Protesting The Government Shutdown - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Protesting The Government Shutdown

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  • Mount Rushmore The Site of Government Shutdown Protest

    Mount Rushmore Site of Government Shutdown Protest

    Mount Rushmore National Memorial is reopening, but some people aren't happy about the lack of federal support for the memorial in western South Dakota's Black Hills. National parks have been closed because
    Mount Rushmore National Memorial is reopening, but some people aren't happy about the lack of federal support for the memorial in western South Dakota's Black Hills. National parks have been closed because

As we inch closer to the debt deadline, locals are calling out to their state leaders for answers about a shutdown they say has gone on for far too long.

Those who braved the rain to gather in Downtown Fargo Monday, and called out to Congressman Kevin Cramer asking what he's doing to find a solution.

The group shouted "end the shutdown now", and as they did cars honked in agreement.

"We feel that today we're going to come out and call him out, and expect him to say something." says Mara Solberg while protesting without any rain boots or mittens.

Because the rain didn't stop the protesters from coming out to express their frustration with the continued shutdown.

"It takes people that are really fed up to come out on a day like today in Fargo." John Jorgensen says with his hood dripping the rain onto his face.

They are speaking out to Representative Kevin Cramer, saying he needs to fight for the people who voted for him. The people trying to make do, now that government support has run out.

"He needs to represent the disabled veterans, the elderly collecting social security, the kids that aren't getting head start." Jorgensen says.

"What are you doing? Your silence tells us that you don't support us, I would like to hear from you." Solberg pleas.

So we brought their questions to Cramer, who says he's been working hard to end the shutdown.

"I've been here everyday for over 3 weeks now, even working weekends trying to get this government open, trying to pass bills, trying to negotiate with a president who's obstinate and will hear nothing of it." Representative Kevin Cramer says.

Cramer says he's happy there are people fighting the shutdown.

"I applaud anyone who will stand out in the rain, and express themselves in the middle of the day, that takes courage." Cramer adds.

But many asked what he is doing personally to open the government.

"This shut down has got to end, and it's in his hands, he's been voted into office and he should do his job." Solberg says.

"I voted for three (bills) that passed that would open the entire government, senate hasn't voted for one that would open the entire government." Cramer says, "Beyond that everyday I meet with a group of Democrats and Republicans called the United Solutions Caucus, we're about 40 strong, there are about 6 to 8 of us that are in leadership that met every single day to try and find bipartisan solutions."

Cramer says he's doing more than most to end the shutdown.

"I would say you'd be hard pressed to find anybody that's doing more personally to get the government open than I am, and I would add on top of that, I haven't furloughed any of my employees. Every single North Dakotan that works for me, has been at work every single day trying to get this government open again. They're answering calls from citizens, talking with the stake-holders of North Dakota. In-fact on Saturday I helped pass another farm bill measure that form our conference committee. I even got on the floor for two resolutions that aimed right at North Dakota farmers, and was able to fight off those that would kill for example the sugar program which is very important to the viewers of your TV station., so have I done anything personally? I'd put it up against anybody else in the delegation, times two."

But as the protesters numbers dwindled, their message remained: They just want to hear the end of the shutdown is near.

"End the shutdown now, get to work." Jorgensen says one last time.

Another rally to protest the shutdown is scheduled for Wednesday on the Veterans Memorial Bridge at 5:00p.m.

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