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(VIDEO) Rep. Thissen: 2011 Was a 'Colossal Failure' on the Part of Republican Legislators

Rep. Paul Thissen shares his opinion on the tax bill during the special session Tuesday.

Rep. Paul Thissen pushed hard for Minnesota House members to vote "no" on the omnibus tax bill Tuesday, accusing Republicans of protecting special interests and not doing the job they were elected to do.

"As the clock ran out of the regular legislative session," began Rep. Paul Thissen (D-Richfield/Minneapolis). "I said that 2011 was a colossal failure of leadership on the part of the Republicans."

However, now that Tuesday marked the 19th day of a shutdown, he said failing to approve a budget by the end of regular session May 23 was just the beginning of the problems.

"Republicans have failed to lead," he said. "They've stubbornly stuck to protecting millionaires ... They went so far to protect millionaires that they actually shutdown our state."

Thissen went on to say that the budget proposal is a "beg, borrow and steal budget" and the "most irresponsible budget" in the state's history and the tax bill was at the heart of it.

"You didn't do your job this year, because you were elected to serve the people of Minnesota and not just the richest few."

Despite Thissen's efforts, the tax bill passed 71-57.

Click the "play" button on the video above to see Thissen's full speech.

Lynnae Haines July 20, 2011 at 08:29 PM
It is incredibly frustrating to hear more of the blame game! BOTH sides dug their heels in and refused to cooperate with the opposing party. I agree that the Repubs were not doing their jobs, but neither were the Dems. The Repubs did not shut down MN's government. The Repubs AND Dems shut down our government. Can we just start a new party that isn't so polarized? There has to be a middle ground...the center is the place to be...because that is where you can have true compromise.
Mike McLean July 20, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Thissen stated "However, now that Tuesday marked the 19th day of a shutdown, he said failing to approve a budget by the end of regular session May 23 was just the beginning of the problems.". He was wrong. They did approve a balanced budget. A budget which increased spending by either $2 billion or $4 billion over the last bienium budget. It was the Democrats who cannot help themselves with their "We must increase taxes and spending/government" persona that caused this issue. The sad thing is that Dayton is not up for election for three more years. This shutdown was all on the back of Gov Dayton.
Brie Shultz July 21, 2011 at 03:33 AM
I feel like there was wasted opportunity to bring in new revenue with racinos and a penny a beer tax increase. Republican John Kriesel floated both of those ideas and I'm surprised there wasn't more of a bi-partisan push with those. Even with budget cuts there needs to be more state revenue to make up for all of the tax cuts of the last decade. Like it or not, budgets go up year to year because the cost of everything around us goes up year to year.

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