The two Democrats representing Shelton in the U.S. House are strongly criticizing the government shutdown, which they blame on the Republican majority in that chamber of the federal government.
“I remain amazed by my colleagues’ unwillingness to put their own political agendas aside and do their job,” said Congressman Jim Himes from the Fourth District.
“As the president said, it is the job of Congress to ensure our government has the funding and the authorization it needs to stay open to help the American people,” he said.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro from the Third District said the shutdown would “damage our economy and make life harder for millions of families, especially families living on the edge.”
The federal government shutdown began on Tuesday morning and means that most non-essential services at the federal level now are closed. The Republican-led House is battling with the Democratic-controlled Senate and Democratic President Barack Obama to approve legislation to fund the U.S. government.
Himes on GOP: ‘Childish demands’
Himes said House Republicans continue to insist on holding the government hostage to their failed attempts — 44 in all — to eliminate or delay the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).
“Because of the House majority’s wish list of demands — including defunding or delaying healthcare reform just as it is going into effect — passport offices will shutter, businesses will see their federal contracts and loans delayed, and hundreds of federal employees living in Connecticut will be furloughed,” Himes said. “Estimates show the American economy will suffer substantially if the government shuts down. “
“It is absolutely ridiculous,” he said, “that Congress would continue down this path of intransigence as the American people demand we find compromise and keep the government running. In the coming days, I will continue urging my colleagues to come to the table, leave their childish demands at home, and pass a clean resolution to fund the U.S. government.”
DeLauro calls impasse ‘a hostage crisis’
DeLauro, now in her 12th term, is repeatedly referring to the situation as the “Republican government shutdown.”
She said a shutdown means “hundreds of thousands of workers will be sent home and many others will continue to work without pay. Anti-hunger and nutrition support to women, infants, and children will dry up. Home and small business lending will freeze. Life-saving research will be put on hold. Parks and museums will close.”
According to DeLauro, “Instead of working with Democrats to move a budget forward and prevent all this other self-inflicted damage, the majority’s leadership is allowing the fringe ideologues in their party to turn the budget process into a hostage crisis. Kill the Affordable Care Act, they argue, or America gets it. This is not responsible leadership.”
DeLauro claimed some Republicans in Congress were hoping for a shutdown.
“They are rooting for a shutdown,” she said. “One member even said: ‘We’re very excited. It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.’ Another said: ‘It’s wonderful.’
“It is not wonderful,” DeLauro said. “It is terrible for our economy and for families. This is hostage-taking and it cannot stand.”
Shelton has two members of Congress
The city of Shelton is divided between the Third District, represented by DeLauro, and the Fourth District, represented by fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes.
Congressman Jim Himes lives in Greenwich and was first elected to Congress in 2008. The Fourth District includes most of Fairfield County.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro lives in New Haven and was first elected to Congress in 1990. The Third District is centered in New Haven County.