August 18, 2017 Press Release
“This news is no surprise- it’s a confirmation that the hard work to bring jobs to the region is paying off. It validates the impact of an increased workload at Electric Boat, which in turn creates jobs at the hundreds of Connecticut-based parts suppliers on the EB supply chain. Thankfully, we’ve partnered with local community colleges, the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, and the US Department of Labor to create a strong job training program to ensure these local jobs are being filled by local residents. Our community is on the right track.”
August 18, 2017 Press Release
“The statements made recently by the joint chiefs of all the military service branches renouncing racism and bigotry as anathema to the values of our nation and the men and women who wear the uniform were a powerful anecdote to the voices of hate and extremism that flared up in Charlottesville, VA last week,” said Courtney. “The military chiefs see clearly that the oath they took to uphold the Constitution of the United States was about defending our way of life that promotes tolerance, equality, and respect for the dignity of each American regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or country of origin. I hope that their elegant example will cause every American to reflect on what are the true ideals that unite us, rather than succumbing to appeals to division and discord."
"New York's frivolous lawsuit challenging a decade’s worth of painstaking work by the EPA to reform and improve the Eastern Long Island Sound's dredging plan blatantly ignores the facts and the law,” said Courtney. “EPA officials in the last administration conducted an open and transparent process for all stakeholders in proximity to the Sound, to update the dredging process, giving regulatory preference to upland disposal, and tightly screening the composition of dredge material to preserve the Long Island Sound ecosystem. EPA also moved the disposal site for material that cannot be practically moved upland, to Connecticut waters - not New York's - and allows a regional body including New York and Connecticut stakeholders to review any open water disposal that the Army Corps of Engineers determines is practicable.
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.
In The News
July 28, 2014 In The News
Hartford - From the port of New London on Long Island Sound north through Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and into Canada, a 390-mile freight rail system linking New England to the rest of the Northeast lacks a key element: a 21st-century rail line in Connecticut.
June 21, 2014 In The News
This week’s seemingly sudden reprieve that kept the 161-year-old Warren Corp. textile mill from closing wasn’t really last-minute at all—and it certainly wasn’t a slam dunk, according to U.S. Rep Joseph D. Courtney, who was in the thick of the effort to keep the mill’s doors open.
March 18, 2014 In The News
When Howard Lunt arrived home from the Korean War in 1953, there wasn’t much fanfare. There were no parades or triumphant bands waiting to cheer him on. Nor did he receive any medals for his service for fighting along the 38th parallel — his military record likely lost amid the winding down of the war that claimed the lives of more than 30,000 Americans. That changed Monday when Lunt, 82, was presented with five medals honoring him for his service during the conflict that many, including Lunt, describe as the “forgotten war.”
Ukrainian- born Volodymyr Serhiyenko has been living in the United States for the past five years and has been enjoying his personal freedoms with a democratic government. But he’s been haunted by all the recent turmoil and unrest, with peaceful protestors shot dead by snipers at the Maidan (Independence Square), fires outside parliament, stun grenades and gunfire — the worst bloodshed the country as seen in 22 years of independence. Serhiyenko was one of many locals attending a meeting at the Ukrainian National Home in North Windham Sunday with other members of the University of Connecticut’s Ukrainian Student Association, Ukrainian Americans from around Connecticut and state dignitaries.
February 12, 2014 In The News
Connecticut was among 16 states that saw record levels of exports last year, with the sale of aerospace and related equipment accounting for nearly half of the $16.5 billion in exports, a report released Tuesday shows. Exporting for the nation as a whole in 2013 also rose to a record, $2.3 trillion. In Connecticut, the level of exports rose by 3 percent, from $16 billion in 2012, and was 7 percent higher than $15.4 billion in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. "I'm not surprised," said Peter Gioia, vice president and economist at the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. "Companies involved in exporting are getting more and more aggressive."
February 12, 2014 In The News
Problems caused by a Medicare rule that forces hospitals to label certain patients under "observation" status rather than as inpatients have only worsened in the four years since U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney first introduced legislation to fix it. That's the assessment of case managers at the region's two hospitals, who both applaud the third bill Courtney and other lawmakers have introduced since 2010 to change Medicare rules so that patients could be covered for skilled nursing care after a hospitalization, regardless of whether they were "observation" patients or inpatients. Under the current rules, Medicare patients discharged to skilled nursing care facilities must pay out of pocket for those services, unless they were labeled as hospital "inpatients" for three consecutive days. Increasingly strict limits on who can be classified as an inpatient - with penalties for hospitals that mislabel patients - have meant hospitals are categorizing more patients as "observation."
February 11, 2014 In The News
As Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., sees it, more of his colleagues are becoming aware of the ill effects that can occur when hospitals tell Medicare that a person who spent days being treated within their walls was not an “inpatient.” Courtney and many advocacy groups say that when hospitals instead slot patients as receiving “observation” services, that can deprive them of needed follow-up skilled nursing care. Or, it can cost them dearly if they use these services as after a hospital stay.
January 24, 2014 In The News
In the project science laboratory at the Charles H. Barrows STEM Academy Thursday, a group of goggles-clad second-grade students were about to begin an experiment. By combining two states of matter — vinegar, a liquid, and baking soda, a solid — could they create a third state of matter? Second-grade teacher Kim Lewis, having passed out written instructions and given the students a couple of minutes, asked if there were any questions. Juliana Vik, a particularly enthusiastic student, shook her head.
January 23, 2014 In The News
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, was in Windham Center Tuesday to quell concerns the Affordable Care Act would apply to volunteer fire departments. “The cost of providing health care would be catastrophic (for volunteer fire departments),” Courtney said. The Affordable Care Act mandates employers with more than 50 employees offer health care or pay a penalty.
January 7, 2014 In The News
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney and state Attorney General George Jepsen called on Congress Tuesday to extend a recently-expired tax break for underwater homeowners to help ensure the continued recovery of the housing market.Courtney and Jepsen urged Congressional action on the expired tax provision during a Tuesday morning press conference in Hartford.