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
October 16, 2013 In The News
With the help of votes from Connecticut's lawmakers, Congress approved an 11th hour deal that raised the debt limit and reopened the federal government. The agreement was approved by the Senate on a 81-18 vote Wednesday evening and by the House, 285-144. President Obama said he would sign it immediately, and the government would reopen Thursday morning and stay open until Jan. 15. The deal also extends the nation's borrowing authority until Feb. 7, pushing aside for now any danger of default. Every single Democrat in the House and Senate voted for the agreement, including all members of Connecticut's congressional delegation. It was one of the few times Connecticut's Democratic House members were on the winning side of a vote in the GOP-controlled House.
September 29, 2013 In The News
Today House Republicans passed a continuing resolution including a poison pill amendment to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act for a year, a measure that all but guarantees a government shutdown, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) voted against the bill. "I am deeply disappointed in Speaker Boehner’s decision to cave to the extreme wing of the House Republican conference, and move forward a bill that has already been declared dead-on-arrival in the Senate. The clock is ticking, and it is abundantly clear that the only way to avert a government shutdown is for House Republicans to give up their single-minded obsession with undermining the Affordable Care Act, and agree to fulfill their duty to help run the government, Congressman Joe Courtney CT-2 stated.
September 29, 2013 In The News
Electric Boat has won a $25.7 million contract to perform maintenance work on the USS Providence. The work on the Los Angeles-class attack submarine was originally expected to be done at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine. But it was moved to Groton's Electric Boat following the cancellation of repair work planned for the fire-damaged USS Miami.
September 27, 2013 In The News
The Norwich Police Department will add four officers to its community policing initiative over the next several months on the strength of a $500,000 federal grant awarded to the department on Friday. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS. “This is a real coup, to be able to get this type of funding. It recognizes the good work we’re been doing, and this helps us continue it,” Police Chief Louis J. Fusaro Sr. said. “We’re seeing results, and obviously we want to build on that.” Norwich is one of four communities in the state to win COPS dollars, joining Bridgeport, Farmington and Hartford. Nationwide, COPS funds will create more than 930 law enforcement positions using $125 million in funding. Norwich Police Capt. Patrick Daley wrote the department’s successful grant proposal. Fusaro said it could take up to a year for the positions to be filled as administrators recruit and search for the best candidates. “We’re looking for the best of the best. We’re not just going to fill four slots,” he said.
September 25, 2013 In The News
Groton-based Electric Boat was awarded a $152.4 million contract modification Wednesday by the U.S. Navy to provide lead-yard services for Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines, Congressman Joe Courtney announced Wednesday in a news release. Under the contract, Electric Boat will maintain and update design drawings and data, including technology insertions, for each Virginia-class submarine throughout its construction and post-shakedown availability periods.
September 9, 2013 In The News
Just about every day in the emergency department at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, Dr. L. Anthony Cirillo and other physicians see elderly patients who are obviously sick and need to stay in the hospital for a few days to sort out the cause of their chest pains, abdominal ailments or other symptoms. Problem is, without a definite diagnosis - the kind a subsequent series of tests and monitoring would provide - the patient must be classified under "observation status" instead of as an "inpatient" for purposes of Medicare coverage, or hospitals risk stiff penalties from Medicare auditors.
September 3, 2013 In The News
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney told a couple dozen people at a public forum on Syria on Tuesday that he would not vote for an Obama-administration proposed resolution authorizing the use of force. “I find it unacceptable,” Courtney said. Courtney said the wording of the resolution did not provide a time limit for U.S. involvement or limit the use of U.S. ground forces. The 2nd District Democrat did not rule out supporting a different resolution authorizing U.S. intervention in Syria, but said the administration needed to answer more questions first. “I am willing to listen to more information, but at this point I’m approaching it with skepticism,” Courtney said.
August 29, 2013 In The News
This month, I joined President Barack Obama in the Oval Office for a rare event in Washington: a bill signing on a measure that provides real help for the American people. With the stroke of a pen, the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act reduced the interest rates for 11 million undergraduate students for the coming academic year. It would have been tempting for the president and the five members of Congress who joined him to revel in the moment — after all, this Congress has produced meager results for the American people on a whole range of critical issues.
August 9, 2013 In The News
Rep. Joe Courtney is looking to have the United States government mint a commemorative Coast Guard coin to help raise funds for the National Coast Guard Museum. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Financial Services. If passed, the bill would include a series of three Coast Guard coins - a five dollar gold coin, one-dollar silver coin, and half-dollar clad coin - in the U.S. Mint's 2017 release of commemorative coins. According to the Mint, commemorative coins are authorized by Congress and are legal tender, although they are not issued for general circulation. The program began in 1982 and surcharges on their purchase price go toward community projects and benefits.
July 29, 2013 In The News
It’s up to Rep. Joe Courtney to round up votes in the House this week for a bill that would limit future increases in student loan interest rates. The bill was approved last week in the Senate. Courtney, Connecticut's 2nd District Democrat, has tried for years to keep interest rates low on the popular Stafford loans that help thousands of students afford college. Democratic House leaders are now tapping that expertise.