2/20/2017 An update from Senator Murphy's office
It’s been a busy couple of weeks in both Washington and Connecticut, so I wanted to check in with a quick update.
As you know, the U.S. Senate has been preoccupied lately with confirmation hearings and votes for President Trump's cabinet nominees. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Murphy was deeply involved in the process for a number of key nominees, including at State, Education, and Health and Human Services. However, despite the fact that his schedule been busy in D.C., we've been working hard locally to make sure that folks in CT are informed and involved with what's going on at the start of this administration.
Second of all, before I get into it, I want to let you know that Senator Murphy is hosting a public Town Hall Meeting this Tuesday, February 21, at West Hartford Town Hall (50 South Main Street). I know many of you already got the invite but I wanted to just remind you in case you are able to come and hear about some of these topics from him in person. The meeting will begin promptly at 7:30 pm, but we are expecting a large turnout and I would personally recommend arriving early if you can to ensure you get good seats. Hope to see many of you there!
Now, on to the latest...
As I mentioned in my last email, we recently recognized and celebrated the 100th "Murphy's Monday Manufacturer"-- companies here in Connecticut that are walking the walk when it comes to buying American and hiring American. This month, Senator Murphy visited one of those companies, Lex Products in Shelton, a supplier of lighting products to the U.S. military, to talk about his Buy American bill.
As the Senate was considering the nomination of Betsy DeVos to become Secretary of Education, Senator Murphy hosted a meeting with public school teachers from around the state in New Haven. Attendees expressed serious concerns about Ms. DeVos's record of hostility towards public education. As you know by now, Senator Murphy voted against the nomination, which was approved 50-50 (Vice President Pence broke the tie, a first in American history for a cabinet nomination).
In the wake of the president's executive order suspending the refugee resettlement program and banning immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, Senator Murphy met with a group of Muslim leaders from around the state in New Haven to talk about the meaning of the order and subsequent court rulings, and the next steps going forward.
At another gathering of statewide leaders, Senator Murphy spoke about environmental policy at Wesleyan University in Middletown and how to take action to ensure we continue to combat climate change in a meaningful way.
The biggest story I wanted to share with you is about the Kassar family. After the travel ban was signed, it looked like Hanan and Lian Kassar, ages 8 and 5, would not be able to reunite with their father Fadi Kassar of Milford. You can read their story here. After it appeared that the Kassars would be prevented from coming to the U.S., Senator Murphy and our constituent services team sprang into action, contacting immigration attorneys and federal agencies to ensure their safe arrival.
Within a few days, Senator Murphy and Senator Blumenthal were able to join Mr. Kassar and the Milford community to welcome the girls and their mother to the United States. After their arrival, Senator Murphy noted that it was not just a moment for celebration that one family was successfully reunited-- it was a opportunity to reflect on who the refugee program helps, why it is vital to our nation's values, and what the consequences of policies like a Muslim travel ban truly mean to our national security and our character as a country.
The Kassars' story is also proof of what our constituent services team can do to help Connecticut residents. Helping constituents with the federal government is the most important function of our state office, and we can often help people resolve issues with Social Security, the VA, immigration/visa status, housing, and student loans (to name a few) with a few phone calls. If you or people in your communities are ever struggling with such an issue, please let me know so we can be of assistance!
Thanks as always for reading, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Ben Florsheim | Outreach Assistant
Office of Senator Chris Murphy
120 Huyshope Avenue, Suite 401
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
(860) 924-8622 | firstname.lastname@example.org