Connecticut’s Week in Washington

The House and Senate were out of session this week on a Columbus Day break, but the campaign for the next speaker of the House continued, with GOP conservatives panning, as too moderate, Rep. Paul Ryan, who is favored by the Republican establishment but hasn’t said he wants the job.

Washington logoThe all-Democratic Connecticut delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives is watching the chaos in GOP ranks from the sidelines. President Obama said he could not keep his promise to pull all American troops out of Afghanistan. And gun control efforts got a boost as Democratic presidential candidates propelled the issue into the race for the White House.

Blumenthal opposes cutback in coverage for prosthetics

— Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., took issue with plans by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that would change billing methods on prosthetics. He said that would deprive disabled veterans and other amputees of the prosthetics they need. Blumenthal has asked the CMS to reverse its decision.

Esty attacks Bush for gun-control stance

— Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, bashed GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush for his stance on gun control. Bush, who received an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association when he ran for re-election for Florida governor in 2002, is critical of government efforts to stop gun violence. Esty’s attack on Bush is part of a larger Democratic effort to promote gun control in the race to the White House and on Capitol Hill.

Blumenthal, environmentalists push to block Plum Island sale

— State environmentalists and Sen. Richard Blumenthal stepped up their efforts this week to stop the federal government’s sale of Plum Island in Long Island Sound. Plum Island has been the high-security site of U.S. government research into highly-contagious animal diseases like the Swine Flu since the 1950s, but the bio-lab is being shut down and operations moved to Manhattan, Kansas. Blumenthal and his environmental allies want the island turned into a government-run nature preserve or wildlife refuge.

Bush tops Clinton in Connecticut campaign fund-raising

— The latest Federal Elections Commission reports were released this week, showing GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush raised more money than Hillary Clinton in Connecticut this summer. In all, Connecticut residents have donated nearly $3 million to all the presidential candidates in the first three quarters of this year.

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