Category Archives: Congress

Congressional Delegation Wants Status Report on Improvement in VA Hospital Conditions

by Categorized: Congress Date:

Connecticut\’s Congressional delegation is seeking more information about conditions at a Veterans Affairs hospital in West Haven, after a federal report said the operating room was dirty and understaffed, industry standards for cleaning were not being met, and proper precautions were not being taken when the hospital admitted patients with infectious diseases.

\"west“We understand that since the report was issued in June, the Center has taken steps to implement the Inspector General’s recommendations,” Reps. DeLauro, Larson, Courtney, Himes, and Esty  wrote in a letter to the director of the Veterans Affairs CT Healthcare System, Gerald F. Culliton. They said they wanted to know the steps that have been taken since June to implement the changes recommended in the report. “With final implementation of policies to sustain these changes required by the IG by March 15, 2014, we respectfully request that you provide us with a status report on the IG recommendations met and plan for fully meeting all recommendations within the next month,” they wrote.

\”“The circumstances detailed in this report are disturbing, distressing and do a disservice to the brave men and women who sacrificed for our country,\” DeLauro said in a statement. \”I was pleased to hear Director Culliton agrees that the conditions were unacceptable and that since the report was issued in June the Center has taken steps to meet the IG’s recommendations to correct most of these problems.\”

Conservation Group Gives Connecticut Delegation Top Marks

by Categorized: Chris Murphy, Congress, Environment, Richard Blumenthal, Uncategorized Date:
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As far as the League of Conservation Voters is concerned, Connecticut\’s congressional delegation is almost perfect.

In the group\’s annual rankings of conservation-related voting in Congress, Connecticut was right at the top in both the U.S. Senate and House.

This state\’s U.S. Senators, Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, got a combined 100 percent League rating. Connecticut\’s five Democratic U.S. House members racked up a 96 percent positive conservation voting record, according to the League\’s system.

In case you were wondering, Wyoming\’s Senate and House members came in at the very bottom in the group\’s estimation, scoring zero in both chambers.

The League\’s rating system is based on how members of congress voted on key conservation issues, such as federal funding to repair Hurricane Sandy damage to the McKinney Wildlife Refuge along the Connecticut shoreline. (Not exactly a tough vote for any lawmaker from this state.) Other issues on the League\’s watch list included the Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline, military biofuels, the Farm Bill, and toxic air pollution.

Who Are The State of The Union Guests Of The CT Delegation?

by Categorized: Congress Date:

Members of Connecticut\’s Congressional delegation will bring six women and one undocumented immigrant student to President Obama\’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

DeLauro, Dems Write GOP Leadership

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Congress, Rosa DeLauro Date:

\"delauro\"U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro has joined other Democratic women in the House and written to GOP leadership about how it is handling issues that affect women.

According to the memo:

The constant debates and squabbling the witness decried are a result of Republicans refusing to take action on real legislation to help American women. The time has come to stop wasting
taxpayers’ time and dollars waging attacks on women’s constitutionally protected right to make  informed health care dec isions about their own bodies with their own doctors and work on an \’actual legislative agenda for women’s actual needs.\’

The highly-partisan memo is here.

CT Delegation Reacts: Give Snowden Clemency?

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Chris Murphy, Congress, Democrats, Elizabeth Esty, John B. Larson, John Larson, D, President Obama, Richard Blumenthal, Rosa DeLauro, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Washington Date:

A majority of the members of Connecticut\’s congressional delegation say that Edward Snowden should not be given clemency.

This week, a New York Times editorial called for clemency and whistleblower status for Snowden, a former government contractor who has leaked detailed information about the National Security Agency\’s extensive domestic and international spying.

Sen. Chris Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, along with Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joe Courtney, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Jim Himes and Rep. John Larson all say Snowden must face felony charges. (I am still waiting for a response from Rep. John Larson.)

“Edward Snowden should come back to the United States and be held accountable for his actions,\’\’ Murphy said in a statement released by his office Friday. \”If Snowden truly cared about exposing illegal activity, he should have gone through proper channels using statutory whistleblower protections.  Instead, he stole untold amounts of sensitive, classified information, fled to China and Russia, and made these secrets available to countries with adversarial interests toward the United States.  Snowden\’s revelations have touched off an important debate, but this fact does not absolve him from responsibility for his crimes, especially when he had other avenues through which to raise these issues.”

But U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney suggested that a plea bargain might be a good idea. His spokesperson, Liz Donovan, said:

Congressman Courtney has consistently voted against giving sweeping powers to the NSA—including changes that  weakened FISA warrant standards in 2007 and extension of the Patriot Act without reform—for precisely the reasons that the Snowden revelations have highlighted. Congressman Courtney believes in the integrity America’s courts, and given that Mr. Snowden has been charged by federal prosecutors,  he should return to the U.S., where he can present an argument for his innocence or mitigating circumstances. Given the unique nature of this case, the Justice Department should make a bona fide attempt to negotiate a balanced path forward, which may include a plea bargain process that could reduce the severity of any punishment.

Congressman Courtney continues to support bipartisan efforts to reform our intelligence programs to increase oversight and accountability, strengthen protections for whistleblowers, and rebalance our security activities with the rights afforded to American citizens under the constitution. Continue reading

Another Poll: Who Is The Most Unpopular Of All?

by Categorized: 2014 Election, 2016 Presidential election, Congress, Federal budget, Washington Date:

Public Policy Polling is out with a survey that suggests that Democrats may want this shutdown mess to last a little longer:

Similar to a Quinnipiac poll released this morning, we find Democrats improving their position on the generic Congressional ballot in the wake of all the controversy about the government shutdown. Democrats lead 45/40 on it, up from a 43/42 spread in July. Two things have caused that shift- Republicans had a 39/27 advantage with independents over the summer but have blown that and now there\’s a tie with them at 34% each. Republicans have also become less supportive of their own party, going from an 82/10 intention to vote GOP to 78/13. That shift has come largely among moderate Republicans who supported their own party 72/17 in July but now do so by only a 59/22 spread.

Approval numbers for Barack Obama and the Democrats and Republicans in Congress come out about how you would expect. Obama\’s approval rating is on negative ground at 45/51, as we\’ve found in our polling for months now. Congressional Democrats are unpopular at a 39/57 approval, but Congressional Republicans are far worse off at 23/69. 

Should Our Delegation Refuse Paychecks?

by Categorized: Congress, Federal budget, Washington Date:

The Washington Post is tracking senators and representatives who say they won\’t accept a government check while the shutdown is on. No members of Connecticut\’s delegation are on the list, which includes both Democrats and Republicans.

On Tuesday evening,  Rep. Jim Himes said he would not accept a paycheck during the shutdown. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he would donate his salary during the shutdown to the Wounded Warrior Project. Both announcements were made on Twitter.

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UConn Economist To Predict Job Loss From Shutdown

by Categorized: Congress, Connecticut, Economy, Washington Date:

University of Connecticut economist Steven Lanza will offer his prediction this morning on what a partial federal government shutdown would mean for the Connecticut economy. At a morning press conference at a Glastonbury defense contractor, Lanza will:

\"steven… provide projected estimates of job losses and harm to the state’s GDP caused by a potential government shutdown. Connecticut manufacturers and defense contractors will speak to the instability and unpredictability caused by recurring, unnecessary budget crises. Unnecessary and unacceptable crises such as a forced government shutdown hinder abilities to invest and plan, limiting growth and placing Connecticut jobs and competitiveness at risk.

UConn Poll: Obamacare Unpopular

by Categorized: Congress, Ombamacare, UConn Date:

A University of Connecticut Poll has found that most Americans disapprove of the soon-to-take-effect Affordable Care Act.

\"uconnBy a 53-38 margin, adults surveyed had an unfavorable view of the act, also know as Obamacare. According to the survey of 1,015 people, 42 percent say the country is worse off under Obamacare with just 29 percent say the country is better off.

Among those polled, 57 percent said they have enough information about the law, but 45 percent said they are not sure how the Oct. 1 launch date for the program will affect their own health coverage.

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