Gov. Walker, Sen. Minority Leader react to federal gov’t shutdown

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MADISON (WITI) -- Wisconsin leaders are weighing in on the federal government shutdown. Governor Scott Walker says Washington lawmakers aren't doing their jobs, and he says there is plenty of blame to go around.

"True freedom and prosperity doesn't come from the mighty hand of the government," Gov. Walker said.

In a speech to Wisconsin business leaders on Wednesday, October 2nd, Gov. Walker touted Wisconsin's fiscal policy, and bemoaned Washington's dysfunction during Day Two of the federal government shutdown.

"We took action.  I say we, because it took leaders of the Senate and the Assembly working with us -- unlike what's happening in our nation's Capitol. It took the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch rolling up our sleeves, getting the job done," Gov. Walker said.

Earlier, Gov. Walker said both Democrats and Republicans were to blame for the shutdown.

"It makes sense that he'd cover for his own part on this one, but I think he's underestimating the public.  I think they know that it's not only the Republican party that is to blame, but has this as a specific goal," Sen. Chris Larson (D - Milwaukee) said.

The goal is to use the shutdown as a way to force changes to the Affordable Care Act -- which Gov. Walker says will hurt the economy.

"There's too many people at the state Capitol and even more at our nation's Capitol who don't understand you don't create jobs by passing a bill into law," Gov. Walker said.

"Had he accepted the Medicaid expansion for the state of Wisconsin, it would have created 10,500 new jobs -- more jobs than any bill or any collection of bills that the governor has tried to put out there," Sen. Larson said.

Gov. Walker seemed to be sending a message that the constant bickering at the Capitol could hurt the nation's economy.

The shutdown means 840 members of the Wisconsin National Guard have been furloughed.

Union officials say guards at the federal prison in Oxford are being told to report to work without pay for now.

Meanwhile, social services like the Hunger Task Force will be crippled by a lack of federal funding -- all outcomes Gov. Walker says could be avoided if his approach were adopted.

"You don't need to worry about that in the state of Wisconsin.  We have made the tough but prudent decisions that put our fiscal and our economic house back in order," Gov. Walker said.

Gov. Walker on Wednesday also announced new numbers that show Wisconsin has created more than 11,000 new businesses on his watch. He says certainty in the government is the key to economic growth -- something that right now, is lacking in Washington, D.C.


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