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Government Shutdown Continues

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It's been a week since Congress failed to come to an agreement on a federal budget, causing the government shutdown. And it doesn't look like there is an end in sight. Lawmakers worked through the weekend but they still have not come to an agreement.

Rep. Kevin Cramer(R) North Dakota
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp(D) North Dakota

As the weekend ended, it was clear lawmakers wouldn't be coming to an agreement on the budget to end the shutdown. But instead of passing the bill as a whole, the House has taken a different approach, passing a bill for each agency, included in the main piece of funding legislation, instead of one main bill.

"We're taking a line by line approach to appropriating, because frankly that's the way the system works," says Representative Kevin Cramer.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp disagrees with that approach to passing the bill.

"Inevitably, things get left behind, including Native Americans, head start kids. You know, you just pick and choose whose going to be the winner that day. That's not the way to fund government," says Heitkamp.

While congress seems to be at an impasse when it comes to the budget and ending the shutdown they also have other important issues needing to be resolved, including passing a bill dealing with the debt limit.

"As difficult as what this government shutdown is, I think not paying our bills, which is exactly what we're talking about would be catastrophic," says Heitkamp.

"It's also important that as we deal with raising the debt ceiling we also deal with the debt itself and the deficits that keep adding to the debt. So, that's why we're going to be proposing a number of pro-growth policies as well as spending cuts that will equate or exceed the amount of the debt ceilings increase," says Cramer.

The deadline for Congress to pass that is coming up on October 17th.

But while lawmakers are discussing the shutdown and the debt ceiling they STILL need to come together and discuss the farm bill. The Senate has already named their conferees but the House has not. Cramer says he expects the House to do that this week. Alan.

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