Government shutdown? DeLauro opposes plan because ‘resources provided in this bill are not adequate’

UPDATE THURSDAY 9:40 P.M.:The budget bill has just passed the U.S. House, getting more Republican votes than expected and fewer Democratic votes than expected. The U.S. Senate will take up the bill next.

With a midnight deadline, the U.S. House is apparently deadlocked on passing a federal budget despite support for a compromise long-term budget bill by both Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic President Barack Obama.

One of those planning to vote against the spending bill is Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, whose district includes part of Shelton.

In announcing her opposition on the House floor today, DeLauro said “the resources provided in this bill are not adequate to tackle the challenges that middle-class families face every day.

“The bill does not keep pace with inflation. It continues to underfund some of our nation’s highest priorities: education, health care, medical research, job training,” said DeLauro, a Democrat who will soon begin her 13th term.

If Congress fails to pass a budget by midnight tonight, the government could shut down although that is unlikely since the House and Senate are likely to approve a short-term spending bill if the longer-term version fails.

The city’s other congressman

Shelton’s other member of Congress, Congressman Jim Himes, has not put out a formal statement on how he plans to vote.

Himes — generally viewed as a moderate — has found himself in the middle of a controversy, however. One of the reasons many liberal Democrats such as DeLauro oppose the bill is because it includes a provision they consider as being too favorable to Wall Street interests,

Himes, a former Wall Street executive, has long championed passing this provision but he denies playing any role in having it inserted in the current comprehensive budget bill.

DeLauro denounced this provision. “The bill gambles with our financial system,” she said.

"It would reverse Dodd-Frank safeguards allow banks with Federal Deposit Insurance to engage in some of Wall Street’s riskiest transactions— the same transactions that caused the crisis in which millions of hard working Americans lost their jobs, their homes and their savings," DeLauro said.

“Why would we want to put families at risk once again?” she asked. “Public funds should be used to protect our families, not to prop up casino banking.”

DeLauro: Other ‘trouble aspects’

DeLauro said the long-term budget bill contains many other “troubling aspects” as well.

“The Department of Homeland Security is only funded for nine weeks. Why? Because the [Republican] majority disagrees with the president on immigration,” she said. “Holding up full-year funding for national security over an immigration disagreement is a game that poses a serious risk to our border, our Secret Service, and our ability to respond to natural disasters.”

DeLauro said the long-term spending bill “threatens injustice to millions of seniors. It allows pension funds to reduce benefits to current retirees. They worked hard for their retirement and they earned it. Why would we want to put their economic security in jeopardy?

“Finally,” she continued, “the bill seeks to overturn some of the last remaining campaign finance laws — as if they were not generous enough. The American public is angry about a government that responds to the highest bidder. The [Republican] majority’s dangerous games benefit corporations and the wealthy at the expense of working families and seniors. I urge my colleagues to vote against this bill.”