"The recent resolution on the Violence Against Women Act provides a hopeful template where the Senate passed a bill, eventually the House adopted it, and now VAWA has been reauthorized," Blumenthal said. "I think the same could happen on fiscal issues if there is the outreach the president has demonstrated recently."
The VAWA bill had stalled in the House after expiring in 2011, with Republican leaders wary of new provisions extending legal protections to illegal immigrants, LGBT couples, and Native Americans. Republicans had opposed the Senate bill, which included the revisions, but they changed course after it became clear that the upper chamber would not act on a House version of the bill. Top House Republicans backed the Senate bill over their own in a rare move that pushed the renewal legislation forward.
But Blumenthal said Republicans threatened to derail budget talks with "ideological stances," targeting House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who will reportedly propose repealing the president's signature healthcare law in his budget to be released Tuesday.
"Repealing ObamaCare is a nonstarter. First of all, it's fiscally unwise — we can actually reduce the cost of healthcare, which has to be one of the main objectives, to reduce the cost of Medicare, by continuing with the Affordable Care Act," Blumenthal said.
"That approach represents why we have dysfunction in Washington," he added.