Minneapolis - Congress is struggling to govern as a government shutdown nears.
The latest example is a 21 hour 19 minute speech given my Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on the senate floor protesting the senate budget bill.
Cruz supports House Republicans who passed a budget bill last week that strips funding for the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as "Obamacare".
Senate Democrats have plenty of votes to restore that funding to the bill and call Senator Cruz's speech an inconsequential stunt.
"This has been big waste of time," says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
"Hate Obamacare all you want but please don't threaten to shut down the government if you don't get your way," added Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Another day and another artificial crisis in Washington as Monday's deadline to pass a budget draws near.
"With these deadlines, there used to be the idea that the parties just had to come together, split the difference and actually prevent either a debt ceiling crisis or a government shutdown," says Kathryn Pearson, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota. "Both sides have become more locked into their positions and just don't want to compromise."
Pearson believes the rise of the Tea Party has divided Republicans so much that each new deadline becomes a flash point for partisanship.
"I think government is really struggling to fulfill it's basic functions right now."
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