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DC NEWS JUNKIE | Blumenthal Decries GOP Budget, Talks Tactics

by | Mar 23, 2015 8:58pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Congress, The Economy, Federal Budget, Military Spending, State Capitol

Jordan Fenster / CTNewsJunkie Arguing that the Republican-proposed budget targets the middle class, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., stopped by Connecticut’s capitol Monday to decry what he said was a “disingenuous and deceptive” federal funding plan that “engages in gimmicks and magic asterisks.”

According to Blumenthal, the GOP itself is “far” from unanimous, with disagreements within the party brewing over defense spending, automatic budget cuts called sequestration, and deficit mitigation.

“The Republican party is divided,” he said. “There are the deficit hawks who want to slash completely government spending and preserve the sequester that has done such damage over the past few years, and there are the defense hawks who want to raise defense spending and eliminate the sequester.”

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That difference in ideology within the party in power is something minority Democrats are hoping to exploit.

“There are divisions within the Republican Party. They are far from united,” Blumenthal said. “We have an opportunity to use our unanimity in favor of restoring education cuts, making sure that middle class investments are protected, rail safety and reliability — all those priorities for Connecticut.”

Blumenthal is far from the only Democratic lawmaker to argue against the GOP budget proposal. Last week, the White House released a “fact sheet” on the budget that details proposed cuts to Head Start, Title I, housing choice vouchers, and the Affordable Health Care Act, among other programs.

Congressional Democrats are responding with amendments to the budget intended to preserve those programs.

“This budget would be a disaster for Connecticut’s middle class families and our middle class as it would be for all Americans,” Blumenthal said. “Beginning today I will be spearheading a series of amendments that will attempt to counter a Republican budget that basically slashes and guts investments in middle class families.”

His first amendment will be a proposal to provide $478 million for railways, roads, and other Connecticut infrastructure intended to “restore the cuts contemplated by the Republican budget.”

When asked if the budget was gamesmanship, a bargaining tactic perhaps more intended to stake an ideological claim than to actually fund the federal government, Blumenthal said the that Republican proposals were more than just concepts.

“They’re part of a resolution that will frame and constrain actions going forward, particularly when it comes to veterans and similar kinds of programs, these proposals will have serious, lasting effect,” he said.

House Democrats Propose
Tax Cuts for Senior Citizens

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways & Means Committee, among them U.S. Rep. John Larson, introduced a bill last week intended to preserve Social Security, increase benefits and cut taxes for senior citizens.

The so-called “Social Security 2100 Act,” H.R. 1391, would effectively cut taxes by raising the threshold on taxation of benefits, raise the minimum benefit from below the poverty line to 25 percent above, allowing more individuals to take advantage of Social Security benefits, and offer increased benefits for future beneficiaries.

“Social Security remains the nation’s bedrock retirement program and provides vital protection for the disabled and those who have lost a loved one,” Larson said in a release. “Many Americans, however, do not believe it will be there for them when they retire. I am proud to announce a common sense path forward today that, not only strengthens benefits now, but ensures Social Security will be here through the next century.”

The proposal was announced last week in a press conference held in Washington.

Cosponsors of the proposed measure include Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District.

“I’ve heard from seniors throughout central and northwest Connecticut who rely on Social Security to make ends meet,” Esty said in a release. “Congress has a responsibility to protect and strengthen this lifeline program that seniors have earned through hard work. I’m proud to join my friend and colleague Congressman Larson in introducing the Social Security 2100 Act, which will rightfully increase benefits for current seniors and keep Social Security strong for our children and grandchildren.”

Jordan Fenster is an award-winning freelance journalist. He lives with his family in Fairfield County. He can be reached by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or @JordanFenster on Twitter.

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Comments

(9) Archived Comments

posted by: art vandelay | March 23, 2015  9:52pm

art vandelay

@Senator Blumenthal,
And you’re going to tell me that your party’s budgets were not disingenuous and deceptive!
And you’re telling me that budgets crafted by Democrats were void of gimmicks & asterisks! BULL!  It’s your budgets that your party crafted in Detroit that put the city into bankruptcy.  It’s your budgets in Chicago that are sinking it faster than the Titanic.  Same goes for Connecticut too!  As long as your party caters to every Union demand it will continue to sink every city and now Connecticut into the abyss.  Start telling the truth for once in your life Senator Blumenthal.

posted by: UConnHoop | March 24, 2015  7:33am

Has Sen. Blumenthal EVER put a budget proposal forward?  How does he propose we deal with the entitlement programs which are growing faster than the rate of inflation?  Is it not his problem or does he not care because he won’t be around when they implode?

posted by: MyOpinion | March 24, 2015  8:42am

Tax & Spend Blumenthal is decrying trickery in the Republicans budget.This man only know how to add laws and spending programs. He need to learn how to cut out programs.  There is NO more middle class!

posted by: justsayin | March 24, 2015  10:17am

He went to the right place to find gimmicks and tricks.

posted by: bob8/57 | March 24, 2015  1:48pm

bob8/57

Bloomy keeps hitting them out of the park. The best that the Republicans can hope for is a base on balls.

posted by: Janster57 | March 24, 2015  5:49pm

Amazing that any CT politician can point to someone else’s budget and say it stinks. Maybe the federal budget just isn’t up to CT standards of deceptive and disingenuous.

posted by: shinningstars122 | March 25, 2015  6:24am

shinningstars122

Once again the CT peanut gallery ignores the true detail of the GOP proposed budget.

The bottom line is they want to increase spending in defense enormously and will pay for it by repealing Obamacare, which over 16 million more people now have health insurance, and to repeal back all of the Dodd/ Frank financial reform.

Clearly a task that seriously can not be implemented by the current GOP.

Our Senator is right the GOP, as well as the Democratis, are divided and after seeing the excerpts of Senator Ted Cruz’s pitch to run our country…imagine the inmates running the asylum.

No need for   day dreaming they already are.

posted by: dano860 | March 25, 2015  10:28am

Maybe we should let the Democrats handle it all…oh wait they are. And such an magnificent job they are doing right here in Connecticut!
The money returned to the other social program, Medicade and Medicare, will be the outcome of replacing Owebamacare. It has yet to come close to its claims of reducing cost and insuring the poor.
If your depending on S.S. to keep yourself afloat you didn’t do any basic planning when you had the opportunity. Of course this is something that is missing in our education system.
The military budget, it does need trimming. The proposed budget calls for $58.6B. That would include the products made in Connecticut, like submarines or jet engines. We don’t need all of the troops out of the country though. Let’s be more like Israel, every living sole does military service which will improve our economy. We need to spend to defend our borders, improve our immigration efforts and be more selective in placing our defense efforts outside of our borders.
The Veterans Affairs is another budget that needs better oversight. They want $164B this year, almost three times the military. One of those billions will go to cover cost overruns at 4 V.A. hospitals.
Like the State the Feds really need to get up to speed with today’s technology and cut costs and duplication.
R’s or D’s, the State and the country are in sad shape and no one party is to blame nor will they fix it.

posted by: justsayin | March 25, 2015  8:55pm

Shinningstar you sling arrows at anything not liberal left, why? have an open mind and look at the results or lack there of. There is a better path.

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