WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement urging members of the House and Senate on the Budget Conference Committee to make every effort to repeal and replace federal budget sequestration with a common-sense budget that prioritizes job creation and critical federal programs that support Connecticut’s middle class and its most vulnerable populations:
Since the sequester was implemented earlier this year, I’ve travelled around Connecticut and heard from countless individuals who are feeling the pain of these reckless cuts. These automatic spending cuts—that came on the heels of already shrinking state and local budgets and the worst recession since the Great Depression—are another sad example of governing at its worst. Congress has to stop taking people’s jobs and our entire economy hostage to its own dysfunction. Instead of eliminating unfair tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and multi-million dollar corporations, Congress has implemented massive cuts to the Department of Defense that have put our national security at risk, and to critical programs like senior nutrition services, medical research, and early childhood education that have resulted in unnecessary job losses in Connecticut.
As the Budget Conference Committee continues its meetings, I urge its members to think of Wayne Lee, a retired police officer in New London who is already burdened by expenses related to his recent stroke and high student loan payments. Last week he told me that because of the sequester, his energy assistance had been cut and he had to start sleeping in a sleeping bag just to try and keep warm at night. I urge the Committee to consider the little girls and boys I met this summer at the Head Start program in Greenwich whose teachers aren’t able to come to work anymore because Congress cut their pay. The Committee should also think of Benjamin Cardona, a man I met at Bridge House in Bridgeport who was homeless and could lose the ability to access re-housing programs because of these cuts.
Members of the Budget Conference Committee have a great opportunity to reverse the damage that the budget sequester has brought to Connecticut and the country. I encourage them to work together and pass a budget that supports families throughout the state, and job growth that will help strengthen our still fragile economy. It’s time to get to work.