Connecticut Democratic Party Blog

Where’s The Leadership? GOP Seeks Political Gain, Not Meaningful Change

As Republicans in Congress desperately push to pass their disastrous TrumpCare bill, Connecticut’s GOP leaders are once again leading from behind. It was only after Democrats invited Republicans to call on President Trump to halt the passage of their ‘plan’ to repeal the Affordable Care Act that Senate GOP leader Len Fasano and House GOP leader Themis Klarides wrote a weakly-worded, watered-down letter to the president asking him to maybe delay the bill’s passage. Clearly, this letter was a political move, not a genuine attempt to preserve the progress Connecticut has made under the Affordable Care Act.

In fact, the GOP letter only asks for more time, not a halt, to TrumpCare’s passage. Let’s be very clear: A delay is not what’s needed. As the Congressional Budget Office – a trusted, nonpartisan agency – reports, the GOP plan would strip health coverage from 24 million Americans within ten years, and the Office of Policy and Management estimates that this bill would cost the state of Connecticut $1 billion per year once fully implemented.

“Why on earth wouldn’t the GOP sign on to Democratic efforts to stand up to Donald Trump and stop the passage of this horrible bill? Because Connecticut Republicans are more interested in scoring political points than helping people. As Trump and his national GOP allies attack Connecticut values – slashing critical antipoverty programs like Meals on Wheels, gutting environmental research, and even eliminating heating assistance for 110,000 poor Connecticut families, we need Republicans to stand up to their own party. Sadly, so far we have seen nothing, and this is yet another example of Len Fasano and Themis Klarides leading from behind.” – Connecticut Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Mandell 

SHAMEFUL: Linares Won’t Stand Up For His LGBT Constituents

At a recent town hall meeting, GOP State Senator Art Linares was asked by an LGBT constituent concerned about her rights under the Trump administration whether he would support maintaining Connecticut’s current protections for LGBT people. Linares refused to answer her question.

After originally refusing to answer why he hasn’t signed on to legislation banning ‘gay conversion therapy,’ Linares – a Trump delegate who was endorsed by the Family Institute of Connecticut – refused to even answer whether he supports LGBT equality, as his colleague was forced to take the microphone to demonstrate a degree of tolerance and leadership.

“Art, this is simple. Do you believe that LGBT people deserve equality? Do you believe that gay conversion torture should be legal? Or will you refuse, as Donald Trump and national Republicans try to roll back marriage equality and transgender protections, to stand up for your LGBT constituents? You don’t need legislative language. You just need to be honest.” – Connecticut Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Mandell.

REMINDER: THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED DSCC MEETING FOR MARCH 15 HAS BEEN POSTPONED

As a result of the incoming snow and an abundance of caution for concerns already raised about travel Wednesday night, Chairman Balletto has decided to postpone the March 15 DSCC meeting. 

Will GOP Break Tradition And Propose A Realistic Budget?

This afternoon House Republican Leader Themis Klarides, responding to Governor Malloy’s request that Republicans release a budget of their own in time for the May 5 deadline on which they insisted, told the Hartford Courant that “House Republican members and staff are fully engaged in the budget process. As your budget winds its way through the committees we expect to offer alternatives to the tax and spending plans as they were presented just one month ago.”

Democrats are hoping that Klarides and her House GOP colleagues have more to offer than previous Republican proposals.

“I’m glad to hear that Representative Klarides is planning on putting forward an alternative. I hope, though, that she has more to offer than previous GOP proposals. Legislative Republicans have never seemed to understand that increasing spending while decreasing revenues does not equal a balanced budget, just like one plus one does not equal three. Maybe this year, instead of relying on phantom savings and spotty Republican math, they will actually roll up their sleeves and come up with a realistic proposal.” – Connecticut Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Mandell

BONUS: According to the CT Mirror, overly sensitive Senate Republican leader Len Fasano has responded to Gov. Malloy’s letter – which, again, asked Republican leaders to put forward a budget within their self-imposed timeline. “Thank you for your obviously politically charged and partisan letter today,” Fasano wrote, in an obviously politically charged and partisan letter.

“Republicans have used time, energy, and taxpayer resources to attack Governor Malloy’s budget proposal, yet Senator Fasano bristles at the suggestion that he should offer actual budget solutions? This along with recent statements do not show that the Republican Senate leaders are serious about moving beyond petty political disagreements. Why should we should be surprised? It’s been 10 years since they supported a budget that helped create this situation.” – Mandell concluded.

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