Blumenthal: Congress Must Focus on Budget

Oct 21, 2013

Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

With the shutdown in the rearview mirror, Connecticut's senior senator said it’s vital for Congress to reach a budget accord as soon as possible.

Richard Blumenthal said a deal will stop the country lurching to a new fiscal crisis early next year, and it will avert the worst effects of the sequester. Fresh cuts to Medicare are scheduled in December, and to the Pentagon's budget in January, unless Democrats and Republicans can come together on tax and spending levels. Blumenthal said, “The budget offers a path away from destruction, and toward a sensible, common-sense solution. Now, we need to be very realistic. The result will not be a grand bargain; it will be a great compromise.”

Blumenthal said he's also focused on making sure the state of Connecticut is reimbursed for extra spending it took on during the federal government shutdown. “We’re not sure how or when it will happen," he said, "but that kind of reimbursement, making whole as many people as possible, should occur as soon as possible. We will work for it, fight for it; and I believe it is achievable.”

Connecticut stepped in to keep open Head Start locations, and to cover some food assistance and services for disabled veterans.