supreme Court, and prevailed during the last presidential election," Ellison told KSTP. The House Republicans have attempted to repeal the ACA 45 times and failed every time. This demand is unreasonable and I cannot accede to it.

Ellison told WCCO that he will keep his pay during the shutdown.

"I am fighting to end the shutdown and the furloughs for all federal workers. I oppose the shutdown, don't believe in it, and did not cause it," he said in a statement to the television news station. "I am deeply offended by the shutdown, and I empathize deeply with the furloughed workers. If handing back pay would help furloughed workers I would find a way to survive without pay, but of course it won't. Only allowing a vote on a clean continuing resolution will do that. The focus on Congressional pay is an attempt to draw attention away from the issue.

"The real issue here is that the Republican's government shutdown jeopardizes the paychecks of more than 18,000 Minnesotans, and makes it harder for Minnesota's families to put food on the table. It already prevented hundreds of people from getting new Social Security cards this morning in Minneapolis. It's time to end this unnecessary and harmful shutdown."

Daniel October 01, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Hey Keith: If you are that worried about people being able to pay mortgages, rent, tuition, and groceries, stop pushing your Liberal agenda that stifles private business. You seem to only care about your co-workers in the government that WILL have jobs once the problem is resolved unlike the million of jobs that you and Democratic colleagues have destroyed in this country. Abject shameful pandering on your part.
Mike B. October 01, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Ellison, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Democrat Party have only themselves to blame for the government shutdown. Ellison really is a non-thinking puppet for Obama.
guy davidson October 02, 2013 at 08:32 PM
I sure hope this doesn't keep him from doing all the travelling he needs to do to deal with issues in the middle east.

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