Connecticut lawmakers denounce government shutdown


The shutdown of the federal government extended into the workweek, but it is expected to resume on Tuesday.

Lawmakers were unable to resolve their differences over the weekend. Monday at noon, they announced a deal to keep the government open until at least Feb. 8.

The deal was passed by the Senate and the House on Monday night, followed by President Donald Trump's signature.

Connecticut officials voiced their opinions over social media, including Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Elizabeth Esty.

"It's really simple," Murphy posted to Twitter. "Republicans run everything and they cannot govern. All we want is for them to do their job, the stuff that was routine before they took over, like disaster funding, kids health insurance, an actual budget."

It's really simple. Republicans run everything and they cannot govern. All we want is for them to do their job - the stuff that was routine before they took over, like disaster funding, kids health insurance, an actual budget.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 20, 2018

Esty also tweeted that

she wouldn't accept a paycheck

as the shutdown continues.

I will not accept one penny of my salary as long as this misguided shutdown continues.— Elizabeth Esty (@RepEsty) January 20, 2018

Sunday night, majority leader Mitch McConnell attempted to schedule a vote that would have ended the shutdown. However, Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer objected.

Under the proposal that's taking shape, Democrats would agree to a three-week spending measure in return for a commitment from Republican leadership in the Senate to address immigration policy and other pressing legislative matters in the coming weeks.

"We're going to work across the aisle, achieve bipartisan agreement," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. "There is bipartisan consensus for every one of the essential elements of a bipartisan agreement."

On Monday, two Connecticut senators voted against the bill.

"No full-year funding for national defense. No adequate support for opioid treatment or community health centers. No disaster relief for Puerto Rico," Blumenthal said.

"I think it’s ridiculous that we’re kicking the can down the road again," Murphy said.

While the bill kicks those issues down the road, the bill that passed today does keep the government running.

Federal workers will get paid through the shutdown, but it also extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years.

It also delays three Obamacare taxes, but it doesn’t touch on things Blumenthal says is important to thousands of people in our state.

“It hurts Connecticut. It fails to keep faith with the Dreamers and provide them with protection against massive deportation,” Blumenthal said.

Dreamers are immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

There are more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants in Connecticut. About 10,000 qualify for the Dream Act, many are students.

Mirka Dominguez-Salinas just graduated from Southern Connecticut State University.

“If the DREAM Act were to pass, I would kind of not be stuck in a state of limbo where I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Dominguez-Salinas said.

Senators Blumenthal and Murphy were just two of 18 who voted against the bill, meaning many Democrats did vote it through, under one condition -- deal with DACA by Feb. 8 or the Senate will make it the number one priority.

“The Republican majority now has 17 days to prevent the Dreamers from being deported,” said New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

President Trump met with both Democrats and Republicans at the White House today, leaders emerged with this takeaway.

“He wants to the DACA children to have a certain pathway forward,” said Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.

For years we’ve been hearing “build the wall, build the wall.” Details on that will likely emerge because the President wants to include funding for a border wall in any DACA solution.

During the shutdown, essential government workers, including uniformed service members, still had to report for duty. However, their paychecks could be delayed.

See a list of the states that are the most affected by the shutdown here.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Producer

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