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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Senator Al Franken is warning his colleagues not to play chicken with the debt ceiling and also outlining his recommendations for federal spending cuts.

"If we default on our debt, it would wreak tremendous havoc, not just to our economy but probably globally," warns Sen. Franken. "No good could come out of it so to use it as a hostage so to speak, is just a very very bad idea."

The remarks came in a sit-down interview with KARE 11 where the senator also shed some light on what spending cuts he will back when Congress reconvenes.

  • Allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies. He says the Veterans Administration already does this for it's hospitals and saves about 40% on their pharmaceutical costs.
  • Eliminate oil subsidies
  • Cut spending on our nuclear arms facilities which he says are being upgraded at massive expense.

"These are weapons we're not going to use. We need to make sure we have a deterrent but we're talking hundreds of billions of dollars," says Sen. Franken.

As the political fights rage on in Washington, Senator Franken is spending about half his time in Minnesota these days.

Over the past three days he has facilitated discussions with local leaders on mental health and school safety.

Facing re-election in 2 years, he hopes Minnesotans will see a reason to keep him around.

"There are all kinds of frustrations in the job but I'm really glad I'm there," says Sen. Franken. "This is a great privilege to do this."

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