Co-founders of the Campaign to Fix the Debt are launching a national television campaign urging lawmakers to stop fighting and pass a budget.

The ads will run in 23 markets around the country including the Twin Cities. A spokesman would not disclose the size of the ad buy.

The ad features former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles encouraging viewers to contact their lawmakers and tell them to get serious about fixing the nation’s $17 trillion debt.

“It’s going to take real political courage for folks to begin working together to confront the long-term fiscal problems facing the country,” Bowles said in the commercial. “Now is the time to tell Washington it’s long past time to fix the debt.”

The campaign is a non-partisan movement that urges lawmakers to reduce the national debt as a share of the economy. In the ad, Simpson and Bowles stressed the need for lawmakers to reach a bipartisan agreement to reopen the government and raise the nation's debt ceiling.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is a member of a bipartisan group, led by Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, working to craft a compromise. Klobuchar told CNN's Wolf Blitzer this afternoon that senators “are feeling good” about the discussions.

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy, a member of the steering committee for Minnesota’s Fix the Debt chapter, said the campaign aims to support lawmakers engaged in negotiations that could yield a “responsible solution.”

“These are not light decisions to be taken if we’re going to put America on a sounder fiscal footing,” Kennedy said.

“So any form of reminder to the citizens of the gravity of the situation our country faces and the need to make those tough decisions, I think helps negotiations such as the Klobuchar-Collins negotiations succeed and be positively received by the state.”

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