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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Op-Eds

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.
Issues:
January 17, 2017 Op-Ed
Eastern Connecticut’s economy has always been closely linked with open access to the sea. A vast array of economic activities in our region, ranging from recreational boating to commercial maritime transportation, shipbuilding, the Coast Guard Academy, and the Naval Submarine Base in Groton all rely on transit to and from Long Island Sound. This vital access to the sea requires regular dredging of shipping channels and navigable waterways to sustain passable access to our ports.
January 30, 2016 Op-Ed
Earlier this week, one of Connecticut's oldest employers sent a jolt through the headlines. Electric Boat President Jeff Geiger announced plans to hire 1,500 engineers, metal trades workers and support personnel at its Connecticut facilities in 2016. The announcement included a positive forecast for the years ahead, with projected growth from 14,000 employees up to 18,000 by 2030.
September 28, 2015 Op-Ed
Earlier this month, five Chinese naval warships entered U.S. territorial waters off the coast of Alaska. In acknowledging the transit of these vessels, the United States made clear we viewed this action as well within the rights of China — and any other nation — to conduct innocent passage through the legitimately established territorial seas and nonthreatening military activities within the exclusive economic zone of another country.
June 24, 2015 Op-Ed
At a roundtable I convened at Electric Boat on May 28, U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez noted that our nation is facing what he called an “Eisenhower moment.” In the wake of World War II in the 1950s, President Eisenhower led a national undertaking to develop the federal highway infrastructure that interconnected our country at an unprecedented level and grew our nation’s economy. Today, Secretary Perez noted that our nation must mirror that effort to develop a “skills infrastructure” in our workforce that will help our economy grow and succeed.
February 26, 2013 Op-Ed
Unless Congress crafts a bipartisan compromise by Friday, the Budget Control Act of 2011 will sequester — or cancel — $85 billion of spending planned for the rest of this year. The cuts would be mindlessly spread across all federal agencies, regardless of priority or need. Activities affecting all Americans would be cut. Everything from the Navy to Head Start will be partially curtailed on an indiscriminate basis. Waiting times at airports will go up, food safety inspections will be limited, aircraft carrier deployments would be curtailed and pre-school slots would be eliminated.
January 2, 2013 Op-Ed
​In the wake of the horrible massacre in Newtown, the entire nation has engaged in a conversation on the issues President Barack Obama raised at Newtown High School’s interfaith service Dec. 16. Advocacy for stronger gun laws, better mental health care, and enhanced school safety measures has filled the airwaves and the Internet, setting up a huge challenge to state legislators and the new Congress, which will be sworn in Thursday.
November 29, 2012 Op-Ed
​As we near the edge of the fiscal cliff, Medicare — the health insurance program for America’s seniors and disabled— is in the crosshairs. Former Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan authored a budget that called for Medicare to be turned into a voucher program. Others have called for new co-pays for skilled nursing or home health care.
May 11, 2012 Op-Ed
In the midst of the most desperate threat to our nation, President Abraham Lincoln looked beyond the dire present of the Civil War and signed a groundbreaking national commitment to higher education. On July 2, 1862, the Morrill Act created the land-grant system for state educational institutions to foster engineering and agricultural science.
March 8, 2012 Op-Ed
As Congress gears up for the 2012 Farm Bill reauthorization, America’s dairy farmers need particular attention to safeguard their livelihood. Coming off recent catastrophic lows, we must reform our nation’s dairy programs so that prices are fair to farmers and reasonable to consumers.

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