August 13, 2017 Op-Ed
Last February, President Donald Trump convened a group of manufacturing CEOs at the White House to discuss his administration’s idea of growing American jobs by imposing a border adjusted tax (BAT). As reported the next day, the BAT received lukewarm support at best, and unexpectedly, the CEOs instead pivoted the meeting toward the critical need to close the so-called skills gap preventing companies from filling high quality jobs with highly trained workers. Indeed, the next day, a national newspaper’s headline read: “Factory CEOs to Trump, ‘Jobs Exist, Skills Don’t.’” Fast forward to the present: The BAT was declared dead by congressional leadership at the end of July, but the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 6.2 million job openings exist across the country, one of the highest levels on record.
“Despite President Trump’s insistence that he is taking action against the rising tide of opioid addiction, all of his activates thus far have shown exactly the opposite - that he is not doing enough,” said Courtney. “Last week, his own commission recommended he declare the growing prescription opioid and heroin epidemic a national emergency. Yesterday, he declined to take any new actions or allocate any new funding. The national death toll is growing by the day and President Trump essentially told the commission to take a walk. I have spent a great deal of time meeting with families and first responders over the last two-years to learn more about this crisis and the message from them could not be clearer. They need new resources and more funding to fight back and save lives – it is that simple. There is not enough money either for law enforcement activities or for treatment beds. We need to end the stigma against drug addiction and start treating this epidemic like the public health emergency it is.”
August 3, 2017 Press Release
“The VA’s decision to continue to deny care and benefits to blue water Vietnam veterans is unacceptable and I am glad that Secretary Shulkin indicated that they may be taking action to correct this,” wrote Courtney. “Like many veterans in my district who regularly share their concerns about this issue with me, I am deeply disappointed in the VA’s continued refusal to cover blue water veterans who served on ships offshore during the Vietnam War. That’s why I continue to push for action to right this wrong for our Navy veterans suffering to this day from exposure to this toxic chemical.”
Congressman Courtney said, “With the demise of “repeal” which was structured from day 1 as a hyper partisan Republican exercise, it is time Congress listens to what the American people have been saying loud and clear for several years. We need to work together to fix the weaknesses in the ACA rather than butcher it. The Medicare Buy In and Health Care Stabilization Act provides relief for the higher cost, older population in the individual and small business market, and restores the market stabilizers that Republicans have undermined and caused insurance premiums to spike in 2017 and 2018. Lastly, the bill provides exciting new ways to reduce health care spending by cracking down on fraud and instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to employ tried and true tools to cut costs in the area of prescription drugs. This bill not only does not add to the deficit, but it will, in fact, save money for America’s taxpayers.”
“President Trump’s statement apparently banning transgender members of the military, even those now serving, is the height of irresponsibility. His tweet was issued at the same time the Department of Defense is undergoing a six-month comprehensive review of the policy allowing transgender Americans to serve in the military. Undercutting their work, and setting military policy by tweet, is reckless and disrespectful in the extreme."
July 25, 2017 Press Release
“Plum Island is a scenic and biological treasure located right in the middle of Long Island Sound,” said Courtney. “The island is home to a rich assortment of endangered species, and should be preserved as a natural sanctuary – not sold off to the highest bidder for development. I have long supported federal legislation that will eliminate the government requirement to sell Plum Island as a means to finance a new research facility. Now that this legislation has been passed in the House, it is my hope that it will be quickly taken up and passed by the Senate. We are closer now than we have ever been to permanently protecting Plum Island.”
July 25, 2017 Press Release
“I am very pleased that members from both sides of the aisle came together to pass this historic update to the G.I. bill that will benefit generations of service members for years to come,” said Courtney. “Eastern Connecticut is the proud home to more veterans than any other congressional district in the state. In 2010, I was a cosponsor of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill - the most important update to the benefit since the end of World War II - that boosted the amount of tuition assistance and for the first time allowed the benefit to be transferred to a spouse of a dependent of a qualified service member. Now, this new bill will ensure that G.I. Bill benefits will be available throughout the lifetime of all veterans who enlisted after 2013, as well as all Purple Heart recipients regardless of their length of service. This bill also ensures fairness for Connecticut National Guard members who have deployed overseas under authorities that were previously not eligible for G.I. Bill benefits by closing this egregious loophole.
“Back in February, America’s manufacturing employers told the White House if you want to fix the economy then fix the skills gap. A newspaper headline the following morning said it in a nutshell: ‘jobs exist; skills don’t’,” said Courtney. “The GOP budget passed out of committee last Wednesday willfully ignores that message by eliminating and or butchering job training programs that have a proven track record of success. For Connecticut, these cuts to apprenticeships programs could not come at a worse time. Our state is finally experiencing job growth and new opportunities are being created through increased investment in aerospace, shipbuilding, and healthcare - all of which require a high-skilled workforce."
July 14, 2017 Press Release
“As the ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, I am proud to the bipartisan work we have done in this bill to grow our Navy fleet,” Courtney said. “While the stage was set for the 2018 to be a starting point on the path to a 355-ship navy, the budget we received fell far short. I am proud to say that working in a bipartisan way, we produced a better budget than the one that came over from the White House. Among other things, the bill explicitly makes it the policy of our nation to achieve a 355-ship Navy and adds five new ships in 2018 to get us moving to the larger fleet that both the Obama and Trump administrations have signaled we need. This bill demonstrates if our defense leaders and the administration will not prioritize the national goal of growing the fleet, we will."
July 14, 2017 Press Release
“Connecticut Sea Grant is a critical federal program that has aided local fishermen, shellfish farmers, and maritime conservation efforts in Long Island Sound for fifty years,” said Courtney. “Whether it’s jumpstarting a fishery or connecting aquaculture producers to local communities, Sea Grant is a vital part of eastern Connecticut’s maritime economy. I am very glad that House Appropriations Committee recognized how important Sea Grant is for aquaculture efforts across the country and reversed the president’s misguided attempt to eliminate the program.”
In The News
April 7, 2017 In The News
If a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, then the drive towards a larger Navy starts with last year’s updated Force Structure Assessment – the shipbuilding plan of the future.
June 4, 2016 In The News
When Justice Croutch graduated from Tolland High School five years ago, her future looked bright. With dazzling green eyes and a smile that lit up a room, she enrolled in a dental hygienist program, earning a 4.0-grade point average in her first year. Now 22, Justice is in a vegetative state in a New Hampshire nursing home, needing a machine to breathe and unable to recognize her family or friends.
April 18, 2016 In The News
For the first time in a generation, Electric Boat is hiring thousands of workers as military strategy again turns to submarines to project U.S. sea power. As many as 850 high-skilled, well-paid manufacturing and other jobs are being filled this year and nearly 4,000 in the next 15 years, establishing a workforce of 18,000 at the submarine manufacturer's sites in Groton and Quonset Point, R.I.
March 29, 2016 In The News
The Navy announced on Monday that EB would be the prime contractor for the estimated $95 billion Ohio-class replacement program. Plans call for 12 of these next-generation ballistic missile submarines to replace the aging fleet of "boomers" built in the 1980s and 1990s. EB will design and deliver all 12 boats.
February 23, 2016 In The News
Last week, Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, called for congressional action to help so-called blue water Navy veterans — those who served in territorial waters overseas during the Vietnam War, and who may suffer illnesses linked to exposure to Agent Orange.
January 26, 2016 In The News
Electric Boat will add more than 800 new jobs in Connecticut this year thanks to robust military spending on the U.S. submarine program, the manufacturer said Monday.
January 19, 2016 In The News
Dairy farmers have reason to be happy after a change in federal law that lets states issue weight exemptions for dairy trucks, allowing them to haul milk at full capacity.
January 14, 2016 In The News
U.S. Representative Joe Courtney says he’s joining the fight to prevent a new State Police gun range from being set up in Willington.
January 12, 2016 In The News
The final plan for how dredge material is handled in Long Island Sound supports continued use of the four existing disposal sites.
January 12, 2016 In The News
Among the guests sitting in the House chamber balcony for President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address will be a Connecticut Muslim doctor whose mosque was shot at the night of the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks.