Himes: It’s time for Congress to get to work
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), released the following statement on the bipartisan budget deal reached yesterday and his views on Congress’s priorities going forward:
“Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that will set spending levels for more than a year, ensure America can meet its financial obligations until 2017, and prevent catastrophic increases in Medicare premiums. I voted for the bill, which passed the House with a majority of Republicans and every Democrat supporting it.
“The bill, which is expected to pass the Senate by early next week, will give Congress and Americans a much needed break from the crisis-to-crisis governing and brinksmanship that have dominated the last few years, and shows Congressional leaders choosing practical compromise over partisan extremism. It’s a trend I could get behind. Now that Congress won’t be facing several ‘cliffs’ over the next year, I am hopeful that we can carry this momentum forward and deal with some actually pressing issues.
“Part of the deal reached this week included a short-term extension for the Highway Trust Fund, which allows Congress until the end of November to continue work on a long-term bill to fund our nation’s roads, bridges, and railways. Without funding, construction and maintenance will eventually grind to a halt, no new projects will begin, and congestion will worsen. This would be especially devastating to Southwest Connecticut, which already deals with some of the toughest commute times in the nation, and which has infrastructure that is badly in need of repair. I’m going to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure this bill passes.
“Recent federal court rulings have invalidated convictions for insider trading, and all eyes are turning to Congress to fix the loophole in the law that is allowing behavior that should be criminal go unpunished. I have introduced legislation, the Insider Trading Prohibition Act, which offers a simple solution and would make sure wrongdoers who trade on ill-gotten inside information get the punishment they deserve and Congress should pass this commonsense bill as soon as possible.
“Congress also urgently needs to weigh in on the rapidly escalating civil war in Syria and, the growth of ISIL and instability in the Middle East by encouraging President Obama to continue using international negotiations to bring peace to the region and end the refugee crisis. I am offering a resolution in the House of Representatives today to do just that, and hope to be joined by others who would prefer diplomacy to war and instability.
“The business of the American people has been put on hold too long as Congress has dealt with a string of self-created crises. Now that we have some breathing room, it’s time to start doing some work.”