Category Archives: Richard Blumenthal

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

Blumenthal, Murphy Issue Statements On Iraq

by Categorized: Richard Blumenthal Date:

BY MATTHEW Q. CLARIDA

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he is worried that American airstrikes in Iraq may morph into another long-term commitment of U.S. forces in the region. Sen. Murphy says Americans will not support a new “open-ended” campaign in Irag and called upon the president to give a better explanation of the airstrikes.

Blumenthal, a first term Democrat, who often appears in lockstep with President Obama on domestic issues, wrote today that “the President owes the American people a better, fuller explanation of the scope and strategy of military actions.”

Here’s Blumenthal’s full statement:

“I oppose open-ended military commitments, which the President’s actions in Iraq could become. Humanitarian relief is necessary to prevent genocide and provide food and water to meet an urgent emergency, but the President owes the American people a better, fuller explanation of the scope and strategy of military actions. I am deeply concerned that these actions could lead to prolonged direct military involvement, which I would strongly oppose.” Continue reading

Blumenthal Hails VA Compromise

by Categorized: Richard Blumenthal Date:

By MATTHEW Q. CLARIDA

Hours before a $17 billion emergency funding deal for the Department of Veterans Affairs was announced in Washington, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal hailed the compromise during a brief event in Hartford.

Addressing reporters and some members of the public during a noontime availability in the Legislative Office Building, Blumenthal said the legislation would attempt to alleviate long wait times and questions of healthcare quality at the VA by hiring new doctors and funding private care for some veterans.

“These negotiations have produced a bipartisan agreement that is the beginning of really good news for veterans’ health care,” he said.

Referencing the price tag, he added: “This is a big bill, but it deals with a big problem.” Continue reading

Sen. Blumenthal To Introduce Bill on Sex Assault Soon

by Categorized: Richard Blumenthal Date:

By MATTHEW Q. CLARIDA

Senator Richard Blumenthal  is preparing to announce legislation to combat and respond to sexual assault on college campuses, he said on Monday.

Speaking to Capitol Watch after a press conference on the emergency funding bill for the department of veterans’ affairs, Blumenthal said that he and Senate colleagues Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, and Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, may introduce the sexual assault legislation by the end of the week. Blumenthal, McCaskill, and Gillibrand have been vocal in their attention to campus sexual assault and how schools adjudicate those cases.

Blumenthal is an alumnus of Harvard University, a school that, with others, has recently come under national scrutiny for the way it handles reports of sexual assault. The senator said that he and other lawmakers have been in contact with leaders of various institutions about the issue, including Harvard President Drew G. Faust.

This May, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed into law new regulations for how Connecticut campuses deal with and report cases of sexual assault.

As Congress is approaching its traditional August recess, indications are that the bill won’t be considered until lawmakers return after Labor Day.

Hillary Clinton Draws Large Crowd To Madison Book Signing

by Categorized: Richard Blumenthal Date:

MADISON — Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state who is said to be considering a run for president, drew hundreds of people who waited hours to meet her at a book signing Saturday.

“I shook your husband’s hand when he ran,” one woman told Clinton at the R.J. Julia Booksellers. “We will vote for you. Me, my husband, and my mother will vote for you.”

Clinton, without committing to a run for president in 2016, politely said, “Thank you.”

Clinton’s main focus was on her book “Hard Choices,” and she spent two hours greeting people and signing copies.

“It’s got a lot of inside accounts, and a lot of it is becoming newly relevant,” Clinton said, adding that she had been intimately involved with a number of now-evolving foreign policy matters, including the clashes between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

“I negotiated a cease fire in Gaza, and now it’s broken,” she said.

Those who bought a ticket in advance received a copy of “Hard Choices” and waited in line for up to six hours before Clinton started signing. But many said they did not mind the wait.

“We need a woman in the White House to get this country moving again,” said one Clinton fan, Susan Uguccioni of Glastonbury, who added that she had been waiting for four hours. “We’re more than ready [to meet Clinton].” Continue reading

Blumenthal Weighs In On International Crises

by Categorized: Richard Blumenthal Date:

By Matthew Q. Clarida

On a major news day across the world, Capitol Watch got in touch with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who was about to board a plane for Texas, where he plans to tour border detention facilities.

Hours after Israeli forces launched a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip aimed at stopping rockets fired by Hamas, here’s what Blumenthal told Capitol Watch about his reaction to the invasion.

“The Israelis have no choice but to defend themselves against rocket assault by Hamas, which is a terrorist organization, and my hope is that there will be an end soon to the bloodshed on both sides,” Blumenthal said. “Israel was ready to accept a cease fire and Hamas rejected it, which certainly was disappointing, and Israel has been a firm, resolute, profoundly significant ally of the US in one of the most dangerous regions of the world, and it is undertaking a very limited action to stop the assault by Hamas.” Continue reading

Trinity Prof: Blumethal Need Not Say “Pretty Please” on Contraception Mandate

by Categorized: Richard Blumenthal Date:

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal made headlines earlier this week with his request that Hobby Lobby DEO David Green comply with Connecticut law and provide the company’s employees with contraception coverage–despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision saying it did not have to.

But according to Trinity College professor Mark Silk, the state’s senior senator did not need to ask so nicely.

“Connecticut is within its rights to demand that Green provide the full range of contraceptive services to his women employees” in the state, writes Silk, professor of religion in public life and director of Trinity’s Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life.

Read more on Silk’s blog, Spiritual Politics, which appears on the Religion News Service website.

 

Blumenthal To Hold a Press Conference Monday at the Hobby Lobby Store Under Construction in Manchester

by Categorized: Abortion, Richard Blumenthal Date:

Hobby Lobby, the arts and crafts chain at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case over birth control and religious freedom, is expanding in Connecticut.

And with the Oklahoma-based business preparing to open three new stores in Connecticut later this year, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal has written to the firm’s CEO to ask that it provide full insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Blumenthal, who will hold a news conference Monday morning at the construction site of the Manchester Hobby Lobby store, said Connecticut law mandates that all health insurance coverage through group or individual policies must provide “coverage for prescription contraceptive methods approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.” During the press conference, he plans to release a letter he wrote to Hobby Lobby CEO David Green.

On June 30, in one of the most closely watched U.S. Supreme Court cases of the year, the court ruled 5-4 that closely held for-profit businesses have a right to exercise their religious beliefs. The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain are conservative Christians who believe certain types of birth control are immoral and, the company argued, providing employees access to such contraceptives would violate principles of religious freedom.

Blumenthal, a stauch defender of access to birth control and legal abortion, is cosponsoring legislation that overturn the Hobby Lobby decision and clarify “the intent of Congress to provide equal and broad health insurance coverage for all forms of FDA approved contraceptives.”

“Religious liberty is about the right to practice your own religion, not the right of bosses to impose religious beliefs on employees,” Blumenthal said. “I am calling on Hobby Lobby to do the right thing and provide full contraceptive coverage to its Connecticut employees. Connecticut residents have enjoyed a long history of respect for individual rights and I urge Hobby Lobby to comply with our state laws.”

Blumenthal will be joined at the press conference by Christian Miron, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Christine Palm, communications director for the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, Victoria Veltri, state healthcare advocate, Susan Yolen, vice-president for public policy and advocacy at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

According to the Hobby Lobby website, the store on Buckland Street in Manchester is scheduled to open on Sept. 12. The chain is also planning to open a store on Farmington Avenue in Bristol on Oct. 3 and on the Boston Post Road in Milford on Oct. 10.

 

 

Blumenthal Leads Bipartisan Group of Senators Calling On DOJ to Investigate Criminal Wrongdoing At VA

by Categorized: Richard Blumenthal, Washington Date:

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. on Monday led a bipartisan group of senators who wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to investigate the VA for criminal wrongdoing following reports of inappropriate practices at the 150 medical facilities in the federally-run hospital network.

Blumenthal, who previously launched a number of investigations as attorney general of Connecticut, wrote to “urge that federal investigators and attorneys assume a leadership role to assure that anyone responsible for abuses is held accountable through criminal prosecution.”

The letter follows allegations that employees at a VA facility in Phoenix, Ariz. and elsewhere manipulated records in order to mask the lengthy delays veterans faced while seeking care, which were detailed in a report released last month by the Inspector General’s office.

“The revelations…highlight the urgency of involvement by the Department of Justice,” the senators said.  “This challenge requires resources that only the Department of Justice can provide in developing and assessing evidence, pursuing leads, and initiating active prosecutions aggressively if warranted.

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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