By Ed Harris
Senator Richard Blumenthal discussed the sequester and partisan gridlock, amongst other topics, during an appearance at a recent Southington Chamber of Commerce Celebrity Breakfast.
Blumenthal argued that there are cuts that are needed, but argued that the sequester was taking a toll on the economy.
“All of these cuts have an impact on our economy,” Blumenthal said. “We can make smart cuts.”
Some of the areas that Blumenthal felt cuts should be made included military bases abroad and closing tax loopholes, including farms subsidies.
Blumenthal said the economy was starting to look up, but said the state of Connecticut was a little behind the trend.
“Signs are pointing up,” the senator said.
When it came to the partisan deadlock, Blumenthal, a Democrat, laid the blame on the filibuster and the House of Representatives, which has a Republican majority. Blumenthal said the Senate acted bipartisan in some aspects, but said everything stalled once it got to the house. He further stated that Ohioan Republican John Boehner, the speaker of the house, had a policy that would only allow items to be voted on if there was a majority of Republicans backing it.
Blumenthal was quick to denounce the filibuster, stating that it must come to an end. To override a filibuster a supermajority, or 60 votes in the Senate is needed. Blumenthal said ending the filibuster would help alleviate the partisan gridlock.
“That is a way to end some of the gridlock,” Blumenthal said. “It’ll force the two parties to come together.”
During a brief question and answer segment, Blumenthal also answered questions on the ongoing violence in Iraq, energy and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In introducing Blumenthal, Southington Chamber of Commerce Chairman Tony Sheffy noted Blumenthal’s 20 years as the attorney general for Connecticut.
“You’ve had 20 years as an advocate for the state of Connecticut,” Sheffy said.“You’re a fighter.”