Connecticut braces for worst, despite temporary government shutdown deal
Connecticut parents and health care advocates are still worried about a federal shutdown, despite a last-minute deal to keep the government running for 45 more days.
"WHAT AM I GOING TO FEED MY KID?"
For Robin Icatar, of Milford, every time the federal government gets to the brink of a shutdown, it's personal.
"It's very frustrating," she said.
Icatar has lived through shutdown threats before. Until recently, her son was on WIC, a food program for Women, Infants, and Children that serves approximately 48,000 families in Connecticut. WIC would be among the first to lose funding.
"I'm literally starting to go bald from snatching out my hair and going, 'What am I going to feed my kid? How do I do this?'" she said.
IMPACT ON CT
Icatar joined state leaders in New Haven Monday to warn about the consequences of a federal shutdown. Connecticut's public health and social services commissioners said that the state has some reserves to cover the loss of federal funds, but only for a limited time.
Thanks to a mild winter last year, the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program has $7 million left over. But without federal funding, the state plans to cut assistance by 31%.
As for SNAP food benefits, Connecticut only has about six weeks of reserves, according to Andrea Barton-Reeves, the Department of Social Services commissioner. She said HUSKY Medicaid could run as-is through early 2024.
"But the food banks will see some disruption in delivery and services because we don't have those kinds of resources.")
SHUTDOWN STILL LOOMING
In Washington, a shutdown still looms in 45 days – with Republicans divided amongst themselves and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's job in jeopardy.
"It's becoming increasingly clear who the speaker of the house works for. And it is not the Republican conference," said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida).
Gaetz is one of a handful of hardline conservatives who have threatened to oust McCarthy if he sided with Democrats on a temporary spending bill to keep the government running.
"If somebody wants to remove [me] because I want to be the adult in the room, go ahead and try," McCarthy told reporters Saturday.
The group is pushing for deep spending cuts, an overhaul of border security laws and eliminating funding to the Ukraine war effort.
On Monday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal pushed back.
"Nobody wants a blank check for Ukraine," he said. "We don't write blank checks."
"SPOILED 3-YEAR OLDS"
Icatar said this isn't political, but it is personal.
"Guys, you're acting like spoiled 3-year-olds I used to nanny," she said. "Please pull it in an do your job."