Thursday, September 24, 2015

Murphy on Pope Francis

On Thursday, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, D-Conn. released a statement after Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress during his visit to the United States.
This is the statement, unedited here:

“It was an extraordinary honor to have heard Pope Francis address Congress today. His humility and courage are an inspiration to all Americans, regardless of faith. He has given a voice to the voiceless and challenged leaders from around the world to confront global challenges head on. Today, the Pope continued his groundbreaking papacy and challenged the United States Congress to make lasting progress on important issues including climate change, poverty, and the humanitarian crisis abroad.


“The pontiff reaffirmed that we are in a time of crisis: the moment to act on climate change is now and this Congress has an important role to play. Without aggressive policies to take on what he described as ‘environmental deterioration caused by human activity,’ the health and safety of millions around the world is at risk. He called for us to alleviate poverty and hunger – to stick up for the populations who have no voice in the political process and to promote economic opportunity for families across America. He reminded my colleagues that the United States has a long tradition of providing safe haven to those fleeing persecution and war.


“I took particular note of his admonition that ‘if we want security, let us give security.’ This was his challenge for the United States to get off the sidelines of the ongoing humanitarian and refugee crisis in Iraq and Syria, possibly the worst humanitarian disaster of our times.


“I’m hopeful that my colleagues will take up the Pontiff’s challenge to put aside partisan politics and work together to build a community ‘which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, it’s social life.’ It is our moral imperative to be good stewards of the earth and generous to those in need, and I hope we live up to Pope Francis's challenge in the days ahead.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Connecticut OPM releases rescission list

The Connecticut  Office of Policy and Management, or OPM, Friday  released "a list of more than $102 million in rescissions. The Governor has taken these steps so the budget remains balanced. Due to recent volatility on Wall Street and uncertainty about the future, he is taking these strategic steps so that, over the long term, our revenues can support our levels of spending.," according to a release.

See the list here:

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sen. Murphy: Put American made products in National Park Service retail stores

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., after " hearing from a constituent that foreign-made products are available for purchase in National Park Service (NPS) concession retail stores, called on the NPS to increase the percentage of American-made merchandise sold in national park retail shops," according to a release 
The senator released his letter (pasted unedited below) to Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, in which, the release said, he " highlighted the important role that the federal government and its contractors – including NPS retail stores – can play in helping U.S. manufacturers expand their businesses, create new jobs, and bolster the economy by purchasing goods made by American workers."
"As part of an ongoing effort to protect and grow American manufacturing," Murphy asked that at least 50 percent "of goods sold in NPS stores come from American manufacturers," and "encouraged the NPS to codify stricter requirements to ensure that national park retail stores do not import or sell products made by foreign companies that are otherwise available through American manufacturers," the release said.

According to the release, Murphy has introduced several amendments and pieces of legislation – including the 21st Century Buy American Act and the American Jobs Matter Act – that "aim to strengthen existing standards and prioritize the purchase of American-made goods"

The letter:
The Honorable Jonathan Jarvis 
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Director Jarvis:
I write to thank you for your efforts to include American-made products in National Park Service (NPS) concession retail shops, and to encourage you to continue to expand the availability of these products in our national parks. While the NPS has made strides in ensuring that NPS retailers sell products made in the United States, a Connecticut constituent recently brought to my attention multiple instances of foreign-made products in NPS stores. I believe that we can do more to provide and promote quality, price-competitive, domestically-made products in our national parks, and ask that you take further steps to that end.
There were more than 270 million visits to our national parks in 2013, generating billions of dollars in revenue and contributing significantly to local economies. Working to make sure that more domestically-made products are sold would magnify that effect. As you know, federal investment in manufacturing helps create new American jobs, bolsters our economy, and enhances opportunities for America’s middle class. One of the easiest ways to create a ripple effect of prosperity through manufacturing communities is to ensure that the goods purchased through the federal government and its contractors, such as those sold in NPS retail shops, are made by American workers at U.S. companies.
Studies show many consumers are even willing to pay more for the quality associated with domestically manufactured goods, and selling American-made products is crucial to helping our manufacturers grow. I was pleased that a 2008 review by the National Park Hospitality Association indicated that 39 percent of merchandise in NPS retail stores was made in the United States.  An additional 31 percent was finished in the U.S., and the remaining 30 percent was imported from foreign manufacturers. While this is important progress, I ask you take immediate steps to increase the percentage of American-made merchandise in NPS retail stores to at least 50%.  As you know, the Buy American Act requires that certain manufactured goods be comprised of at least 50% American content. This 50% threshold I believe is one that NPS should be able to achieve.  
I understand NPS has already made reforms to encourage shop owners to buy American-made products, such as providing financial incentives to complying retailers and discussing ‘Made in USA’ initiatives during the store review process. However, I believe more can be done to find available, competitively-priced domestic products for NPS concessional retail stores, and encourage you to codify stricter requirements to ensure no products that are otherwise available through domestic manufacturers are imported from foreign companies.
I appreciate your previous efforts to promote American-made products.  In addition to further steps to increase the amount of American-made goods in NPS stores, please let me know what Congress can do to help ensure NPS retail stores buy American-made goods as we work together to help grow the American economy. The National Parks System is a priceless heritage belonging to every American, one that I believe can contribute to the resurgence of American manufacturing even as it helps conserve and promote our natural resources.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your response.
Christopher S. Murphy
United States Senator

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

President Clinton to Receive Dodd Prize, Speak at UCONN

UConn today reports that President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker at the Oct. 15 ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, on UConn’s Storrs Campus.

Everyone in Greater New Haven recalls the Mr. Clinton visited the Elm City to stump for Gov. Malloy.

Read more about the UConn visit here.