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Walberg's Democrat challenger blasts the congressman over government shutdown

LANSING, MI (WTVB) - Pam Byrnes is the Democratic challenger in the 7th U.S. House District and yesterday, she did all she could during a meeting with reporters to tie incumbent G-O-P Congressman Tim Walberg to the federal government shutdown. Byrnes used the setting of the post office in downtown Lansing to claim that Walberg won't work to find common ground to end the shutdown, while she would if she were in office. She charged that Walberg is epitomizing the gridlock in Washington, and that he wants to stand his ground. Byrnes believes it's horrible that the Michigan economy is starting to come back, and now, in her words, "we're getting kind of a slap in the face".  

MIRS reports that snap polls last weekend showed that in the 7th District, 58 percent of respondents answered that they oppose Congress shutting down major activities of the federal government as a way to stop the health care law from being put into place. The survey also showed a generic Democratic opponent to have an 8-point lead over Walberg at 49-41. Byrnes, a former state lawmaker from Chelsea, admitted that there are some problems with the Affordable Care Act. She said shutting down the government over the law's funding is not the way to resolve them. 

Walberg’s office has highlighted the weekend action in the House with legislation passed to ensure that furloughed federal employees would get their pay. The House has also passed measures to support veterans, nutrition assistance for low-income families and emergency disaster relief. A spokeswoman for Walberg said the Congressman will continue his efforts to open the government, protect taxpayers and ask the Senate Democrats and President Obama to come to the negotiating table so they can reach an agreement to help the American people.