FARGO, N.D. (AP) — About 25 people stood in the rain in downtown Fargo over the noon hour Monday to protest the federal government shutdown that’s reached the two-week mark.

The group calling themselves “Fargo Progressives” carried signs that read “Don’t Cut My Social Security” and “No Tax Breaks For Outsourcing.”

North Dakota State University student Lauren Trefethren, 23, spoke out against Republican Kevin Cramer, North Dakota’s lone voice in the U.S. House of Representatives. She carried a poster that said, “Cramer, Go Furlough Yourself!”

“I’m so frustrated because I don’t think Cramer is representing what the people want,” Trefethren said. “People are very frustrated and he seems to be looking out for the party’s interest rather than the people’s interest. So I feel like this is our way to be heard.”

Cramer said Monday he’s a champion of political expression and he applauds the exuberance of protesters braving poor conditions. He said he empathizes with their feelings about the stalemate.

“I don’t like this anymore than anyone else,” he said in a telephone interview from Washington. “That being said, I would like to see some people who are concerned express themselves equally that the Democrats in the Senate haven’t taken up a single appropriation or spending bill that we’ve sent over to them since last June.”

One of the rally attendees, Tammy Fischer, 51, said she would like to get rid of all the incumbents and see term limits in place for Congress. She’s not happy with President Obama, either.

“There were a lot of things he said he was going to do that he never did,” she said. “He left people in a mess and this right here is another mess that people on Social Security have to worry and stress about.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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