Opposes Releasing Voter Information
The League of Women Voters of Litchfield County announced today (July 21, 2017) that it supports Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s decision not to release Connecticut voters’ information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
In her July 2 letter to Kris Kobach, the Commission’s vice chair, Secretary Merrill said that complying with the Commission’s request to release voting information, including personally identifiable information about voters, “is not in the best interest of Connecticut residents.”
On July 6, the League of Women Voters of Connecticut (LWVCT) sent a letter commending Secretary Merrill for her response to Mr. Kobach, stating “The League stands by our long history of protecting voters by opposing the release of voting information.”
The LWV is actively involved in preserving the sanctity of the vote. LWV supports passage of the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2017, continued existence of the Election Assistance Commission, restoration of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and federal funding for replacement of outdated election equipment. LWV opposes partisan redistricting in the drawing of legislative districts. “During our Annual Meeting in June, we decided to further look into redistricting in anticipation of the upcoming census and the potential of the boundaries being redrawn”, said Kerry Mayers, President, League of Women Voters of Litchfield County. The League of Women Voters of Litchfield County is a grassroots, nonpartisan political organization of women and men.
Esty Votes for Sanctions on Russia, Iran, North Korea
Bipartisan bill passes House overwhelmingly
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) today (Tuesday, July 25, 2017) released the following statement after voting in favor of the Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Act, which passed the House by a vote of 419-3:
“This is a good bipartisan bill to strengthen our national security and hold to account three adversarial governments that have repeatedly threatened America’s interests.
“Russia has committed multiple cyberattacks against American institutions, deliberately spread lies and propaganda to mislead the American people, and interfered in our elections. We need to send a unified message that the United States will not tolerate this assault on our democracy. Today’s legislation sends that message – and importantly, it maintains Congress’s authority to keep the sanctions in place even if the President tries to roll them back.
“Though Iran remains in compliance with the 2015 agreement banning it from developing nuclear weapons, its unacceptable ballistic missile program and support for international terrorist groups continue to pose a danger to the United States and our allies. These new sanctions will help us fight back against these threats to our security.
“Finally, North Korea’s rising aggression cannot go unanswered. We need a tough and smart strategy to combat the danger posed by Kim Jong Un’s oppressive, violent regime. Today’s sanctions will form an important part of that overall strategy.”
Major Bill Esty Co-sponsored to Overhaul
Veterans’ Education Benefits Passes House
Bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) to expand and improve veterans’ GI Bill benefits passed the House unanimously last night (July 25, 2017), 405-0.
The legislation, entitled the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, eliminates the 15-year limit afforded veterans to use their education benefits after leaving military service. It also ensures that all Purple Heart recipients, regardless of their length of service, are able to access GI Bill benefits. And it eases eligibility requirements for National Guard members and Reservists, who often don’t qualify for benefits under existing law.
Esty is a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which voted unanimously to advance the legislation to a floor vote, and the top Democrat on the subcommittee overseeing veterans’ compensation. She spoke in favor of the bill on the House floor during debate.
For a one-pager on the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, click here
. For a section-by-section summary, click here
. The bill is endorsed by several major veterans’ service organizations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Military Order of the Purple Hearts, Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, and American Veterans.
Esty: ‘House-Passed Defense Bill is a
Win for Connecticut and for the Fifth District’
Esty’s amendment to improve the benefits process for new veterans was unanimously adopted by the House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) today (Friday, July 14, 2017) voted in favor of H.R. 2810, the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 344-81.
“I’m proud to support this bipartisan defense bill, which strengthens military readiness, supports our service members, and creates jobs in Connecticut,” Esty said. “The bill provides much-needed certainty and stability to the manufacturing and defense supply chain, keeping companies like Danbury’s DRS Consolidated Controls and UTC Aerospace Systems hard at work producing submarine and aircraft components for the next five years and beyond. The bottom line is this: today’s bill helps keep Americans safe – and helps put Nutmeggers to work.
“I’m also thrilled my colleagues voted unanimously to approve my amendment to help service members more smoothly transition from active duty to veteran status,” Esty added. “Every man and woman who serves this country deserves a good-paying job, quality health care, and easy access to the benefits they’ve earned. My amendment will help us make sure that no veterans end up falling through the cracks.”
Provisions of the bill that are particularly beneficial for Connecticut include:
- $3.3 billion in funding for two Virginia-class submarines in FY 2018;
- An authorization for the Navy procure up to 13 Virginia-class submarines beginning in FY 2019 at a rate of three submarines per year; and
- The addition of 17 additional F-35s for a total fleet of 87.
Esty’s amendment, which passed the House by voice vote, directs the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to issue a comprehensive report to Congress outlining ways to improve service members’ transition from active duty to veteran status. The amendment directs the DOD and VA to:
- Assess the feasibility of requiring service members to apply for their veterans’ benefits before the completion of their service;
- Assess the feasibility of performing compensation and pensions examinations with service members before they complete their service to ensure they receive all their earned benefits; and
- Identify ways to speed up the process by which service members who undergo medical discharge transition to VA care.
Esty is a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and serves as the top Democrat on the Disability and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) Subcommittee, which oversees veterans’ compensation. In May, she and DAMA Subcommittee Chairman Mike Bost (R-IL) passed landmark legislation
through the House to reform the VA appeals process and reduce the claims backlog.
Yesterday, Esty joined the entire House Veterans Affairs Committee to introduce an update to the GI Bill
that provides the biggest expansion of veterans’ education benefits in a decade.