Category Archives: Chris Murphy

Bill Clinton Will Speak Tuesday At New Haven Fundraiser

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Chris Murphy, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Joe Visconti, Richard Blumenthal, Tom Foley Date:

Former President Bill Clinton will headline a fundraiser Tuesday in New Haven for the state Democratic Party in an effort to help Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as he seeks reelection this fall.

Clinton’s visit to the Omni Hotel in New Haven at 11:30 a.m. was confirmed by Malloy’s campaign and announced by the Democratic Party. The Omni, which employs union workers, is a favorite gathering spot among Democrats.

Since Malloy is participating in public financing in the governor’s race, Clinton will be raising money for the Democratic Party instead of directly for the campaign’s account. Tickets cost $50 per person.

Members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation are expected to attend the fundraiser, and the invitation features U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy. Blumenthal is a longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton as they are all graduates of Yale Law School in New Haven. Continue reading

Murphy: Re-Authorize Export-Import Bank

by Categorized: Banks, Chris Murphy, Trade Date:

BY MATTHEW Q. CLARIDA

Sen. Chris Murphy toured a factory in Bristol on Friday and called on congressional colleagues to reauthorize the recently controversial Export-Import Bank.

Murphy, a Democrat, said that, if necessary, he will move for a temporary re-authorization of the bank, but that he prefers a long-term agreement in order to insure that the bank can make long-term deals and commitments. Some Republicans, particularly in the House, have challenged the bank’s purpose and appear poised to oppose re-authorization.

The Ex-Im bank provides financing to support international transactions involving American businesses. The bank has come under fire for its support of major corporations, such as Boeing Inc., which has received financing assistance to sell planes to foreign carriers, angering at least one American airline, Delta. But proponents of the bank point out that the majority of the bank’s transactions — though not necessarily the majority of its funds — involve small businesses.

In a press conference call before touring Bauer Inc., a Bristol company that manufactures aircraft parts, Murphy said that the Em-Im bank is good for Connecticut businesses.

“The benefit doesn’t just flow to GE and Sikorsky,” Murphy said. “Sikorsky has a network of hundreds of suppliers all throughout the state who benefit from that financing as well.”

While some have argued that economic theory does not support the mission of the Ex-Im bank — these people claim that the bank simply finances projects that the private sector would probably support otherwise — Murphy tried to give the issue more context.

“We need to live in the real world, and the real world involves all of our competitors offering similar types of financing and guarantees,” he said. “The reality is the advantage that the Ex-Im bank gives in providing relatively low rates of finance is necessary because the same advantage is available to our competitors.”

Penny Pritzker, the federal commerce secretary, was also on the call. She said that the Ex-Im bank gives small businesses a chance when the private sector may not.

“If I’m a small business dealing with a more local or regionalized bank, it’s very difficult for that loan office to get their arms around the credit risk that they’re taking,” she said. “[The Ex-Im bank] is a really critical piece of the financing chain.”

Blumenthal, Murphy Call for Quick Action On Immigration

by Categorized: Chris Murphy Date:

By Matthew Q. Clarida

U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal renewed calls for Congressional action to address the ongoing immigration crisis at the southwestern border on Friday.

Both senators urged Congress to move quickly to approve President Barack Obama’s request for $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis. About 40,000 have crossed the border illegally this year from three violence-stricken countries in Central America: Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Many are being held in detention and processing centers in the southwestern states.

Blumenthal said that he is “hopeful” that Congress will reach a solution. He added that both humanitarian and political pressures demand that the situation be addressed.

“A picture is worth a thousand words…people around the country are saying, ‘we can’t just deport those children and send them back to gangs, street violence, murder, and torture.’” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal reiterated his support for the expansion of the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. Launched in 2012, DACA instructed border agencies to stop deporting a narrow group of migrant residents: educated non-criminals under the age of 31 who had lived in the country for five years as of June of 2012.

Many have said that the DACA program is giving potential immigrants an incentive to cross the border illegally, but Blumenthal said other factors are at work.

“I think that reasons for coming to American relate to safety and freedom, namely safety from the horrific and violent conditions in central american countries, and opportunities in jobs and families,” Blumenthal said. “I don’t think anybody is coming to this country because they believe there will be some kind of immigration reform in the future.”

While Blumenthal insisted that he was hopeful a solution would be reached, Murphy said that the political gridlock in Congress is worrisome to him.

“There is no hotter issue in the Republican Party today than immigration, and the Tea Members of the House just won’t allow anything to move through that body, and that’s the primary obstacle to progress right now,” Murphy said.

Both Murphy and Blumenthal have called on House Speaker John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, to allow his chamber to vote on an immigration reform bill that has already passed the senate. But a significant chunk of Boehner’s caucus, and Boehner himself, have been vocal in allegations that Obama has overstepped his authority in using executive powers to enact certain immigration policies, including the 2012 DACA program.

Newtown to Receive Department of Justice Grant

by Categorized: Chris Murphy, Elizabeth Esty, Newtown Date:

Newtown is getting a $7.1 million federal grant to fund new mental health services for those affected by the December, 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, will pay for long-term mental health counseling for families, law enforcement and first responders. A portion of the funds will be set aside for school safety measures.

The funds will go to the Connecticut Office of Victim Services, which is part of the state Judicial  branch. The money will then be dispersed to the town of Newtown, and other organizations that serve the community, including Newtown Youth and Family Services, St. Rose of Lima Church, the Newtown Resiliency Center, Wellmore and the United Way of Western Connecticut.

“This grant will provide much-needed relief and support for Newtown to help this brave community heal,” said U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who announced the news Tuesday morning.

“The community of Newtown has faced unimaginable tragedy with incredible strength and resiliency. Survivors, families, law enforcement, and first responders deserve sustained counseling services and enhanced school safety resources, and I’m grateful to the Department of Justice for responding with continued support,” said Esty, whose district includes Newtown. “The leadership shown by First Selectman Pat Llodra, town officials, the courageous families, and community activists inspire us and the nation.”

Newtown Youth and Family Services has seen a rise in demand for mental health counseling in the aftermath of the shootings, said Executive Director Candice Bohr. “Since the tragedy, NYFS has increased its staffing capacity and has witness the client population quadruple in the last 18 months,” she said. “We anticipate seeing a continued need in services and funding related to mental health, and we are committed to providing the continued support the town, the school district, and the families of the community need.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said the nation has a responsibility to help the people of Newtown recover. “But while this grant will go a long way to help the people of Newtown, they will continue to need our support in the coming months and years,” he said.

Last year, Newtown received a $1.5 million grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Newtown Public School District received $3.2 million through the U.S. Department of Education’s School Emergency Response to Violence program.

 

Murphy Accuses “Obama Haters” of Playing Politics Over Bergdahl

by Categorized: Chris Murphy, Uncategorized Date:

The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban detainees held at Guantánamo Bay has become a political headache for the Obama administration.

Republicans have expressed anger at the deal that led to Bergdahl’s release, saying the U.S. should not negotiate with terrorists and that the Taliban detainees freed in exchange for Bergdahl are particularly dangerous. Other critics said Bergdahl’s actions prior to his capture raise questions — some members of his platoon called him a deserter and said soldiers died looking for him.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy took on those critics in a tweet Tuesday morning.

Really sad to watch Obama haters attack this kid who CHOSE to fight to protect the rest of us, just to score political points.

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT)

Murphy also tweeted a link to a TPM story asserting that Republican strategists arranged media interviews with disgruntled members of Bergdahl’s platoon.

Murphy’s tweets prompted a demand for an apology by the National Review’s Jim Geraghty.

Senator Murphy owes a lot of men and women in uniform an apology for not taking their objections about the Bergdahl deal seriously,” Geraghty wrote.

 

Chris Murphy Makes a Fundraising Pitch for Sandra Fluke

by Categorized: Chris Murphy Date:

It was just days before the 2012 election and Democrat Chris Murphy was locked in an intense battle with Republican Linda McMahon for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

sandra fluke

Women were seen as the key to the election and Democrats nationally were accusing their GOP rivals of waging a war on women. To underscore the theme, Murphy brought a young activist named Sandra Fluke to Connecticut. Fluke, a Georgetown law school student, had become famous when congressional Republicans refused to let her testify during a hearing on insurance coverage for contraception. She was called a “slut” by Rush Limbaugh.

 

Flash forward to today: Fluke is now running for state Senate in California and Murphy recently sent a letter to his supporters asking them to contribute to her campaign.

Murphy said it was “a great honor” to have Fluke by his side in 2012 and he is “proud to return the favor” by backing her current run.

“Normally I wouldn’t get involved in a state Senate race all the way on the other side of the country,” Murphy said, “but this one is important.”

Blumenthal, Courtney, Murphy on Gen. Shinseki’s Departure

by Categorized: Chris Murphy, Joe Courtney, Richard Blumenthal Date:

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney says the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki provides an opportunity to change the culture at the VA and repair what he he called “tragic mismanagement.”

“General Shinseki’s departure will provide the opportunity to inject in a new team to address the [Inspector General's] findings while the audit process continues, implement their recommendations, and change the culture that allowed this outrageous problem to develop in the first place,” Courtney said.

The VA has been rocked by revelations of long waits at VA hospitals around the country, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Sen. Chris Murphy said Shinseki’s resignation won’t solve the VA’s problems. “There are big problems at the VA, and I made it clear to both the Secretary and the Department that I expect them to follow through on plans to continue to reduce wait times and address reports of fraud in local VA facilities,” Murphy said in a statement. But, he said he was encouraged by a recent audit of Connecticut’s VA facilities. “Connecticut’s VA can always be better, but compared to VAs in other parts of the country, ours is on the right track,” Murphy said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, in a separate statement, said he respects Shinseki’s decision to resign after concluding that continuing on in the job would be “a distraction from the urgent and necessary overhaul from top to bottom of a health care system that is failing our veterans.”

Blumenthal said the immediate challenge facing the VA is “fixing what is desperately wrong.” Shinseki’s replacement “needs to show the American people a sense of urgency and passion with specific decisive action to correct decades-old delay and failings in health care delivery,” the senator added.

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Pelletier Testifies on Economic Security Before Senate HELP Committee

by Categorized: Chris Murphy, Minimum Wage Date:

Lori Pelletier, executive secretary-treasurer of the Connecticut Federation of Labor, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Tuesday.

The committee held a hearing on economic security for working women and Pelletier was invited to share her perspectives on raising the minimum wage and paid sick leave.

“This Senate hearing is focusing on a real life crisis in America, and I am honored to be representing millions of America’s working women,” Pelletier said. “Women are half of the workforce, and if that many workers are disadvantaged because of their gender, well, something needs to be done now.”

Sen. Chris Murphy invited Pelletier because of her experience in the manufacturing sector. Pelletier was the only representative of organized labor among the witnesses at the hearing.

Pelletier understands on why initiatives such as a higher minimum wage and paid sick leave are important to workers, Murphy said. Connecticut recently approved legislation raising the state minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017. The state also mandates that most large companies provide paid sick time to their employees.

Murphy said he is hopeful Congress will also act to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, a figure set as a benchmark by President Obama.

“The minimum wage matters immensely to women workers around the country,” Murphy said.

While many Republicans in Congress are opposed to raising the wage, saying it would hurt business, other prominent GOP figures, including Mitt Romney, have expressed support for the idea.

Murphy said he is “hopeful” the minimum wage increase will pass. “I still think there’s potential to build momentum on that issue,” he said. “To be honest, I think as we get closer to the election, you can feel the legislative wheels shutting down a little bit but my hope is this hearing will add a little bit of grease.”

Blumenthal, Murphy Announce Plan To Combat Heroin Epidemic

by Categorized: Chris Murphy, Richard Blumenthal Date:

Sens. Blumenthal and Murphy on Monday put weight behind efforts to counter heroin use in Connecticut in nationwide, and announced a five-point plan they say will reduce overdoses.

Leaders in recent weeks have been calling the high rate of heroin overdose deaths – which spiked significantly in Connecticut last year – a public health crisis, and the Sens. joined with representatives from law enforcement and the medical field to outline steps they say are necessary to address the crisis.

They have proposed:

1. Increasing funding for treatment

2. Increasing support for law enforcement to crack down on heroin trafficking

3. Allowing federal funds currently reserved for preventing prescription drug abuse to also be used for heroin abuse

4. Expanding access to Narcan, and urging state leaders to pass a measure that would do so

5. Promoting collaboration between law enforcement personnel, medical professionals, and policymakers

Sen. Murphy Participates in 3-Day Civil Rights Pilgrimage

by Categorized: Chris Murphy Date:

Sen. Chris Murphy spent the weekend touring civil rights sites in Mississippi and Alabama.

Murphy was part of a bipartisan delegation hosted by the Faith & Politics Institute. He tweeted several pictures:

\"MurphyMedgarEvers\"

At Medgar Evers\’ home in Jackson, MS. His kids slept on floor to avoid gunshots thru the window.

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 8, 2014

The pilgrimage was led by Rep.John Lewis of Georgia. According to the group\’s website, the journey \”allows participants to visit not only the sites of the Civil Rights Movement but to hear first-hand many of the compelling stories of hope that emerged from the movement.\”

In addition to Medgar Evans\’ house, participants visited the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden and historic Tougaloo College, where they heard from veterans of Freedom Summer in Mississippi. The weekend culminated with a reenactment of the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.

For Murphy, a high-point was meeting James Meredith, the first African American student admitted to the University of Mississippi.

\"MurphyJamesMeredith\"

 

 

 

Holy moly. I just met James Meredith. #FPI14

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 9, 2014