Dozens rally against partial shutdown

2013-10-09T00:00:00Z 2013-10-09T12:46:59Z Dozens rally against partial shutdownBy SANJAY TALWANI Independent Record Helena Independent Record
October 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The debate over the partial government shutdown reached the streets of Helena Tuesday morning as about 35 people rallied outside the office of U.S. Rep. Steve Daines on North Last Chance Gulch.

With chants to end the shutdown including, “Congress, Congress, do your job,” the group focused particularly on Social Security and Medicare, urging Daines and others in Congress to preserve and strengthen those programs and keep them out of current negotiations over the shutdown and debt ceiling.

They carried signs including, “End the shutdown,” “Jobs not cuts,” and, off-topic somewhat, “Less twerk more work.” Judy Fjell roused the group with folk songs on her guitar.

Sandy Oitzinger placed blame for the government shutdown on the Republican majority in the U.S. House and said she joined the group in part because of misinformation about the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare.

“I just think that all of the distortions about the Affordable Care Act really need to be refuted and combated,” she said.

John Oitzinger slammed Daines, a Republican, for supporting subsidies in the Farm Bill while opposing subsidies for health coverage.

“If we can subsidize crop insurance, why can’t we subsidize health insurance?” he said.

Jeannie Brown of Belgrade has a 4-year-old granddaughter with disabilities who is on Medicare. She’s spent her savings and pension and expects to rely on Social Security in the future, and said that program shouldn’t be used “as a bargaining chip” in negotiations on the shutdown or the so-called debt ceiling — which Congress needs to raise if the nation is to avoid defaulting on its debts.

“Honestly, it’s the one program that keeps people from being destitute in their old age,” she said.

Marsha Schumacher of Great Falls said she stopped earning when she had to take care of a family member. Except for income from painting portraits, she relies on Social Security.

“It’s an important part of my income, as it is for many people,” She said.

Daines was in Washington on Tuesday. Spokeswoman Alee Lockman said Daines wants the shutdown to end as well, but believes President Barack Obama and the U.S. House and Senate need to come together to find a solution that provides fairness to Montanans in the context of the Affordable Care Act.

Lockman said Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have refused to negotiate to end the shutdown.

Asked whether Daines would support the “clean” resolution to end the shutdown, without any changes or delays to the Affordable Care Act, Lockman said such a vote has not yet come before the House.

“A solution has to come from the Senate and the House and the president coming together,” she said. “Unfortunately, that’s not happening.

On Social Security and Medicare, she left open the possibility of future cuts, saying Daines is committed to protecting the programs for current seniors and retirees, but also to ensuring the programs are there for future generations.

She said her office has not heard of Social Security cuts being part of the negotiations on the shutdown or debt ceiling discussion.

Rally participants called current and prospective members of Congress, seeking a commitment to preserve the programs.

One of the protestors reached a Daines staffer but did not gain the commitment sought.

A call to the office of U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, -D-Mont., by one of the protesters reached a recording that the office was unable to respond due to the government shutdown. Calls to Senate candidates Champ Edmunds, a Republican, and Dirk Adams, a Democrat, also reached only recordings, according to the callers.

Lockman said Daines has furloughed about half his congressional staff, with enough remaining to take calls from constituents. She said Daines’ top priority now is hearing from constituents about the shutdown and related issues.

“We really do welcome all Montanans to share their views,” she said. “The door’s open and the phones are on.”

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(38) Comments

  1. Riamh
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    Riamh - October 14, 2013 9:18 pm
    And seriously.. if you want to get rid of the "debt problem" then get rid of the federal reserve!
  2. Riamh
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    Riamh - October 14, 2013 9:10 pm
    some have.. big deal. It's just a publicity stunt. Why didn't he donate his salary someplace where it could do real people some real good?
  3. skooter
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    skooter - October 10, 2013 11:38 pm
    You are spot on Riamh. It's a silly world right now...I still argue with people from the right all the time here who try to pretend that socialism and fascism are somehow close to each other when they are polar opposites. The right likes to throw the names around willy-nilly without so much understanding of the meaning...again like negotiation, compromise, reasonable...

    It's the same with the overblown rhetoric on what is a fairly mudane health care act. There's really nothing explosive in there. They've given us pro-business romneycare...nothing more unfortunately. I could at least understand it if there was a REAL universal care option in here. Just more proof that it's all made up hysteria over nothing.
  4. catspaw
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    catspaw - October 10, 2013 9:53 pm

    The difference between the 95 shutdown and this one is the law. In 95 the bill passed by the GOP was nixed by Clinton in a specific process called DEMOCRACY. This time around, the already existing law is going into effect and the GOTP comes in at the 11th hour and closes up shop and demands negotiation? Since when does a already existing LAW need to be negotiated? Should i go and drive drunk, get pulled over by a cop, demand to negotiate the DUI laws, then when I dont get my way tell the cop to F off and ho home. This is not Democracy that the GOTP is promoting here. Losers.
  5. Riamh
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    Riamh - October 10, 2013 9:04 pm
    The scary part about it skooter, is it's the far right preaching fascism, to the point where center right policy is labeled socialism. If anyone is bringing on a fascist state, it's the far right, and people are waking up to that.
  6. Riamh
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    Riamh - October 10, 2013 8:55 pm
    Dietz, none of this excuses the fact that the GOP shut the gov't down trying to re-negotiate a done deal. the ACA is law for better or worse. Holding the world economy hostage over attempts do circumvent law borders on treasonous.
  7. skooter
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    skooter - October 10, 2013 6:16 pm
    You brought up race not me buddy...I'd say you played that card. You're party doesn't want compromise it wants it's way and it's way only. They've said as much when being honest.

    And your party had more than it's say on ACA during this 5 year process: Your party was included in the leg committees when the law was written by Baucus. Your party shaped the legislation during the process in other ways too - some nefarious like lies about death panels to scare people (you guys always go classy) and even on the floor of the house with the defection of a few blue dogs. The main reason a true public option is not in ACA is your party negative influence (and Max Baucus too). You held national referendums, barely attended rallies, you begged for delays (granted) until it could be reviewed by the courts (and obviously upheld), you wanted delays for other portions and were granted them...and now that the deadline for signup was nigh, you and your desperately wanted to defunded a standing american law...just because you want to because you said you were going to. You had you chance at compromise and input, you had your chance to defeat it, you had your chance to be viable enough to the country to get yourself elected to the majority and presidency...but couldn't.

    Isn't it time to face the facts, quit acting like babies, admit your defeat, and start arguing about giving the rich another big tax break or something? You lost...the skirmish, the battle, the war...and your probably going to lose this too...and your just on the wrong side of things. You, patriot and few others agree with each other wholeheartedly and assume everybody else does. I haven't seen a poll lately statewide but even in our small state you may not be in the majority on your ACA feeling and political affiliation. And it gets worse when you look outside this tiny microcosm...your views are even more marginalized.

    Petulant child time should be over by now, don't you think?
  8. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - October 10, 2013 5:07 pm
    Now you're trying to pull the race card out, still name calling, false accusations. Got anything meaningful to say, or you going to still whine because the GOP isn't giving the DEM what they want, which is total capitulation. True democracy is compromise, listening to each others ideas and finding a middle ground. Not "flexing the muscles". You want to blame the GOP, go ahead. But you cannot change the fact that the Senate could have very well passed the bills given them the House at anytime. You can try to change the colors on that one any way you want but its still the same thing at the end of the day. GOP wants their way and the DEM wants their way. Since nothing is going to get past the Senate, the DEM is going to get their way, its that simple. Since the DEM will not "bow down" to the GOPs proposals, the DEM is what, right? And in the GOP not bowing down to the DEMs proposals, they are what, wrong?

    Hey, the WHOLE country is being punished huh? Yea, I definately see that. Just like ALL the Americans are behind the DEM. What a joke.
  9. skooter
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    skooter - October 10, 2013 4:40 pm
    Last shutdown? Newt Gingrich was taking credit just yesterday on fox for causing that one...he's proud of it (always nice to see the hubris of a crook like that, eh). Sorry - this one is at your side's feet just like the last one. Republican temper tantrums.

    And please spare us the pretend malarkey about one party and germany! Mein Gott! Do you people ever stop? Your party ran the country for 8 plus years and 12 years 8 years before that - and did everybody prance around calling it the reincarnation of the H man (you know who I mean)? Your party ran themselves out of office with a massive failure in 2008 and depression/wall street crisis and housing crisis; it isn't connected with the people in this nation, it got shellshocked in the 2012 election (and probably will in the next mid terms too). You had ever opportunity to win - and let's face it - the big corporate money behind you to help - but people don't believe in what you are selling and what you are about. And so you lost. YOU ARE THE MINORITY...might be time to face it.

    There should be a real and hard moratorium on the right for pretending every minor setback or outrage is the second coming of fascist germany. I am sure your party will further marginalize yourselves further, but don't bother alerting me to the downfall of democracy until somebody actually outlaws your party as opposed to your guys doing themselves with their outdate ideas and idiocy.
  10. skooter
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    skooter - October 10, 2013 4:25 pm
    Epic fail dietz...doesn't even make sense. Do yourself a favor and read the whole speech

    Smart words from a real smart woman about what government REALLY is and what you and yours are awash in hypocrisy over.

    Your compadres are the ones closest to calling for that kinda segregation and still up in arms over a black president. The point, if you want to try to grasp it, is that we have a democratically founded legislative that defeated segregation, slavery, and hundreds of passed laws that help people everyday...and one that passed so-called Obamacare the same way...legally, constitutionally and without extortion. Your pack of 5 year olds in congress can't grasp their own continuing defeat. It's ok...they are just making themselves more of a minority party and that's good for the long run, but it's a shame that they have to punish the entire country, and especially working families to throw their fit over Obamacare.

    Keep beating that dead horse guys - I am sure he'll get up one day!
  11. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - October 10, 2013 3:25 pm
    Yea it nails it all right skooter. Shall we go back in time when it was legal to segregate minority groups? The democracy, at that time, also "rejected" views.
  12. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - October 10, 2013 3:04 pm
    See, this is you just being you skooter. I have posted it twice and ONLY twice, both times in the last 2 days....not "hundreds of times". Lets get something straight on this debit ceiling issue, I do not think Obama was a hypocrite last time by saying it, because he was right. By him reversing a position simply because he's the President now, that IS being a hypocrite.

    Lets go back to 1995 when I was in the military and received notification that during the government shut down we would be expected to work, but not get paid. Talk about upset, particularily when the GOP was being fingered for it. Except back then, a bill did pass both the House and the Senate, Clinton VETO'D it which led to the shutdown....but GOP blamed? How does that work when it passed Congress but nixed by the President? Or now, bills have passed the House but not the Senate so the House (GOP controlled) is SOLELY to blame? Now here is where people that know me say, stop being logical and don't use common sense. In that they are right, there is no logic or common sense any more. There is no way you or anyone else can convince me that blaming one party when both are guilty is logical or common sense. Unless the ultimate goal is to completely smear one or the other party in such a way as there is only one party to chose from. I may not like either party and different times but having one party is the first way to a dictatorship. Ask the Germans.
  13. skooter
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    skooter - October 10, 2013 12:22 pm
    I do...because you've tried to post it a few hundred times to make an nonexistent point. It has nothing to do with the shutdown...grind away as much as you want but you've failed to find your magic elixir to point out why it's ok to threaten the American people, hurt the economy, lose 300+ million a day, hijack our constitution enacted democratic process because you failed to have enough votes to block obamacare, and had no legal leg to stand on when you hoped to get it it declared unconstitutional, etc.

    And now your side wants to add the debt crisis into this to raise the stakes in their end run around democracy because people obvious saw through their hijacking the government for their own temper tantrum and refused them. Evidently hurting a few million people wasn't enough to get their way so they had to up it to making it sting for the entire country, and maybe wrecking major portions of the economy. Nice.

    Your side is like a bunch of 5 year olds...sorry but when they grow up (and their constituency with them evidently deitz) then we can talk about whether the debt ceiling should be raised again and whether Obama was a hypocrite back then for saying that or now because the circumstances are different. Otherwise it adds up just as well as most of the repub arguments lately. Not at all.
  14. skooter
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    skooter - October 10, 2013 9:37 am
    Posted this elsewhere but thought it worth re-sharing from one of the best members of Congress: Elizabeth Warren (spoken on the floor yesterday I think)...

    "You can do your best to make government look like it doesn't work when you stop it from working. You can do your best to make government look paralyzed when you paralyze it. You can do your best to make government look incompetent and ineffective through your incompetence, and ineffective through your ineffectiveness. But sooner or later, the government will reopen. Because this is a democracy, and this democracy has already rejected your views."

    The last line nails it.
  15. catspaw
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    catspaw - October 09, 2013 8:58 pm
    Awesome analogy and accurate to the core.
  16. catspaw
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    catspaw - October 09, 2013 8:57 pm
    I am sure you can provide a link to the story..........if it exists.
  17. skooter
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    skooter - October 09, 2013 8:33 pm
    Really - what difference does that make?? Sure would be a lot better if he and his were doing their jobs, and NOT messing with real workers, families and their well-being...not to mention costing the country/economy upwards of 300,000,000 a day. Tell to start earning it and he can keep his salary.

    That would be something to write about wouldn't it?
  18. hunterdan
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    hunterdan - October 09, 2013 5:11 pm
    I wonder why most of the newspapers haven't written about Congressman Daines donating all of his salary during the shutdown to the Big Sky Honor Flight.
  19. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - October 09, 2013 4:17 pm
    And skooter, do you remember what Obama said to Bush about this issue back in Mar of 2006? With him voting against raising the debt ceiling?
  20. FlamingLiberal1
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    FlamingLiberal1 - October 09, 2013 3:02 pm
    Daines needs to stop marching lockstep with the fringe lunatics in the GOP and start considering what is best for Montana. But I have none too sanguine hopes of that happening.
  21. JMWB
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    JMWB - October 09, 2013 1:55 pm
    When the Republicans and Tea Partiers introduce a budget or legislation that removes tax break entitlements for the wealthy and curbs corporate subsidies, then I might believe they are serious about reducing the federal budget deficit and getting the US fiscal house in order. But so far all their attention has been focused on reducing entitlements that will quite negatively impact the middle class and the poor. Hypocrisy knows no bounds.
  22. sledmike
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    sledmike - October 09, 2013 12:31 pm
    "Senior citizens and community members rally in front of the Helena office of Representative Steve Daines Tuesday to demand an end to political hostage taking that has forced a goverment shutdown."

    I thought this photo caption reveals that the author's vocabulary includes the same tired old bag of democratic rhetoric (hostage taking?).

    "Grassroots leaders protest in front of Congressman Steve Daines office Tuesday for his support of government shutdown."

    Another caption presenting opinion as fact. A simple google search of some of the protester names reveals the "grassroots" (snort!) (chuckle!) make up of some of the crowd. The great thing about astro-turf is the ability to roll it up and then roll it out at the next scene to stage an "outrage".
  23. justme59601
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    justme59601 - October 09, 2013 11:31 am
    yes i have and i just get flyswatter and smash the pesky little vermin.
  24. hunterdan
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    hunterdan - October 09, 2013 11:15 am
    That is their Job.
  25. hunterdan
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    hunterdan - October 09, 2013 11:13 am
    Baucus Called it a "Train Wreck" but stands strong behind it. I just don't get it.
  26. Seabiscuit18
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    Seabiscuit18 - October 09, 2013 11:08 am
    Those 35 people made a statement....and a good one at that. Don't discount the number of people. Have you ever been in a bedroom with 1 mosquito buzzing around.
  27. Seabiscuit18
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    Seabiscuit18 - October 09, 2013 8:17 am
    I'm with you all the way Skooter
  28. Seabiscuit18
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    Seabiscuit18 - October 09, 2013 8:15 am
    true statement.
  29. skooter
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    skooter - October 08, 2013 9:56 pm
    Kilray - your wrong. sure they still buy the car on credit just like our govt does at times. it's not a perfect system but it's a system just a rigged by the right as the left. More of the money you are complaining about in the multi-trillion dollar deficit comes from the costs of the Bush tax cuts, the prescription drug fiasco and the 2006-7 depression/severe recession...much more than than anything associated with ANY Pres. Obama led law or initiative. Look it up.

    Do you remember the republican uproar the last time Moody's and such downgraded our credit rating? They said it was for the express reason that an unreasonable and uncooperative republican congress had been elected and was unwilling to do its job and govern for rather scoring political point by obstructing real laws. This will make that look like a picnic in comparison.

    And if we default on our credit, the deficits, the economic crisis and our collective lot get much worse...and the right knows it even has they played as much of a role creating it (again, they didn't complain much - nor did you I suspect when it was red hands making it) as any. They know that it's serious business to default and they are using extortion to get a petty political win over a fairly mundane bill that they've demonized to try to achieve "their waterloo moment."

    Fortunately they've lost at every turn, and will continue to lose...they are washing their crazy desperation up upon the rocks for all to see...the polls scathing, the infighting amonst the party laid bare, the criticism from all side open and severe. It will surely be another's a shame that the republican party is so willing to show it's hypocrisy so openly and let millions suffer, possibly re-wreck the economy (they must be feeling nostalgic for the last time they were in power and did it just 6-10 years ago)...while they complain that they can't have photo ops getting vets into the memorials because the democrats shut the gov't down.

    This will be a win for democrats at the end of the day - projections from this very day show that dems would now win back the house against generic candidates handily if an election was held today - but not one we want to win this way on the backs of real working people, their families and the economy...not to mention 225 some years of democracy pitchforked for pale political games. How come your side doesn't care about that?
  30. Limber
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    Limber - October 08, 2013 9:01 pm
    The real train wreck is the Republican Party going off the rails.
  31. Limber
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    Limber - October 08, 2013 8:59 pm
    Stevie is one of 41 sponsors of the "Stability, Security and Fairness {sic}" Act. Of course, this bill, HJR 62 is a total waste of time since it proposes to defund the Affordable Care Act. And of course, he is right there behind Ted Cruz when he gets his picture taken. I am horrified that this guy thinks he represents the interests of Montana. Most of the co-sponsors of the resolution are from Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas.
  32. Msmith24
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    Msmith24 - October 08, 2013 8:28 pm
    It's time we ditch all the democrats, I can't afford their agenda anymore......
  33. caribouboy
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    caribouboy - October 08, 2013 8:10 pm
    The people in the picture seem to know their way around cardboard signs.
  34. 41-killroy
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    41-killroy - October 08, 2013 7:05 pm
    And to think all this could be avoided if we had a BALANCED BUDGET. With too many freeby's and too many DEPENDENT on government, it's crazy. really scooter if Mom and Dad don't have a budget OR income they can't by a car, they have to make due like the rest of us. I don't want to push all the Taker's debt on my kids, that is seriously irresponsible and immature.

    Mr. Baucus should put a stop to His "Train Wreck" and actually Lead, but then again the reason he is in DC is because no one in Montana would hire him anyway.
  35. skooter
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    skooter - October 08, 2013 4:40 pm
    And the last point for Daines and his spokesperson is...

    If they say they want the shutdown the end...then PROVE IT. Tell Daines to announce clearly & loudly that he wants a clean vote and no more subterfuge. Tell him to support the effort by both parties to ignore the fringe right Ted Cruz faction that's trying to position himself for a presidential run in 2016 and take a stand for what is right for the country and not his party's pandering to the loud minority. Daines would have to risk a little and actually do his JOB instead of playing both sides as he has so far.
  36. skooter
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    skooter - October 08, 2013 4:31 pm
    Here's the best analogy I've seen yet: It's like your dad and mom arguing on how much to spend on the next family car. Dad says "we should spend X." While Mom says, "No, no, we should spend Y, and if you don't agree, I won't make any mortgage payments, or let you make them, until you give in...and I'm burning down the house too."

    Now that's republican negotiation.

    Daines and his spokesperson should be ashamed of carrying the republican lie forward...Reid has been asking for conference negotiations for months with repubs, and THEY'VE REFUSED all negotiations until now when they are holding the elected, and constitutionally proven, law of the land hostage in a big hissy-fit. The rest is just their spin to try and pretend they're reasonable and ready to negotiate when everybody see's they are neither. You can't negotiate with terrorists, and you obviously can't let either party subjugate our country and it's democracy through extortion. If this was the left trying to hold the Bush tax cuts hostage through similar means, the right would be screaming about the breach in democracy and calling for insurrection.

    I am sorry the kids in red don't like it but it was voted on and it passed. It was reviewed constitutionally by a very conservative court system all the way to the supreme court - and was found to have no constitutional or other errors. We even had a nationwide election that was posed by the bullys in red as the chance they and the country needed to prove that Obamacare wasn't popular or wanted. And they failed at every level nationally by losing ground and the Presidential election.

    And of course, the republican candidate running against Obama started a health exchange in MA that is the mirror of Obamacare and while not perfect (too much given to health insurance big business imo) it works and the people of MA are some of the best covered at the most reasonable per cap rates. A true public plan would be better - and when Obama is out of office (and most likely Hillary replaces him) and the right isn't fighting on the principal of pretending everything is socialism or fascism or some ism to thwart the half black president - we might be able to get a true public option.
  37. justme59601
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    justme59601 - October 08, 2013 1:45 pm
    yeah i'm sure all "about 35 people" gave him that message LOL
  38. aj59601
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    aj59601 - October 08, 2013 1:03 pm
    the story says: "Asked whether Daines would support the “clean” resolution to end the shutdown, without any changes or delays to the Affordable Care Act, Lockman said such a vote has not yet come before the House.".... Gee that wasn't the question at all. People should stop letting these so-called leaders get away with deflecting a simple question such as this one.

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