CT’s House members split on fy 2011 spending bill

Only two of Connecticut’s U.S. House members-Reps. Joe Courtney and Jim Himes–voted “yes” on the fiscal year 2011 spending deal hashed out between House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and the White House last week. That plan, which averted a government shutdown, would cut $38 billion from current year federal operations.

Himes, D-4th District, and Courtney, D-2nd District, said the proposal included painful cuts to domestic programs but they were limited and targeted enough for them to be able to support it. Himes said it’s a start in the “right direction” on deficit reduction.

“It’s not the comprehensive solution that we’re looking for and some of those cuts are very painful to contemplate,” he said. But “we need to move forward with goodwill and a willingness to put everything on the table.”

Connecticut’s three other House members-Democratic Reps. John Larson, Rosa DeLauro and Chris Murphy, of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th districts respectively-all voted “no” when Thursday’s roll was called.

Murphy said the bill disproportionately affected the poor, women, and children. “Taxcuts for the oil industry, bloated subsidies for massive industrial farms, and our inefficient defense budget were inexplicably spared in this deal,” he said in a statement.  “As we look for ways to cut spending, it’s just not right to start and end with those who can least afford the hit.”

In the Senate, both Connecticut Sens. Joseph Lieberman, an independent, and Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, supported it.