Mich. projected to lose $18M a day during govt. shutdown - KMSP-TV

Mich. projected to lose $18M a day during govt. shutdown

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

The "blame game" is in full swing in the nation's capitol, and Democrats and Republicans in Lansing are joining in the game.

The state budget director tells lawmakers that Michigan's government will lose $18 million a day as a result of the federal shutdown. The senate Republican leader, Sen. Randy Richardville, is not sure the state budget director, who works for the governor, is right.

"He's not my spokesperson and I haven't seen these numbers yet so I don't know whether to believe him or if I don't believe him," Richardbille tells Fox 2 Political Correspondent Tim Skubick.

The senate Democratic leader, Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, believes the budget director and blames the tea party. "The tea party is willing to hurt anybody it takes in order to get their way and its a destructive force," she says. Sen. Rebekah Warren (D) adds, "It means the difference between our folks having bread on the table or not."

Yet others still disagree.

"I don't think the tea party is responsible for shutting the government down at all. Sometimes you have to stand up for a principle and defunding "Obamacare" is a matter of principle," says Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R).

"There's nothing wrong with standing up for principle, but this is not the time to do it. You don't hold the country hostage. You don't hold running the government hostage especially when the people are hurting," argues Sen. Coleman Young, Jr. (D).

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The state has already sent furlough notices to unions representing tens of thousands of state workers as a precaution in case of an extended shutdown of the federal government.

Budget director John Nixon says the move is necessary because it gets $20 billion from the federal government, or 40 percent of state spending.

Nixon says he worries about welfare and food assistance programs because spending on them normally is protected in a shutdown. But the programs weren't reauthorized.

The 1.6 million Michigan residents on food stamps will be OK in October because their debit cards have already been loaded.

Nixon says in two weeks, the state will really "feel pain" and in a month it's "really got a lot of problems."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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