Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) delivered a speech on the Senate floor in which he discussed the "opportunity costs" of the government shutdown, calling it a "tragedy" that Congress has spent valuable time working on an unnecessary government shutdown instead of on economic recovery and job creation. Sen. Franken cited the skills gap problem in the U.S.--where more than 3 million available jobs are going unfilled because employers can't find enough workers with the right skills--as a problem he'd like to be tackling with his workforce investment legislation instead of having to focus on the shutdown.
"Every day the government stays shut down--every day we wake up under the threat of default--every day we spend focused on something that isn't "working together to create jobs and rebuild the middle class'--is a tragedy," Sen. Franken said in his speech on the Senate floor. "It's an insult to all the people who are struggling. And it's a huge missed opportunity for our country."
Sen. Franken continued: "This nonsense would be ugly even if we didn't have work to do. But we do. We have so much work to do. And it's time for Congress to stop creating problems and start solving them again."