CT Congressional delegation supports budget deal despite lack of - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT Congressional delegation supports budget deal despite lack of "dreamer" mention

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan budget deal overnight to end a government shutdown.

It now heads to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature.

Connecticut's congressional delegation called the deal good for the state, despite no mention of help for "dreamers."

The U.S. Senate, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, approved the deal around 2 a.m. on Friday.

The deadline was midnight, which was why the shutdown occurred.

Sen. Rand Paul held up the vote to protest what he called "runaway government spending."

However, the Senate had a procedural vote that started around 1 a.m. The deal passed 71 to 28. The House then passed the measure, 240 to 186.

The bill will raise the spending caps on defense and domestic spending by $300 billion over the next two years. It also includes $90 billion for disaster relief and provides funds for infrastructure and to fight opioid abuse.

Blumenthal and Murphy voted in favor of the deal.

"Connecticut stands to benefit from significant, necessary increases to both military and non-military spending critical to our nation," Blumenthal said in a statement. "This measure will ensure that community health centers continue to provide essential services to their patients and first-responders on the frontlines of the opioid crisis have access to the resources they need. After months of failing our fellow Americans, this deal finally provides Puerto Rico with long overdue disaster relief."

Murphy acknowledged that the deal has its problems.

"This deal isn't perfect, but people in Connecticut are sick and tired of Congress just pushing all these critical issues down the road, and this deal gets us much-needed certainty about the future of federal spending and taxes," he said.

Rep. Joe Courtney said the agreement will fund the country's defense and domestic priorities; however, he wants to see language to help dreamers, people who arrived in the country as undocumented children.

“President Trump, Speaker [Paul] Ryan, and Senate Majority leader [Mitch] McConnell have all repeatedly and publicly stated their intent to help Dreamers - and the American people expect them to follow through on their commitments," Courtney said. "Now that we have set aside the overarching budget crisis, we will hold their feet to the fire and ensure that they keep their pledge to bring a Dreamers fix to the floor for an up or down vote. History and the entire nation will be watching.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro also voted in favor of the bill.

“I voted in favor of [Friday's] two-year budget agreement because it funds many initiatives I wholeheartedly support and have championed throughout my entire life," DeLauro said. "Connecticut’s seniors, children, families, and veterans will benefit from the funding increases contained in this agreement."

However, she also said she was disappointed by the fact that dreamers were left out.

Rep. Jim Himes was also a "yes."

“With this vote, we have secured a total of ten years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program; $20 billion for infrastructure investment; $6 billion more funding to fight against the opioid epidemic; a two year reauthorization and $7 billion in funding for Community Health Centers; $90 billion in disaster funding for Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida; $2 billion for the National Institutes of Health; and an extension of the debt ceiling until March of 2019. The bill raises the caps on spending we need here at home, not just on our military," Himes said.

Himes also called for action to address the dreamers situation.

Rep. John Larson was for the bill because of the calls he received from community health centers and the parents of children affected by the opioid crisis.

"I am proud of the work that we have accomplished in this bill," Larson said. "By working bipartisanly, we were able to find solutions that will actually help people in Connecticut and the country. That's what our constituents sent us to Congress to do." 

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of the budget situation.

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