Christopher Scott Murphy (born August 3, 1973) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Connecticut since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served in the United States House of Representatives, representing Connecticut's 5th congressional district from 2007 to 2013. Before being elected to Congress, Murphy was a member of both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly, serving two terms each in the Connecticut House of Representatives (1999â€“2003) and the Connecticut Senate (2003â€“07).
Murphy ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012 after long-time incumbent Joe Lieberman announced in January 2011 that he would retire from politics rather than seeking a fifth term in office. He defeated former Connecticut secretary of state Susan Bysiewicz in the Democratic primary, and subsequently defeated Republican candidate Linda McMahon for the open seat in the general election. Aged 39 at the time, Murphy was the youngest Senator of the 113th Congress. Arkansas' Tom Cotton, elected at age 37, later surpassed Murphy as the youngest incumbent Senator, two years later.
Murphy has been a leading supporter of the Affordable Care Act in the Senate and has opposed Republican attempts to repeal the law, consistently speaking on the floor about the positive impact it has had on his constituents.
In April 2017, Murphy was one of five Democratic senators to sign a letter to President Trump that warned failure "to take immediate action to oppose the lawsuit or direct House Republicans to forgo this effort will increase instability in the insurance market, as insurers may choose not to participate in the marketplace in 2018" and that they remained concerned that his administration "has still not provided certainty to insurers and consumers that you will protect the cost-sharing subsidies provided under the law."
Murphy called the American Health Care Act of 2017 "an intellectual and moral dumpster fire," that will cause 24 million Americans to lose their health care coverage.
Murphy has introduced two pieces of legislation, the American Jobs Matter Act and the 21st Century Buy American Act to close loopholes in the existing Buy American laws and encourage the U.S. government to purchase American-made goods.
In May 2018, Murphy was one of twelve senators to sign a letter to Chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority Colleen Kiko urging the FLRA to end efforts to close its Boston regional office until Congress debated the matter, furthering that the FLRA closing down its seven regional offices would cause staff to be placed farther away from the federal employees they protect the rights of.
On August 5, 2015, Murphy introduced the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 with Republican Senator Bill Cassidy from Louisiana. The legislation, aimed at overhauling the mental health system, would build treatment capacity, promote integrated care models, expand the mental health workforce and encourage the enforcement of existing mental health parity laws.
The bill was informed by listening sessions that Senator Murphy conducted across the state of Connecticut. The bill was widely supported by the mental health community, with organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, Mental Health America and the National Council for Behavioral Health applauding its introduction.
On March 16, 2016, the Mental Health Reform Act was pass unanimously by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. On December 7, 2016, the Senate passed Mental Health Reform as a part of the 21st Century Cures Act. The bill also provided $1 billion in funding to address the opioid crisis and funding for NIH Cancer Moonshot initiative. The bill was signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2016.
Murphy has an F rating with the National Rifle Association and a 100% rating with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Murphy became a leading voice in the movement to prevent gun violence, supporting numerous policies including universal background checks and ending the ban on gun violence research at the CDC. Murphy supported the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey background checks proposal, which would have strengthened and expanded the existing background check system and established a National Commission on Mass Violence to study in-depth all the causes of mass violence.
Murphy is one of the first members of Congress to come out in opposition to US support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, which was launched in 2015. In a speech on January 29, 2016, he recommended that the US stop supporting this military campaign and suspend military sales to Saudi Arabia until the US receives assurances that the war will not distract from Saudi efforts against al-Qaeda and ISIS and Saudi Arabia lessens its worldwide support of Wahhabism. Murphy is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the ranking Democratic member of the subcommittee on the Middle East and Counter-terrorism. In the edition of June 8, 2015 of Foreign Affairs, Murphy co-authored "Principles for a Progressive Foreign Policy," proposing a framework for a Democratic foreign policy strategy.
In November 2017, Murphy accused the United States of complicity in the war crimes committed in Yemen by the Saudi-led military coalition and in Yemen's humanitarian crisis, saying: "Thousands and thousands inside Yemen today are dying. ... This horror is caused in part by our decision to facilitate a bombing campaign that is murdering children and to endorse a Saudi strategy inside Yemen that is deliberately using disease and starvation and the withdrawal of humanitarian support as a tactic." In October 2018, Murphy wrote that if the reports of Jamal Khashoggi's murder are true, "it should represent a fundamental break" in Saudi Arabiaâ€“United States relations. Murphy, along with Bernie Sanders and Mike Lee, advanced a vote to co-sponsor a resolution that would require the President to "withdraw troops in or "affecting" Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al Qaeda." In February 2019, Murphy was one of seven senators to reintroduce legislation requiring sanctions on Saudi officials involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and seeking to address support for the Yemen civil war through prohibiting some weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and U.S. military refueling of Saudi coalition planes.
In March 2016, Murphy authored the bipartisan bill the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act, along with Republican Senator Rob Portman. Congressman Adam Kinzinger introduced the U.S. House version of the bill. After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, worries grew that Russian propaganda spread and organized by the Russian government swayed the outcome of the election, and representatives in the U.S. Congress took action to safeguard the National security of the United States by advancing legislation to monitor incoming propaganda from external threats. On November 30, 2016, legislators approved a measure within the National Defense Authorization Act to ask the U.S. State Department to take action against foreign propaganda through an interagency panel. The legislation authorized funding of $160 million over a two-year-period. The initiative was developed through the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act.
In September 2016, in advance of a UN Security Council resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, Murphy signed an AIPAC-sponsored letter urging President Obama to veto "one-sided" resolutions against Israel.
Murphy has a "B" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. In 2016, he voted in favor of the Daines/Merkley Amendment to enable Veterans Administration doctor's to discuss the benefits of medical marijuana with their patients. He also voted in favor of Mikulski Medical Marijuana Amendment, which protects users in states with medical marijuana laws from federal interference.
In July 2019, Murphy and fifteen other Senate Democrats introduced the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act which mandated that ICE agents get approval from a supervisor ahead of engaging in enforcement actions at sensitive locations with the exception of special circumstances and that agents receive annual training in addition to being required to report annually regarding enforcement actions in those locations.