Middletown Press: Senators speak at rape survivors quilt unveiling at Wesleyan University

September 08 2014

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MIDDLETOWN >> Wesleyan University students were joined by U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, for a massive demonstration of support for sexual assault survivors.

More than 300 students and community members witnessed 250 stories from survivors of rape and visited a quilt which covered Wesleyan’s Foss Hill on Sept. 2. The Monument Quilt aims to change U.S. culture from a culture that publicly shames survivors to a culture that publicly supports them.

“Everyday, I see rape culture on campus, but I don’t see support for survivors. When I see this, I see support. I see survivors not being alone,” says Wesleyan student Tess Altman.

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Connecticut Mirror: CT Senators clash again with feds over Danbury prisoners

September 03 2014

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Washington – U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are again at loggerheads with the federal Bureau of Prisons over the fates of about 200 female prisoners who were transferred out of state while serving sentences at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury.

The Connecticut senators, joined by some of their Senate colleagues from the Northeast, have written Charles Samuels, the head of the bureau, about delays in building a new facility on the prison grounds. That delay has forced the female prisoners to sit out the construction in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, N.Y,. jails.

The senators also object to the interruption of a drug rehabilitation program some of the female prisoners were involved in when they were in the Danbury prison. Completion of the program would cut some of their sentences.

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Yahoo: Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy expresses ‘extreme degree of skepticism’ about expanding str

August 29 2014

Sen. Chris Murphy says he would be "very unlikely" to support expanding America's military campaign against the brutal ISIL militia from Iraq into neighboring Syria. But the Connecticut Democrat says President Obama must seek explicit authorization from Congress if he decides to widen the conflict.

While a vote on launching a new U.S. intervention in the Middle East might put vulnerable Democrats further at risk come November, that's not an excuse for Congress not to act, Murphy told Yahoo News by telephone on Thursday.

"This decision is too important to allow politics or elections to play a role," he said. "It may be inconvenient that ISIS [another name for ISIL] has become a threat on the precipice of an election, but we have a responsibility as a coequal branch to do our constitutional job, regardless of the timing."

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New Haven Register: Connecticut senators seek to stop postal closings; would leave 375 without jobs

August 27 2014

WALLINGFORD >> Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are urging Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to agree to a one-year moratorium on further consolidations of the U.S. Postal Service mail-processing facilities, scheduled to take place sometime early next year.

Blumenthal and Murphy, both Democrats, announced their request to Donahoe during a midday press conference outside the USPS Southern Connecticut Distribution and Processing Center on Research Drive. The two lawmakers were joined by about 50 postal workers who chanted “The U.S. mail is not for sale.”

“The United States Postal Service is betraying the public’s trust,” Blumenthal said.

Murphy said the moratorium would give Congress time to work out a plan to preserve the USPS at current service levels. The Wallingford facility has already been hit by a partial consolidation, with about half of its work relocated to a Hartford mail processing facility last September. Read More »

Register Citizen: Sen. Chris Murphy spends day as farmhand at Freund’s Farm in East Canaan

August 11 2014

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EAST CANAAN >> U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy got his hands dirty Monday morning. The nation’s youngest senator stopped by Freund’s Farm and took on the role of farmhand. He helped the Freunds out with their daily tasks while learning a little bit about what goes into the daily grind of a farmer in Northwest Connecticut.

“My intent was simple,” Murphy said. “You can only learn so much about farming in meetings around a conference table. This was an attempt to try to learn from a firsthand perspective some different things about farming and running a farm that can help me in my work on farm policy in Washington.”

The job of being a senator involves spending only about 20 minutes at a given time on any one particular issue, Murphy said. A day like Monday allowed him 10 to 12 hours focused solely on agricultural policy. Murphy said he got a real sense firsthand of how difficult a farmer’s life can be. Their mastery of so many types of work, including bovine genetics and agricultural subsidies impressed the senator.

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WTNH: Senators attempt to bring overseas jobs back home

July 23 2014

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Do you think it makes sense for the U.S. tax code to give a tax break to companies that send U.S. jobs overseas?

Most people would say that doesn’t make any sense and and this week there will be an effort in the U.S. senate to reverse that policy. Nearly 2.4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs have been sent overseas by big U.S. companies in the past decade. And although the trend has slowed down as costs in foreign countries have increased, the U.S. tax code still gives U.S. corporations big tax deductions and other incentives to send U.S. jobs to other countries.

“The question here is simple; would we rather provide an incentive to ship jobs out of the country or would we rather provide and incentive to bring jobs back to the country,” asked Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT).

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WNPR: Murphy: Europe Should Impose a “Crippling Round of Sanctions” Against Russia

July 21 2014

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On Monday at the White House, President Obama urged Russian President Vladmir Putin to order Russian separatists in Ukraine to allow international investigators unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

"Given its direct influence over the separatists," Obama said, "Russia, and President Putin in particular, has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation. That is the least they can do."

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New Haven Register: Connecticut Ukrainian-Americans meet with Sen. Murphy on plane downing

July 19 2014

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NEW HAVEN >> Two days after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy met with leaders in the Ukrainian community to discuss ways to solve the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Murphy said there is an enormous Ukrainian-American population in Connecticut, especially in New Haven, with lots of friends and family in the homeland whose lives are in jeopardy.

“The reality is, we now know that this poses risks to everyone, given the fact that we just lost about 300 people, none of them from Ukraine, in this plane crash,” Murphy said. “This is a conflict with global consequences, and that’s why the United States needs to be involved in ratcheting up sanctions on Russia and pressing our European friends to do the same.”

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down Thursday near the village of Rozsypne, Ukraine, in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard from 13 nations. The area was close to the Russian border, which has seen months of clashes between government troops and pro-Russia separatists.

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Think Progress: Senator Offers Support For Extending Iran Nuclear Talks

July 18 2014

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DETROIT — Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said on Friday that he will likely support an extension to the nuclear talks between the six world powers and Iran, and called on his colleagues to resist trying to impose additional sanctions on Iran during that time.

Negotiations in Vienna this week between the United States, the U.K., France, China, Russia and Germany — the so-called P5+1 — and Iran shifted from trying to reach a final agreement over Iran’s disputed nuclear program by the July 20 deadline to a possible extension of the talks. While no formal declaration has yet been made as to whether all sides have agreed on an extension, discussion of whether support such a move has made its way to Washington.

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Connecticut News 12: Sen. Chris Murphy to hold Iraq forum at Westport Town Hall

June 30 2014

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WESTPORT - Sen. Chris Murphy is hosting a town hall meeting in Westport tonight on the crisis in Iraq.

The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. in room 201 at Westport Town Hall. This comes as Iraqi troops are still battling to try to drive the Islamist militants out of major cities.

Air force strikes appear to mark a turn as Iraqi security forces claim they destroyed ISIS cells in Anbar.

There are also reports that Iraqi forces have retaken the city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's hometown Read More »

New Haven Register: Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy pushes for ‘angel’ tax credits

June 24 2014

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Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy has introduced legislation that would create a federal tax credit for “angel” investors in technology startup businesses.

Murphy modeled the federal legislation after a state tax credit that Connecticut established in 2010 and has proved successful in attracting investors for new companies. Connecticut’s junior senator was joined by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in sponsoring the Angel Tax Credit Act in the Senate, while U.S. Reps. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, and Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., introduced it in the House.

“I’m convinced that startups are and will continue to be a big part of the economic future of Connecticut and New Haven,” Murphy said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “That why this legislation is so vital.”

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Behind-the-Scenes: Four Days, Five countries, and a Diplomatic Breakthrough

June 10 2014

Having received such great feedback on my prior "behind-the-scenes" accounts of my trips overseas, I'm back for another edition. What follows is a candid description of my highly eventful trip over the weekend to Poland, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria.

A Simple Trip Gets Complicated

My initial plan was simple. With fifty percent Polish blood (my mother's maiden name is Lewczyk), I have long been eager to visit my family's homeland as an elected official. Now, as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Europe Subcommittee, I had been invited to address a major conference in Wroclaw, Poland seeking to help coordinate Eastern Europe's response to the crisis in Ukraine. I accepted the invitation and started to set up meetings with Polish officials while I was in town.

Then John McCain got involved.

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CT Mirror: CT senators take new aim at gun control

May 01 2014

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Washington -- A year after a modest proposal to change gun laws failed in the Senate, Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy have switched tactics.

They plan to introduce a bill that would forbid anyone under a temporary restraining order from owning a gun.

“It’s just common sense that someone who is the subject of a temporary restraining order shouldn’t be able to buy a gun,” Murphy said.

Under current federal law, those under permanent court orders are barred from owning firearms, but not those under temporary court orders.

Blumenthal said that those under temporary court orders, often imposed when there’s a threat of violence, can be the most dangerous.

“That period is the height of vulnerability,” Blumenthal said. “That’s the point when violence is the most likely.”

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Stamford Advocate: Murphy, Himes talk startups in Stamford

April 25 2014

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Connecticut's business strengths have traditionally been in the financial services, insurance and defense production sectors. U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., wants to add startup innovation to that list.

Murphy stopped by the Stamford Innovation Center on Friday to discuss his plans to introduce legislation for tax incentives that might encourage angel investors to fund startups. U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., joined the senator at a roundtable with entrepreneurs, investors, members of the Innovation Center team and those engaged in state funding programs for small businesses.

Although venture capital firms get most of the attention, angel investors do the heavy lifting of investment in new businesses, Murphy noted. The state currently offers a tax credit for angel investors pledging $25,000 or more in a qualified Connecticut business, worth 25 percent of the angel's cash investment, according Connecticut Dept. of Economic Development. Murphy spoke of offering a similar tax credit on the federal level, while fixing a "small flaw" in Congress' 2012 JOBS Act by giving angel investors more control over the financial data they disclose while investing. Currently, federal help for startups comes in the form of Small Business Innvoation Research grants, which the state has had a good deal of success in getting, Murphy said.

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WNPR: Senators Blumenthal and Murphy Discuss Heroin Addiction at New Haven Forum

April 18 2014

For the original article, click here.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy held a roundtable forum on Thursday about how to deal with the heroin problem in Connecticut. Senator Blumenthal described the situation as an "epidemic and [a] scourge."

"Heroin deaths have increased in Connecticut, alone, to 257 last year," Blumenthal said, "from 174 the years before. Between 2007 and 2012, heroin use increased 80 percent or more, according to federal figures."

Senator Chris Murphy said heroin is cheap and readily available in Connecticut. "The heroin that comes into New England," he said, "starts in Stamford, Bridgeport, and New Haven, and makes its way north from here. It means that users here in Connecticut can get the drug for a relatively small amount."

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New Haven Register: West Haven mayor, Sen. Murphy call for LI Sound funding

April 11 2014

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WEST HAVEN >> There are eight million people in the Long Island Sound watershed “but that watershed and the beaches are in jeopardy,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said Friday during a visit to the Savin Rock shore with Mayor Ed O’Brien and environmental leaders.

Murphy called a press conference at the shore to push for passage of the Long Island Sound Restoration and Stewardship Act, which would reauthorize expired funding for a host of Long Island Sound programs.

Besides O’Brien, he was joined by officials from Save the Sound, Audubon CT, the city and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, among others.

Calling West Haven’s 3½ miles of shoreline “one of the most beautiful landscapes in the state,” Murphy said Congress needs to pass the Long Island Sound Stewardship Act “so we can make sure that we can protect” the Sound and the state’s beaches.

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Blog Post: Behind-the-Scenes: Another 24 Hours in Ukraine

March 19 2014

The day after reports surfaced of Russian troops in Crimea, I texted John McCain. "We need to go back. When?" I knew, in those scary first few days of the Russian invasion, that nerves would be fraying in Kyiv, and that a strong, unified message of support from Ukraine's friends in the U.S. Senate could make a difference. McCain and the State Department agreed wholeheartedly, and we set the wheels in motion for a return trip to Kyiv.

I got such good response to my earlier "behind the scenes" description of our first trip in December, I thought I would send one from this latest trip as well. Here is the short story of an amazing late winter weekend in the current center of the universe: Ukraine.

An auspicious beginning
I had taken a week-long vacation with my extended family to Florida in February, and I spent most of it on the phone with my staff, McCain and the State Department, tracking the alternately heartbreaking, amazing, and history-making events in Kyiv as President Yanukovych turned his snipers on the protesters and then, without warning, split town. As events continued to develop, the sanctions bill against Yanukovych McCain and I had been working on was extended to include assistance to the new government in Kyiv, and then sanctions on Russian officials responsible for the invasion of Crimea as well as major acts of corruption in their own country.

The bill, which eventually came under the auspices of the Foreign Relations Committee, was moving forward with fairly deliberate speed (for Washington), until it hit a snag on the Senate floor on March 13--the very evening that McCain, I, and six other Senators were due to leave for Kyiv. The isolationist wing of the Republican Party had taken issue with a provision of the Ukraine assistance/Russia sanctions bill that would increase emergency aid resources within the International Monetary Fund, mainly because these Republicans simply object to the IMF in the first place. With little warning, Majority Leader Reid asked for a quick vote on the bill a half hour before our trip was scheduled to leave the Capitol complex, and Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, a member of our delegation, got up and objected, meaning the bill would have to be postponed for at least ten days. McCain was on the floor, and he leaped from his seat, admonishing Barrasso, saying he had never been this embarrassed by his own party.

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Shelton Heraldn: U.S. senator visits Shelton firm to discuss manufacturing policy

February 07 2014

For the original article, please visit the Shelton Herald.

Murphy visited the OEM facility on Controls Drive, off Long Hill Cross Road, on Friday morning to attend a roundtable discussion on his plan for a federal manufacturing policy.

The Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce helped organize the event, attended by about 50 representatives of local manufacturing firms.

Regulation, training, high costs
Murphy discussed his plan and took questions from the audience, many of which focused on government regulation, the need for training and education, and the high cost of doing business in Connecticut. Read More »

New Haven Register: U.S. Sen. Murphy wants to help New Haven residents get banking services

February 05 2014

For the original article, please visit the New Haven Register.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., moved by a story in the Register, has asked for federal intervention to reduce the number of city households that don’t have bank accounts and too often rely on check-cashing services.

In a letter Murphy wrote to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency born out of the most recent financial crisis, and responsible for advocating for consumers of financial services, Murphy asked that a pilot program to help connect people to traditional financial services be brought to New Haven.

“This is a problem throughout much of Connecticut, but is, according to a recent article in the New Haven Register, particularly acute in the city of New Haven, which has more than 6,000 ‘unbanked’ families — double the national average. As you know, unbanked families are usually low-income, may be new to the country, and often lack formal education,” Murphy said in the letter. “These families can also expect to pay more than $40,000 in check cashing fees over the course of their life. Considering that 26 percent of New Haven residents are currently living in poverty, this increased financial burden is particularly harmful.”

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Middletown Press: Chris Murphy speaks with Middletown students about rising cost of college

January 21 2014

For the original article, visit the Middletown Press

MIDDLETOWN >> High school students got a taste of their future Tuesday when U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy came to speak to them about the rising costs of college.

Murphy, a Democrat and one of the youngest senators in Congress, has made it his work to not only advocate for gun control for Sandy Hook families, but also stand up for students.

“I have this responsibility to speak up for you,” Murphy said as he spoke at Middletown High School. “In 10 to 20 years, we [as a country] has gone from number one to number 20 in the world in education.”

Mayor Dan Drew said Murphy is the “champion of higher education.”

“You’re growing up in a tougher world than we did,” Drew told students. “Everything in Washington will affect you. Fight for the education you deserve.”

Murphy, who is introducing a bill to Congress next week about the cost of higher education, said one of the biggest issues is how long college can take.

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