Difference between revisions of "Chris Murphy (Connecticut)"

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===Fundraising events===
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===Lifetime voting record===
===Lifetime voting record===

Revision as of 13:31, 21 August 2014

Christopher S. Murphy
Christopher S. Murphy.jpg
U.S. Senate, Connecticut
In office
January 3, 2013-present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 2
PredecessorJoe Lieberman (I)
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2012
Next generalNovember 2018
Campaign $$19,196,198
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives, Connecticut, District 5
Connecticut State Senate, 16th District
Connecticut House of Representatives, 81st District
High schoolWethersfield High School
Bachelor'sWilliams College
J.D.University of Connecticut School of Law
Date of birthAugust 3, 1973
Place of birthWhite Plains, New York
Net worth$82,502
Office website
Campaign website
Christopher S. Murphy campaign logo
Christopher Scott "Chris" Murphy (b. August 3, 1973, in White Plains, NY) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Connecticut. Murphy was first elected to the Senate in 2012.

Murphy won the 2012 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Connecticut instead of seeking re-election in the U.S. House. He defeated Susan Bysiewicz in the Democratic primary on August 14, 2012. Murphy then defeated Linda McMahon (R) in the general election.[1][2]

Murphy served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Connecticut's 5th Congressional District, from 2007-2013.

Murphy previously served as a member of the Connecticut State Senate from 2003 to 2006 and as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Murphy is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Murphy grew up in Connecticut and attended Williams College in Massachusetts, graduating with honors and a double major in history and political science. In 2002, he graduated from UConn Law School in Hartford, Connecticut. He practiced real estate and banking law from 2002-2006 with the firm of Ruben, Johnson & Morgan in Hartford.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Murphy's professional and political career:[4]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Murphy serves on the following Senate committees:[5]

U.S. House of Representatives


Murphy served on the following committees:[6]

Key votes

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[7] The Senate confirmed 13,949 out of 18,323 executive nominations received (76.1 percent). For more information pertaining to Murphy's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

Committee vote on Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Nay3.png On September 4, 2013, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved an authorization for President Obama to use limited force against Syria.[9][10]

The vote came after a three-hour briefing with top Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.[11]

Of the nine Democratic members and eight Republican members that make up the committee, seven Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor, while five Republicans and two Democrats opposed the authorization.[11] A single "present" vote was cast by Ed Markey (D). Murphy was one of the two Democrats who opposed the authorization.[12]

He said the downside risks of military action for U.S. interests and the Syrians outweighed potential benefits.[13]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Murphy voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[14]


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Farm bill

Nay3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[15] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[16] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[16] Murphy was one of nine Democratic senators who voted against the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[17][18] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[18] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[19] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Murphy voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.[17][18]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[20] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Murphy voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[21]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Yea3.png Murphy voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[14]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Yea3.png Murphy voted in favor of the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal.[14] On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Murphy was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.[14]

The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.

The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.

The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.


Mexico-U.S. border

Nay3.png Murphy voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[14]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Murphy voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[14]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Murphy voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 172 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[22]


On The Issues Vote Match

Chris Murphy's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Murphy is a Liberal Populist. Murphy received a score of 59 percent on social issues and 2 percent on economic issues.[23]

Note: We are working to resolve inaccuracies with this information. Thank you for your patience.

On The Issues organization logo.

Campaign themes


Murphy's campaign website listed the following issues:[24]

  • Jobs & The Economy
Excerpt: "Chris believes in common-sense ways to grow businesses and get people back to work in Connecticut. He developed his approach by listening to Connecticut’s employees and employers."
  • Buy American Laws
Excerpt: "Manufacturing has made the American economy the most vibrant and successful in the world. American manufacturers are known throughout the world to have highest quality goods, made by the best workers. These manufacturing jobs are the back bone of the American middle class, and have provided an economic ladder to millions of American families here in Connecticut."
  • Health Care
Excerpt: "I support health care reform because I believe that quality, affordable health care coverage should be a right, not a privilege available only to those who can afford it. I truly believe that a national system of health care can insure every American and cost us less than our current bloated and inefficient “sick care” system."
  • Education
Excerpt: "I believe all children deserve an opportunity to attend quality public schools and to be taught by quality teachers. A sound system of public education is not only America’s promise to its citizens but the foundation of its economic prosperity. "
  • Women’s Health and Equality
Excerpt: "Despite all the successes achieved by the fight for gender equality during the last 100 years, social conservatives have now renewed their fight to roll back gains made for women’s health and economic equality. The right to choose is under attack, access to affordable quality healthcare and reproductive services is out of reach for a growing number of American women, gender-based violence persists, and women are still paid less than their male counterparts."


Murphy Hedge Fund accusations

On July 19, 2012, Susan Bysiewicz aired an ad that took aim at Murphy, her rival for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.[25] The problem was, Bysiewicz made an error and was actually attacking Murphy based on information about former Rep. Scott Murphy (D-NY).[25]

The ad accused Murphy of taking “more hedge fund money than any Democrat in Congress.”[25] In 2010, the top Democratic recipient of hedge fund contributions was Scott Murphy (D-NY), not Chris Murphy (D-CT) as the ad falsely claimed.[25]



See also: United States Senate elections in Connecticut, 2012

Murphy won the 2012 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Connecticut instead of seeking re-election in the U.S. House. Murphy defeated Susan Bysiewicz in the primary election on August 14, 2012.[1] He then defeated Linda McMahon (R) and Paul Passarelli (L) in the general election.[2]

U.S. Senate, Connecticut General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngChristopher Murphy 55.2% 830,221
     Republican Linda McMahon 43.1% 647,776
     Libertarian Paul Passarelli 1.7% 25,059
     N/A Write-ins 0% 112
Total Votes 1,503,168
Source: Connecticut Secretary of State "Election Results fro United States Senator"
U.S. Senate, Connecticut Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngChris Murphy 67.5% 93,634
Susan Bysiewicz 32.5% 45,065
Total Votes 138,699

Murphy received endorsements from The Connecticut American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) on June 26, 2012.[26] In addition, Murphy received endorsements from:[26]


U.S. House

On November 2, 2010, Murphy won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Sam S.F. Caligiuri (R), John Pistone (I) and Elmon Smith (I) in the general election.[27]

U.S. House,Connecticut District 5, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngChristopher S. Murphy Incumbent 53.7% 118,231
     Republican Sam S.F. Caligiuri 46.3% 102,092
     Independent John Pistone 0% 20
     Independent Elmon Smith 0% 2
Total Votes 220,345



Christopher Murphy v. Linda McMahon
Poll Christopher S. Murphy Linda McMahonUndecided/Other candidateMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports
(October 29, 2012)
Qunnipiac University
(October 24, 2012)
(October 15-17, 2012)
Siena Research Institute
(October 17, 2012)
Rasmussen Reports
(October 9, 2012)
Quinnipiac University
(August 22-26, 2012)
Rasmussen Reports
(August 21, 2012)
Public Policy Polling
(July 26-29, 2012)
AVERAGES 48.25% 44.88% 6.63% +/-3.8 791.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Connecticut's Democratic Senate Primary Candidates
Poll Christopher Murphy Susan BysiewiczMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Polling
(July 26-29, 2012)
Quinnipiac University Poll
(May 29-June 3, 2012)
AVERAGES 49.5% 26% +/-3.75 1,089.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events Murphy attends.

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Murphy is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Murphy raised a total of $19,196,198 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.[28]

Chris Murphy (Connecticut)'s Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US Senate (Connecticut) Won $10,543,456
2010 US House (Connecticut, District 5) Won $3,034,971
2008 US House (Connecticut, District 5) Won $3,080,818
2006 US House (Connecticut, District 5) Won $2,536,953
Grand Total Raised $19,196,198


Murphy won election to the U.S. Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Murphy's campaign committee raised a total of $10,543,456 and spent $10,436,219.[29] This is more than the average $10.2 million spent by Senate winners in 2012.[30]

Cost per vote

Murphy spent $12.57 per vote received in 2012.


Murphy won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Murphy's campaign committee raised a total of $3,034,971 and spent $3,079,678.[31]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Murphy's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-29,993 and $194,998. That averages to $82,502, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Murphy ranked as the 97th most wealthy senator in 2012.[32] Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[33]

Chris Murphy Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
Growth from 2006 to 2012:N/A
Average annual growth:N/A
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[34]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Murphy is a "moderate Democratic follower" as of July 2014. In June 2013, Murphy was rated as a "rank-and-file Democrat."[35]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[36]

Murphy most often votes with:

Murphy least often votes with:

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Murphy missed 3 of 519 roll call votes from January 2013 to July 2014. This amounts to 0.6 percent, which is better than the median of 2 percent among currently serving senators as of July 2014.[37]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Murphy paid his congressional staff a total of $924,533 in 2011. He ranked 35th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranked 170th overall of the lowest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Connecticut ranked 4th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[38]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.


Murphy tied for 1st in the liberal rankings among U.S. senators in 2013.[39]


Murphy ranked 114th in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House in 2012.[40]


Murphy ranked 103rd in the liberal rankings among members of the U.S. House in 2011.[41]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.


Murphy voted with the Democratic Party 95.6 percent of the time, which ranked 22nd among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of July 2014.[42]


Murphy voted with the Democratic Party 95.2 percent of the time, which ranked 23rd among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.


On August 18, 2007, Murphy married Cathy Holahan, a legal aid attorney who represents children in need in New Britain and Waterbury. Chris, Cathy and their son reside in Cheshire, Connecticut.[4]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Christopher + Murphy + Connecticut + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Christopher Murphy News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 AP Results, "U.S. Senate Elections Results," accessed August 14, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 ABC News, "2012 General Election Results," accessed November 6, 2012
  3. Project Vote Smart, "Chris Murphy," accessed June 19, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Chris Murphy, "Biography," accessed October 15, 2011
  5. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 Chris Murphy, "Committees," accessed October 15, 2011
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. Politico, "Senate panel approves Syria measure," accessed September 5, 2013
  10. USA Today, "Senate committee approves Syria attack resolution," accessed September 5, 2013
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syriacommitteevote
  12. Politico, "How Senate Foreign Relations Committee members voted on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syria
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Project Vote Smart, "Chris Murphy Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  15. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 )," accessed February 12, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  19. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  20. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  21. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  22. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ontheissues
  24. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed August 2012
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Chris Murphy for U.S. Senate, "Another Bysiewicz Disaster: Attack Ad Hits Wrong Murphy," accessed July 20, 2012
  26. 26.0 26.1 Chris Murphy for Senate, "Press Release: Over 200,000 Working Men & Women Endorse Chris Murphy for Senate," accessed June 27, 2012
  27. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," November 2, 2010
  28. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Chris Murphy," accessed March 25, 2013
  29. Open Secrets, "Chris Murphy 2012 Election Cycle," accessed February 19, 2013
  30. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," accessed June 19, 2013
  31. Open Secrets, "Christopher S. Murphy 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 8, 2011
  32. OpenSecrets, "Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn), 2012," accessed March 4, 2013
  33. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  34. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  35. GovTrack, "Murphy," accessed July 17, 2014
  36. OpenCongress, "Rep. Chris Murphy," accessed July 14, 2014
  37. GovTrack, "Chris Murphy," accessed July 17, 2014
  38. LegiStorm, "Christopher Murphy," accessed August 6, 2012
  39. National Journal, "2013 Senate Vote Ratings," accessed July 17, 2014
  40. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  41. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  42. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Joe Lieberman (I)
U.S. Senate
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Nancy Johnson
U.S. House of Representatives - Connecticut, District 5
Succeeded by
Elizabeth Esty (D)
Preceded by
Connecticut State Senate, 16th District
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Connecticut House of Representatives, 81st District
Succeeded by