Joseph (Joe) Courtney (born April 6, 1953) is the U.S. Representative for Connecticut's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Early life, education and career
Courtney grew up in suburban Hartford and became a 1975 graduate of Tufts University. He earned a law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1978 and worked as a public defender for 3 years after leaving school. Courtney is a partner in the law firm Courtney, Boyan & Foran. He also serves as Town Attorney in Vernon, Connecticut, the town in which he currently resides.
Connecticut House of Representatives
Courtney served in the State Representative from Vernon, representing Connecticut's 56th district from 1987 to 1994.
He was chairman of the Public Health and Human Service Committee and oversaw the Blue Ribbon Commission on Universal Health Insurance. In 1994, he was honored by Connecticut Magazine for his bipartisan efforts in the state house.
U.S. House of Representatives
Prior to the 112th Congress, Courtney served on the Committee on Education and Labor with membership on the Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness and Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.
Representative Courtney strongly favors keeping Social Security from being privatized. In his position paper, he states “I support proposals to fully fund Social Security and will strongly oppose attempts to privatize the program.” However, he does feel that some modifications are necessary to keep the program working and providing retired Americans with the benefits they have earned. Additionally, he voted for the Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act which would fix what he calls the “broken physician reimbursement system” and replace it with a functional one.
Representative Joe Courtney supports restrictions on the purchase and possessions of handguns.
In 2010, the interest group, Gun Owners of America, gave him a F based on his Tlegislative votes; he does not support their cause. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave Courtney a grade of 100 percent.
Representative Courtney was endorsed in the past election by organizations such as the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, which champions those laws and lawmakers that protect wildlife and wild places while working against those that do them harm.", the National Education Association, whose goal is to “promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all”, as well as Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and the Humane Society Legislative Fund.
Abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research
Congressman Courtney favors the womans right to choose, and favors embryonic Stem Cell Research.
- Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Jan 2007)
- Provide emergency contraception at military facilities. (Apr 2007)
- Focus on preventing pregnancy, plus emergency contraception. (Jan 2009)
While in Congress, Courtney has consistently supported and sponsored healthcare reform, in line with his career in the Connecticut House.
He has also supported alternative energy and environmental programs and has opposed the Patriot Act. He was the only Representative from Connecticut to vote against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
Courtney lives with his wife, a nurse practitioner, and two children in Vernon.
October 6th, 2011