WILTON, Conn. — When U.S. Jim Himes holds Town Hall-style meetings, he often has to explain Congressional dysfunction to his constituents. But on Thursday evening in Wilton, he was able to share good news on reforms that had passed with bipartisan support.
“This is actually the first time in a long time where I get to come back and report what I consider to be pretty good news and a period of substantial functionality in Congress,” Himes told a group of constituents, who had gathered at the Trackside Teen Center of Wilton.
In the past two months, the 4th Congressional District congressman saw “a pretty good budget deal” pass with strong bipartisan support.
“There was no talk of a shutdown,” Himes said. “That’s actually something of an achievement compared to the way budgets have been dealt with in years past.”
Congress also passed a tax credit extenders bill. While Himes said he supported some parts of the bill, he voted against it because of its $800 billion price tag. That was about the amount of the cuts due to government sequestration, he said.
Himes also said Congress passed a reform of the famous education bill known as No Child Left Behind Act, which he said was a “solid revisit of a law was well intended” but “had some pretty ugly consequences for our local education authorities.”
The reform dialed back testing requirements and gave states more control, he said.
Congress also passed cybersecurity bill. It created a dialogue between the government and companies in private industries — businesses such as J.P. Morgan, Chase, Sony and IBM, he said.
“They’re now working together to make our networks more resilient against attack,” he said.
Himes ended his Congressional update with a question-and-answer period with his constituents.
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