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Congressman Dave Loebsack jokes with Korean War veteran Noel Komasa before presenting him with his service medals in Davenport on Apr. 30.

Echoing a message forwarded by Democratic leaders, U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack of Iowa on Thursday called for an end to the ongoing federal government shutdown he says has been allowed to continue while President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans “play politics.”

The longtime representative, first elected in 2006, says he looks forward to “continuing to fight on behalf of Iowa’s hard-working families,” naming access to quality education, job creation and boosting the rural economy as areas of focus.

“Before we are able to do any of that, we must work immediately to reopen the government,” Loebsack said in a statement. “We cannot continue to keep 800,000 government workers furloughed or working without pay while the President and Republicans play politics and refuse to open parts of the government that have nothing to do with securing the border.”

At the center of budget negotiations in Washington is Trump’s demand for money to erect a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, an issue on which the president has recently dug his heels as he attempts to fulfill a promise he made on the campaign trail.

Loebsack’s comments come 13 days after the federal shutdown began, and the same day the new Congress began its official business with a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have rejected earlier requests by the president to give him legislation that re-opens the federal government and contains billions of dollars for beefed-up border security.

On Thursday morning, the president offered his view of the situation on Twitter, pointing the blame at Democrats. He also contended that the shutdown is politically motivated.

“The Shutdown is only because of the 2020 Presidential Election,” the president wrote. "The Democrats know they can’t win based on all of the achievements of ‘Trump,’ so they are going all out on the desperately needed Wall and Border Security - and Presidential Harassment. For them, strictly politics!”

Loebsack, who represents Iowa's 2nd congressional district, aired his criticism while he welcomed two fellow Democrats joining the state’s congressional delegation, Reps. Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne.

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