The Washington Times - October 17, 2013, 09:19AM

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said Thursday said the recent stalemate over spending and the debt limit “destroyed Americans’ confidence” in the U.S. economy and Congress as an institution, so lawmakers better put reform ahead of their own political ambitions.

The North Dakota Democrat told MSNBC that budget-minders will now get to work, even if the same people who brought the country to the brink “actually prevented this conference months ago” — an accusation lobbed at Republicans.

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Moving forward, Ms. Heitkamp said the negotiations should be transparent and focus on actual reforms, and not who may or may not face a party primary in the coming year.

“Why do you want to be here?” she said, referring to conversations with her colleagues. “If you’re just here to hold a place and hold a job, what value does that have? What job satisfaction do you have?”