Conn. (WTNH) — All of Connecticut’s congressional delegation was in attendance at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration Wednesday. They all took in the pomp and circumstance and praised the work that Biden took care of right after being sworn in. They all say they are excited to get started working with the Biden-Harris administration.
CT’s two senators are both excited to now have more power in Washington DC following the Georgia Senate runoff election and President Joe Biden’s swearing-in.
News 8’s Chief Political Anchor Dennis House spoke with both senators Wednesday after the inauguration about President Biden, the new era, and the executive orders signed in Biden’s first moments as president that will have an immediate impact on people across CT.
With a 50-50 tie in the Senate that could now be broken by Vice President Kamala Harris, both Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Chris Murphy are pretty pumped up going forward.
“I am looking forward to chairing some important sub-committees,” Senator Murphy said. “It will allow me to be a better advocate about things I care about, to be in charge of committees rather than a ranking member.”
Wednesday’s inauguration also brought back memories for both senators. Blumenthal remembers watching John F. Kennedy’s inauguration on TV as a teenager. His first in-person was Jimmy Carter’s in 1977.
“The first one I attended was Jimmy Carter’s,” he said. “And today had many of the same feelings: the miraculous renewal of democracy and transfer of power peacefully which has happened since 1789.”
Blumenthal said, “never before has a new president broken so clearly and significantly with a predecessor so early. These executive orders seek to undo the damage done by President Donald Trump.”
He went on to say, of the executive orders signed Wednesday, the moratorium on evictions, the pause on student debt collection, and the COVID response assistance will immediately impact CT residents.
“The moratorium on evictions and mortgage foreclosures, the pause on student debt collection, the immediate public health and economic steps will mean the most literally day-to-day right away in Connecticut,” Blumenthal said.
Murphy said of Biden, “He knows about some of the investments that are necessary to revitalize Connecticut. He’s going to focus on COVID relief and a better vaccine distribution program; that’s going to help us a lot.”
Murphy added, “Joe Biden is going to make it his mission to fix a broken COVID response system that isn’t working including a vaccination distribution plan that isn’t working.” Murphy says President Biden will also improve the way CT receives vaccines.
The CT congressional delegation was all on hand, as well, and took to social media to share their experiences: First district Congressman John Larson, Joe Courtney from CT-02, Third District Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro – the senior member of the delegation, Jim Himes of District 4, and Jahana Hayes of CT-05.
News 8 spoke with Rep. Himes and Rep. Hayes Thursday.
Congresswoman Hayes said she was deeply moved by the history made at the inauguration as she watched her friend Kamala Harris become the first female vice president.
“I was surprised at the feeling. I was excited and looking forward to it, but there was a sense of reflection, and a sense of joy, and sense of accomplishment.”
Hayes is back to work after battling COVID-19 only a few months ago and says she still feels some of the lingering symptoms, “The lingering effect I have is being tired. This overwhelming, out of the blue [fatigue]. I would say to my staff, you know, ‘I have to do sprints now, not marathons’ because by the middle of the afternoon I’d have to take a break.”
We haven’t had a presidential visit or vice-presidential visit to CT in a while. Hayes says she’d like to get VP Harris to visit CT, when such visits are COVID safe, of course.
In the meantime, Hayes plans on helping CT get more money for COVID-19 relief. A second echoed by Rep. Himes.
Rep. Himes is calling on Congress to pass Biden’s nearly $2-trillion COVID relief package.
Rep. Himes said, “It’s a big plan but it’s about making sure vaccines get out there rapidly. That’s important. They’re not getting out there rapidly enough. And, of course, economic restoration: making sure people have money to pay the rent, making sure small businesses have access to capital so they can make it through these next few months before we get the bulk of the population vaccinated.”