February 17, 2017 Press Release
“America needs a new generation of farmers, now more than ever,” said Courtney. “The number of new farmers entering the field of agriculture has dropped by 20 percent, while the average farmer age has now risen above 58-years-old. The skyrocketing cost of higher education and the growing burden of student loan debt are presenting major obstacles for young farmers. The burden of student loan debt can thwart their ability to purchase the farming operations they need to get started or drive them away from a career in agriculture altogether. This legislation would assist new farmers during the costly, initial phases of opening a farming business, and allow them a fighting chance to build a life on the farm for themselves and their families.”
February 15, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, spoke on the House floor about a Russian spy ship patrolling in waters off eastern Connecticut.
February 15, 2017 Press Release
“A Russian spy ship patrolling 30 miles from the Groton SUBASE underscores that the threats posed by a resurgent Russia are real,” said Courtney. “This unacceptable, aggressive action, combined with the buzzing of US Navy ships in the Red Sea yesterday are clearly testing the resolve of a new administration. While I have total confidence in our Navy’s vigilant, responsible readiness, the White House needs to move past their seeming infatuation with Putin and treat him like the serious threat to global peace and security that he has been for the last five years."
February 10, 2017 Press Release
“The letter I received from House appropriations today makes it perfectly clear that there is simply no money being provided to FRA for implementation of their NEC FUTURE plan, including the so-called Kenyon Bypass,” said Courtney. “My office has confirmed with both majority and minority appropriations staff that there is no funding under current law, or under the transportation bill already passed in the House for FY 2017 for FRA to implement the NEC FUTURE rail plan. I will continue to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to ensure that no funding is made available now or in the future for FRA to implement any upgrades which harms communities here in southeastern Connecticut.”
February 8, 2017 Press Release
“I am pleased to return as ranking member of the Seapower subcommittee once again in the 115th Congress,” said Courtney. “Over the past ten years serving on the Seapower subcommittee, I have found that this panel has earned its reputation as one of the most bipartisan and productive in Congress. Our panel oversees some of the most critical capabilities on, below, and above the seas at a time when our nation needs them most. I am particularly excited that Congressman Rob Wittman, a friend and colleague with whom I have worked closely on bipartisan shipbuilding issues for the last decade, will serve as our new chairman. This session promises to be busier than ever as we work to implement the new force structure plan released last year to achieve a larger Navy fleet. Implementing this new plan will require us to focus on maximizing our industrial base capacity, ensuring that we complete necessary maintenance of our current fleet, and expanding the reach of our ships through increased capabilities. We need an all-of-the-above approach to achieving this larger fleet, and our bipartisan work to this point has set a strong framework for moving ahead."
“Today is the seven-year anniversary of the devastating 2010 Kleen Energy Plant explosion in Middletown, Connecticut that cost six workers their lives, including my friend Ron Crabb, and injured dozens more.” said Courtney. “As the 2010 incident in Middletown and the catastrophic explosion in 2013 at the West Fertilizer plant in Texas demonstrate, the benefits of ensuring a safe and healthy workplace are not just confined to the facility’s property - local communities also have a major stake in the safety of these workplaces. Since OSHA was first created, great strides have been made in protecting American workers, but too many workers are injured, falling ill, or even killed when working in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. We need to make sure OSHA can continue its vital mission to protect America’s workers so that moms and dads across this country will safely return home to their families after a hard day’s work.”
“Incredibly, on Friday, with one stroke of the pen, President Trump slammed the door shut on that program because he cancelled all visa programs from Iraq. If anyone could imagine a more demoralizing way to undercut the anti-ISIL alliance at such a critical time, Friday’s order won the prize and we are hearing from military commanders who are over there in Iraq talking about the blowback that’s come from our allies that were literally underway in real operations in real time. We in Congress need to stop this order for the sake of our standing in the world as a beacon of hope and freedom, and if for nothing else, to support our troops and our allies in harm’s way.”
January 29, 2017 Press Release
“President Trump’s new executive order freezing refugee arrivals and entry of all people from a number of predominately Muslim countries, including law permanent residents of the United States traveling abroad, will boomerang against us both morally and practically,” said Courtney. “The new President signed the order on Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day when we reflect in part on how our country failed to protect Jewish refugees from Nazi atrocities during World War II. This is not who we are as Americans: we do not discriminate against any religion, and we do not shut our doors to suffering people seeking a better life."
January 23, 2017 Press Release
“There was a rate reduction that was slated to go into effect on January 27th from .85 percent down to .65 percent – President Trump canceled that reduction. So what does that mean? The National Association of Realtors, which is hardly a partisan group, has in the wake of that order released numbers that about 750,000 to 800,000 homeowners are going to be adversely affected by losing those savings – that are just going to go to the government by the way. Those mortgage premiums are basically paid into the government and right now there is a surplus in that account and that’s why the rate reduction was slated to go into effect – there is no reason for the government to be overcharging for mortgage insurance given the healthy balance that exists in that mortgage insurance account."
January 23, 2017 Press Release
“I am pleased that today Governor Malloy has announced promising new steps that the State of Connecticut is taking to address the increasingly urgent problem of crumbling home foundations in northcentral Connecticut,” said Courtney. “As my office determined last August, federal assistance is available immediately through the Department of Housing and Urban Devolvement Small Cities CDBG and HOME block grant programs, and I’m glad that the Governor indicated today that these funding sources will be used. Nothing could fall more squarely within the mission of CDBG to promote community development than stopping this threat to northcentral Connecticut’s housing market. I encourage the General Assembly to support these efforts and continue to investigate the potential use of additional money that is available through HUD. This is a good first step, but much more work will need to be done in order to get a handle on the urgent issue of crumbling foundation which is threatening local families, our communities and the region’s economy.”