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Newtown Eye on the Beltway: Himes Wants to End Partisan 'Chicanery'

Himes wants to limit the ballooning deficit; Blumenthal and DeLauro seek a limit to oil speculation; Murphy supports "Buffett Rule."

BLUMENTHAL: President Barack Obama wants to limit speculation in energy markets – such as gas – and has the support of Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

“Each day I hear from consumers and small businesses in Connecticut – including gasoline station owners – who tell me that volatile, sharply-rising gas prices make business and daily travel unbearable and unsustainable in these tough times,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “The President’s plan to crack down on manipulation of oil prices is a strong step to prevent illegal conduct and hold accountable those who manipulate markets for financial gain.”

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LIEBERMAN: U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman pitched an amendment to a bill seeking to reform the United States Postal Service. A statement describes the amendment:

The substitute requires the U.S. Postal Service to continue to provide overnight delivery for local first class mail, although across shorter distances than may be the case now. The Postal Service would still deliver first class mail anywhere in the continental U.S. in a maximum of three days. It also expands the alternatives USPS must consider before closing a post office. The substitute would encourage the Postal Service to think innovatively about how to adapt its business model in a world increasingly reliant on electronic communications.

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DELAURO: U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro issued a statement praising fellow Democrat President Obama’s plan to limit speculation in the energy markets.

“The cost of gas is undoubtedly inflated by rampant speculation in the oil market,” DeLauro said in a statement. “The Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill gave the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission] broad new authorities to investigate manipulation in the market, but we need to ensure the CFTC has the resources it needs to do its job.”

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HIMES: U.S. Rep. Jim Himes blasted the proposed Republican budget and pushed for the adoption of a deficit reduction plan based on the neglected Simpson-Bowles report.

“When we formally considered next year’s budget, I was proud to back the only plan that garnered bipartisan support,” Himes said in a statement. “We need a real, honest discussion about our nation’s budget priorities, and today’s vote continued the same partisan positioning and chicanery that has driven our deficit to unsustainable levels.”

(The full 65 page report can be found in this PDF document.)

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MURPHY: U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy issued a statement expressing support for the failed “Buffett Rule,” which would raise taxes on the wealthiest and close investment loopholes.

“The fact that many millionaires pay less in taxes than 99 percent of working families is simply not fair, and only adds to our ballooning deficit,” Murphy said. “Middle class families in Connecticut and across America deserve to know that our tax system hasn't been rigged against them, and this bill is a critical first step to creating a fairer tax system that asks everybody to pay their fair share."

However, the Obama administration has backed away from pitching the law as a tool for deficit reduction. It’s estimated that the new taxes would raised $47 billion over the course of a decade. There has been a deficit of $1 trillion in each of the past several years.

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