Rep. Himes holds office in Westport
Published 11:45 pm, Wednesday, June 1, 2016
WESTPORT—Democratic Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) told Westporters Wednesday that if he was putting money on the upcoming November elections he would say "you’re going to have a Clinton presidency, a Democratic senate and a Republican house."
Constituents gathered at NEAT to ask Himes about how to stop Trump’s ascension to the presidency and how he seeks to improve the transportation and infrastructure of the congressional district—many of those inquires directly aimed at the current state of traffic on I-95.
A supporter of Hillary Clinton, Himes said "She’s got high negatives," but is hopeful Sanders will bow out in the next couple weeks and help unite the party. Himes, comparing primary elections to "bar fights" added that Clinton’s poll numbers will inevitably go up "once we’re not fighting internally." He harkened back to the gritty Democratic primary battle in 2008 between then Senators Barack Obama and Clinton where Clinton "did the right thing" by conceding victory to Obama, thus freeing a path to the presidency and her eventual appointment as Obama’s choice for secretary of state.
"We need to call this what this is," Himes said referring to Trump. "This is a fabulously unqualified, dangerously unqualified, misogynistic, bigoted man who’s playing on the very worst instincts of American politics."
"I understand that people are angry, yes, it’s economic. It’s no coincidence that his crowds are really white, there’s a racist element there, there’s a reaction to change…eight years ago LGBT people couldn’t get married, now they’re marines," Himes said. "If my daughters talked the way this presidential candidate talked, they would be grounded."
Responding to questions about the traffic on I-95 adversely affecting constituents ranging from their businesses to real estate values, Himes expressed his commitment to easing the pressure off of I-95 citing a $281 billion, five-year transportation bill for the states and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor routes.
"We had a five-year authorization for the surface transportation fund because for years we had done it three month segments, six month segments, so we got five years of money—that’s huge for Connecticut. Bridge reconstruction and kind of all the stuff that pertains to 95," Himes said.
A long term solution for getting large 18-wheeler trucks and other freight off of I-95, Himes said, is the construction of the New York Harbor Rail Tunnel (Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel) which is a proposed freight rail transport tunnel aimed at the Upper New York Bay in the Port of New York and New Jersey. He also pushed for people to live closer to public transportation like in Stamford, saying over time that will help ease the stress on I-95.
Rising Staples senior Aidan Reilly, who intends on applying to the United States Military Academy, asked Himes about the future of the U.S. Army. Specifically, Reilly wanted to know that if he chooses to serve, will he have the support he needs to do his job. Himes assured Reilly he would have support and commended Reilly on his intention to serve. Additionally, Himes invited him to come in for an interview for a congressional letter of recommendation (necessary for acceptance to any of the service academies).