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Blumenthal, Murphy Fight Cabinet Picks, But Will Attend Inauguration

Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) questions nominee for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during a U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) questions nominee for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during a U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing. Video Credit: Senator Chris Murphy

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy will vote against several key cabinet nominees of President-elect Donald J. Trump.

While both Senators indicated they will attend Friday's inauguration, the Senators plan to fight several of his nominees. Both Connecticut legislators have also expressed concern about the possible repeal of the American Care Act, Trump's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the influence of deep-pocketed billionaires in government.

During a confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Murphy grilled Secretary of Education nominee Betsy Devos, who declined to condemn guns in or around schools. "One final question, do you think that guns have any place in or around schools?" Murphy said as he wrapped up his questioning. "I think that’s best left to locales and states to decide. If the underlying question is…,'' Devos said.

Murphy repeated his question. "You can’t say definitively today that guns shouldn’t be in schools?'' he said. Devos countered: "Well, I will refer back to Senator (Mike) Enzi and the school he was talking about in Wapiti, Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies."

Murphy and Blumenthal have indicated they will also likely reject Rex Tillerson, Trump's selection for Secretary of State.

Despite the stance of the Connecticut senators, Trump's picks seem certain to be approved since Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate. Trump takes the oath of office on Friday.

Besides Murphy and Blumenthal, Connecticut's inaugural delegation will include Governor Dannel Malloy and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.

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