Blumenthal: ‘We don’t have the luxury of failing democracy’

Even as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to negotiate a new proposal to open the government and raise the debt ceiling, Sen. Richard Blumenthal read the newspaper to the Senate Monday afternoon.

In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, Blumenthal highlighted the hardships of the government shutdown as it has applied to Connecticut citizens.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal read a story on the government shutdown in the Connecticut Post to the Senate Monday.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal read a story on the government shutdown in the Connecticut Post to the Senate Monday.

After talking about the impacts on wounded veterans,Head Start children, stalled homebuyers, hospital patients, and seniors who depend on nutritional services, Blumenthal picked up a copy of the Connecticut Post and read the opening paragraphs of Tim Loh’s story about a Seymour company that provides HR services for businesses across the country.

“It begins, ‘Robin Imbrogno pulled her staff together after work Thursday for an update. How, she asked, has the federal government’s partial shutdown impacted businesses at her company? … Even more ways than I thought, she said moments later.’ ”

Blumenthal added, “It is a wake-up call for not only the Congress but for everyone in positions of leadership. because this effect will be enduring. This same article from the Connecticut Post talks about the SBA not providing loans to small businesses. … as much as we focus on the markets and Wall Street, we’re talking about Main Street in jeopardy because of this shutdown.

“These are real-life tragedies, there are real consequences to real people.”

Speaking of the looming debt limit, Blumenthal said, “How would we face our children if we were to allow this nation to go into default? … Every generation enters into a compact … that we will leave this nation better than we found it.

“We don’t have the luxury of failing democracy and failing to pay our bills on time. We must meet this challenge and follow the examples … of millions of Americans who have said to all of us, “Get the job done. Make sure the government of the United States serves the people and pays the bills on time.”


David McCumber, Washington Bureau Chief