NB Politicus

Murphy Joins Other Senators In Support Of New Ukrainian Government Threatened By Moscow

Posted in Chris Murphy, European Union, Russia, Ukraine, Ukriainian-Americans by nbpoliticus on March 2, 2014
With Russian forces crossing over to Crimea this weekend, concerns grow about an outbreak of hostilities between the new Ukrainian government and Russia. That is especially so among families in New Britain’s Ukrainian-American community that includes three parishes and an estimated 3,000 residents.

Chris Murphy
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy and other senators of the Foreign Relations Committee wrote President Obama on Friday to support efforts to ensure a “peaceful transition of power” in the Ukraine with the new government seeking entry into the European Union.
The letter, sent prior to the Russian incursion, stated:

“We write in support of the administration’s efforts to help Ukraine to consolidate democratically elected government, preserve its territorial integrity, and enjoy the freedom to exercise a sovereign decision to sign and implement an Association Agreement with the European Union. We are prepared to work with your Administration to reinforce your efforts by authorizing U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine and increasing assistance to facilitate a peaceful transition of power.
“We also believe that the U.S. should make use of the tools at its disposal, including targeted sanctions; and asset recovery targeting corruption, to dissuade individuals who would foment unrest to undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity or employ coercive economic measures against the Ukrainian people and the new Ukrainian government.”

The senators also raised concerns about “actions and rhetoric” of the Russian government “to actively undermine Ukraine’s unity” and “use provocative and dangerous tactics to extend their control on the ground.” 
“We do not seek confrontation with President Putin and his government, but simply to ensure that Russia abides by its commitments and adheres to core principles of international law.  A peaceful, democratic, stable, and sovereign Ukraine is in our national interest,” wrote the senators.    

In Seeking Support For Senate Murphy Shares a New Britain Story

Posted in Chris Murphy, U.S. Senate by nbpoliticus on November 26, 2011

U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, in a holiday weekend message seeking support for his Senate bid,  shares the story of his mother’s upbringing in hardscrabble New Britain.

The appeal for support draws a sharp contrast with Republican frontrunner Linda McMahon and the untold millions the former WWE CEO will spend in 2012.

“Yesterday, like many of you, I spent Thanksgiving with my mother. I saw the proud look on her face as she sat on the couch surrounded by children and grandchildren who are all healthy, happy, and secure. 

Her pride runs so deep because she knows – and we all know – how hard she struggled to get to this point in her life. My mother grew up in the Mount Pleasant housing projects in New Britain, and though her family lurched in and out of poverty, she was determined to defy the odds and succeed. She did – she went to college, became a teacher, and raised me to believe I could do anything I wanted to in life if I just set my mind to it.  

But my mother didn’t do it alone. She lived in public housing, her father got a job making things for the federal government, and she went to college with the help of federal aid.  

She succeeded because her community helped her succeed. And to put it simply, I’m running for the Senate to restore that magical partnership between individual will and community investment.” 

Bush Visit At Taxpayer Expense Raises Big Bucks For Murphy Challenger

Posted in 5th Congressional District, Chris Murphy by nbpoliticus on April 27, 2008


President Bush’s visit to Connecticut and the 5th Congressional District on Friday raised as much as $700K, according to press reports . Much of the money is supposed to benefit the presumptive opponent of first-term U.S. Rep Chris Murphy, State Senator David Cappiello.

Bush used a Hartford speech on malaria-fighting efforts to underwrite an obviously partisan journey to the Kent home of Nixon administration Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. Invitees came at $1,000 per person and got a photo with the President for $10,000.

In a bizarre twist to the trip shared with a group of 5th CD Democrats this weekend, the White House called Cong. Murphy’s office last Tuesday to invite him to accompany the President on Air Force One on his way to the Northwest Hills to shake the GOP money tree for Murphy’s opponent. No word yet on whether Murphy’s office staff has stopped laughing yet. New England’s only GOP member of Congress, Chris Shays, took the free ride.

While Cappiello needed the kind of cash that a sitting President could bring him, many Democrats and unaffiliated voters will be asking just what part of Bush’s policies does Cappiello plan to run on. There was no evidence that Cappiello engaged in any photo ops with Bush. Nary a word on the Cappiello website.

Chances are the Republican challenger will do his best to ignore George Bush completely the rest of the way. It appears his strategy is to run a stealth campaign of quietly backing the Bush agenda and painting himself a Nancy Johnson moderate. To know the real David Cappiello, however, all voters will have to do his follow the money trail back to the White House. The largess given to Cappiello is the best tip off yet of what he stands for and how he will vote: for wasteful war without security, for deficits, for the continuing economic slide of working and middle income people as the rich guys with the long driveways who live next to Henry Kissinger get a tax break.

[Photo credit: http://news.bbc.co.uk]

Iraq On $330 Million A Day: Cong. Murphy Responds To Bush Plan To Stay The Course

Posted in Chris Murphy, Iraq War by nbpoliticus on September 14, 2007

NEW BRITAIN, CT (September 13) Two hours before President Bush layed out a vague, stay the course policy on Iraq from the Oval Office, Cong. Chris Murphy (D-5) made his strongest statements yet on why U.S. policy is on a disastrous course, and why he favors a “precipitous withdrawal” with a firm date.

Speaking at New Britain’s Slade Middle School to a much larger audience than at a similar forum last April held in the same school auditorium, Murphy gave a troubling report to residents, many of whom shared his opposition and frustration over the five-year old conflict.

In striking contrast to the Bush-Petraeus report this week on progress made after a January troop “surge”, Murphy said the current return on U.S. investment of $329,670,330 a day ($10 billion a month)has bought the “bloodiest summer of the war” in terms of American service men and women killed or wounded. Moreover “August may have been one of the highest months for civilian casualties.” While we are informed about more than 3,700 U.S. dead and 27,000 wounded so far, Murphy said that data on Iraqi civilian dead and wounded is classified and unreported. Murphy, in fact, speculated that the leveling off of violent attacks claimed by the administration may be because “there is almost no one left to kill.” Of so many communities destroyed in Iraq, the freshman congressman noted there is an enormous number of refugees and a humanitarian crisis that the U.S. will need to address for many years.

Speaking of the Iraqi government, Murphy said the practice of putting “cash on the ground” to buy the loyalty of sheiks and ethnic leaders would only go so far. He agrees with the conclusion of the nonpartisan General Accounting Office (GAO)that the coalition government propped up by U.S. money and soldiers is “bordering on collapse.”

President Bush made clear his plan to extend a huge U.S. military presence beyond his Presidency and continue a strategy that seems to beget more violence as the U.S. expends $120 billion a year at current rates.

Cong. Murphy, conceding that more Republicans need to agree to a firm exit strategy to change policy, made equally clear his resolve to mobilize with other freshman to draw a line in the sand on continued funding for the war with a new $50 billion request due to come to Congress soon.

Finding a way to withdraw, Murphy said, will help to restore U.S. credibility in the world, ending a war built on lies and a bullying style of nation building that must come to an end in January 2009.

Murphy Reports On War Without End At First New Britain Forum

Posted in Chris Murphy, Iraq War by nbpoliticus on April 22, 2007


Cong. Chris Murphy (D-CT 5), just returned from a visit to Iraq and Afghanistan with a six-member Congressional Delegation (CODEL) led by Cong. Steve Lynch (D-MA 9), provided a sobering assessment of U.S.. intervention in both countries at a Slade Middle School forum on Saturday, April 21st.

Standing beside posters showing the growing costs of the war and an escalating insurgency, Murphy said the “life changing” trip reinforced his position in favor of a clear Iraq exit strategy now contained in legislation adopted by both the House and Senate.

Bush and the Congress are now at odds over the “Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health and Iraq Accountability Act” that sets a July 1 deadline for meeting benchmarks. If benchmarks are not met, redeployment of U.S. troops would begin within 180 days. Bush vows a veto over the timetable and falsely accuses Democrats of not supporting the troops.

Murphy confessed to a rookie congressman’s awe about being part of the congressional fact-finding trip. But his command of the facts and analysis made for a compelling case against Bush and Cheney’s intransigence.

Iraq and Afghanistan pose two very different challenges, according to Murphy. The fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan is difficult. Unlike Iraq, sectarian violence is not rampant and the country possesses a greater sense of nationalism. Murphy, however, worries that the U.S. may be “under-committed” in Afghanistan where post 9/11 efforts to thwart terrorism began.

In Iraq, Murphy and his colleagues held a meeting with General David Petraeus at which the U.S. military leader candidly told lawmakers that he could not say whether the latest “troop surge” was working or would work at all. Murphy said President Bush, who met with him and CODEL members in the Oval Office following the trip, remains “unreformed” and as obstinate as ever about his war without end.

Murphy pointedly added that those who think the U.S. can now easily extract itself from the quagmire are only fooling themselves.

There was an unspoken frustration at this first Congressional forum held by Murphy in New Britain. One woman, who jeopardized her nursing education to protest the Vietnam War, said the protests a generation ago had more of an impact than the protests of today. Others pointed to the Draft and Selective Service in the 1960s that made the war toll more of a shared sacrifice and led to a more potent anti-war effort. Cong. Murphy noted that this war involves sacrifice only among the soldiers and families who are facing multiple tours of duty. He put the number of troops who have been back more than once at 170,000. Those tours are stretching Guard forces and regular troops to the limit, but are necessary to patrol the streets of Baghdad and do for the Iraqis what they are unable to do for themselves.

Much on the minds of the New Britain audience was the neglect in the delivery of services for returning veterans. Murphy, noting the well publicized deficiencies in outpatient care at military hospitals, said that it takes a minimum of 18 months for returning soldiers to obtain veteran’s benefits and services. It shouldn’t take that long, he said, pointing out that Congress’ reauthorizing bill for Iraq and Afghanistan (HR 1591) includes an additional $1.5 billion for veterans.

The Bush Administration may be penny pinchers for veterans but they have been most generous to some of their friends. Among Murphy’s “costs of the war” is $10 billion which is “the amount of Iraq reconstruction funds currently unaccounted for.” Among the companies receiving war profits has been Dick Cheney’s Halliburton. Halliburton’s engineering subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root, was awarded $7 billion in no-bid contracts early in the “Iraqi Freedom” campaign, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

Murphy, a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, indicated that Congress is uncovering “layers of contracting upon contracting” wherein no-bid contractors are skimming funds and sub-contracting actual work for Iraq projects to others.

House-approved legislation (HR 1362)known as the “Accountability In Contracting Act” would change federal acquisition law to end these “abuse-prone” contracts that have proliferated in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is opposed by the Bush administration but has gained new momentum with the takeover of Congress by the Democrats. Ironically, the measure has now gone to the Homeland Security Committee chaired by Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut for further action in the Senate.

Having gained firsthand knowledge of the Iraqi situation, Cong Murphy goes back to Capitol Hill to press for enactment of an Iraq policy that does not depend on an unending presence of U.S. troops. It is doubtful, however, that he and Democrats in Washington can succeed in the short term so long as Bush has enough allies in the Congress to maintain a status quo that fuels the insurgency, drains our resources and makes us no safer. Murphy and the Democratic majority now need Republicans to stand up to Bush and Cheney to change direction in Iraq before the President’s term ends.

Murphy Reports On War Without End At First New Britain Forum

Posted in Chris Murphy, Iraq War by nbpoliticus on April 22, 2007


Cong. Chris Murphy (D-CT 5), just returned from a visit to Iraq and Afghanistan with a six-member Congressional Delegation (CODEL) led by Cong. Steve Lynch (D-MA 9), provided a sobering assessment of U.S.. intervention in both countries at a Slade Middle School forum on Saturday, April 21st.

Standing beside posters showing the growing costs of the war and an escalating insurgency, Murphy said the “life changing” trip reinforced his position in favor of a clear Iraq exit strategy now contained in legislation adopted by both the House and Senate.

Bush and the Congress are now at odds over the “Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health and Iraq Accountability Act” that sets a July 1 deadline for meeting benchmarks. If benchmarks are not met, redeployment of U.S. troops would begin within 180 days. Bush vows a veto over the timetable and falsely accuses Democrats of not supporting the troops.

Murphy confessed to a rookie congressman’s awe about being part of the congressional fact-finding trip. But his command of the facts and analysis made for a compelling case against Bush and Cheney’s intransigence.

Iraq and Afghanistan pose two very different challenges, according to Murphy. The fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan is difficult. Unlike Iraq, sectarian violence is not rampant and the country possesses a greater sense of nationalism. Murphy, however, worries that the U.S. may be “under-committed” in Afghanistan where post 9/11 efforts to thwart terrorism began.

In Iraq, Murphy and his colleagues held a meeting with General David Petraeus at which the U.S. military leader candidly told lawmakers that he could not say whether the latest “troop surge” was working or would work at all. Murphy said President Bush, who met with him and CODEL members in the Oval Office following the trip, remains “unreformed” and as obstinate as ever about his war without end.

Murphy pointedly added that those who think the U.S. can now easily extract itself from the quagmire are only fooling themselves.

There was an unspoken frustration at this first Congressional forum held by Murphy in New Britain. One woman, who jeopardized her nursing education to protest the Vietnam War, said the protests a generation ago had more of an impact than the protests of today. Others pointed to the Draft and Selective Service in the 1960s that made the war toll more of a shared sacrifice and led to a more potent anti-war effort. Cong. Murphy noted that this war involves sacrifice only among the soldiers and families who are facing multiple tours of duty. He put the number of troops who have been back more than once at 170,000. Those tours are stretching Guard forces and regular troops to the limit, but are necessary to patrol the streets of Baghdad and do for the Iraqis what they are unable to do for themselves.

Much on the minds of the New Britain audience was the neglect in the delivery of services for returning veterans. Murphy, noting the well publicized deficiencies in outpatient care at military hospitals, said that it takes a minimum of 18 months for returning soldiers to obtain veteran’s benefits and services. It shouldn’t take that long, he said, pointing out that Congress’ reauthorizing bill for Iraq and Afghanistan (HR 1591) includes an additional $1.5 billion for veterans.

The Bush Administration may be penny pinchers for veterans but they have been most generous to some of their friends. Among Murphy’s “costs of the war” is $10 billion which is “the amount of Iraq reconstruction funds currently unaccounted for.” Among the companies receiving war profits has been Dick Cheney’s Halliburton. Halliburton’s engineering subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root, was awarded $7 billion in no-bid contracts early in the “Iraqi Freedom” campaign, according to the Center for Public Integrity.

Murphy, a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, indicated that Congress is uncovering “layers of contracting upon contracting” wherein no-bid contractors are skimming funds and sub-contracting actual work for Iraq projects to others.

House-approved legislation (HR 1362)known as the “Accountability In Contracting Act” would change federal acquisition law to end these “abuse-prone” contracts that have proliferated in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is opposed by the Bush administration but has gained new momentum with the takeover of Congress by the Democrats. Ironically, the measure has now gone to the Homeland Security Committee chaired by Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut for further action in the Senate.

Having gained firsthand knowledge of the Iraqi situation, Cong Murphy goes back to Capitol Hill to press for enactment of an Iraq policy that does not depend on an unending presence of U.S. troops. It is doubtful, however, that he and Democrats in Washington can succeed in the short term so long as Bush has enough allies in the Congress to maintain a status quo that fuels the insurgency, drains our resources and makes us no safer. Murphy and the Democratic majority now need Republicans to stand up to Bush and Cheney to change direction in Iraq before the President’s term ends.