Christopher Scott "Chris" Murphy (born August 3, 1973) is the U. S. Representative for Connecticut's 5th congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Murphy previously served in the Connecticut House of Representatives and the Connecticut Senate.
Early life, education and career
Murphy is a son of Scott L. Murphy and Catherine Murphy née Lewczyk of Wethersfield, Connecticut. His mother, who is retired, was a teacher of English as a second language at Hanmer Elementary School in Wethersfield.
His father is the managing partner of Shipman & Goodwin, a law firm in Hartford. Murphy has one younger sister, Susannah, and one younger brother, Ben.
Murphy is a graduate of Wethersfield High School, Williams College, and the University of Connecticut School of Law. He attended the Exeter College, Oxford - Williams programme where Williams College sends a group of students to Exeter College for an academic year, from 1994 to 1995. He is employed as an attorney with the firm of Ruben, Johnson, and Morgan in Hartford. During his time at Oxford, Murphy played quarterback for the Oxford Cavaliers American football team.
Early political career
Murphy's first job in politics was as an intern to U.S.
Senator Chris Dodd whom Murphy called "a giant, both professionally and personally"
In 1996, Murphy was campaign manager for Charlotte Koskoff's near upset of Nancy Johnson in 1996. (A decade later he would unseat Johnson himself). From 1997 to 1998 he worked for Connecticut State Senate Majority Leader George Jepsen.
Murphy was first elected to office in 1997, when he won a seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission in the town of Southington.
In 1998, at the age of 25, he unseated a 14-year incumbent to take a seat in the Connecticut House of Representatives. He served two terms there, representing the 81st House District in Southington. He was elected to the State Senate at age 29, representing the 16th District, which encompasses Southington, Cheshire, Waterbury and Wolcott.
Prior to Murphy's win, that seat had been held by a Republican for well over a decade. Murphy was appointed Senate chair of the legislature's Public Health Committee, and also chaired the state task force looking into the re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada. In his term in office, Murphy worked on environmental protection issues and for juvenile justice reform.
In 2005, he authored and legislation establishing the new Office of Child Protection to better coordinate advocacy for abused and neglected children, legislation that passed. He also authored Public Act 05-149, an act permitting stem-cell research while prohibiting human cloning. The act, signed into law by Governor M.
Jodi Rell made Connecticut the third state in the nation to allow for taxpayer-subsidized stem-cell research.
U.S. House of Representatives
Murphy votes with Democratic party leadership 98% of the time. He is a liberal, receiving scores of 95% and 100% from the Americans for Democratic Action, as well as 100% scores from various labor unions for his Congressional votes. He has received low scores from conservative groups such as the Club for Growth,the American Conservative Union, FreedomWorks and the National Taxpayers Union.
Murphy aligns himself with progressives in the House. At the July 2010 Netroots Nation convention in Las Vegas Murphy urged progressives to take a long view as to their agenda, suggesting his colleagues would return to Congress "with steel in their spine" after the midterm elections.
Upon taking office, one of Murphy's first moves was to call for reform of the House of Representatives' internal ethics oversight system, which had failed to uncover numerous ethical lapses in previous congresses.
Murphy organized a group of new House members in May 2007 to support the creation of an independent, non-partisan ethics panel to review complaints made against members of Congress. Murphy argued that politics and self-interest too easily influence any attempt at self-policing on the part of members of Congress. Murphy played a formative role in shaping the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), which was passed into law by the House in March 2008.
As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Murphy also became highly critical of for-profit government contractors operating overseas in Iraq like Blackwater USA, who functioned with little government oversight and scrutiny. He introduced and successfully passed into law the "Government Funding Transparency Act of 2008," which requires private companies who do the majority of their businesses with the federal government to publicly disclose their top executives' salaries.
Murphy is an advocate of closing the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In February 2011, he voted to extend provisions of the USA PATRIOT act.
In December 2007 Murphy made a remark on National Public Radio, declaring the United States Senate "a threat to democracy as we know it; they cannot bring any of these measures to a vote, the filibusters threatened by the Republicans hold up much of the work of the House." Murphy, however, opposed the FISA eavesdropping bill supported by the White House and passed by the House of Representatives, and endorsed the ultimately unsuccessful filibuster of this bill by Senator Christopher Dodd.
Murphy is strong supporter of environmental protection, scoring 100% on the League of Conservation Voters' congressional scorecards in both 2007 and 2008. Murphy also pushed for the designation of central Connecticut's Metacomet Monadnock Mattabesett (MMM) Trail as one the National Park Service's National Scenic Trails, legislation which was enacted by Congress in early 2009. The designation provides for the protection and maintenance of the trail, while preserving its cooperatively-managed history. Murphy also played a significant role in the preservation of Newtown, Connecticut's beloved Hawleyville Post Office, which nearly shut its doors over a long-running property dispute.
In 2009 Murphy, as a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, helped draft HR 3200, the House health care reform bill. Murphy defended his role supporting the bill at a contentious town hall meeting in Simsbury in August 2009. As a long-time supporter of health insurance reform, Murphy is a strong proponent of the "public option," which entails the creation of independent government-sponsored health insurance plan to compete with private companies. Murphy has argued that such a plan would not require government financing and would help to introduce competition into monopolized health insurance markets and help bring down costs.
Chris Murphy and his wife, Cathy Holahan Murphy, have one child, born in 2008. They reside in Cheshire.
October 6th, 2011