Chris Murphy (Connecticut)

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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$7,502
Office website
Campaign website
Christopher S. Murphy campaign logo
Christopher Scott "Chris" Murphy (b. August 3, 1973, in White Plains, New York) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Connecticut. Murphy was first elected to the Senate in 2012.

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

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 defeated Linda McMahon (R) in the general election.[1][2]

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]


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]


Legislative actions

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

American response in Syria

Murphy was one of only two Democrats to vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee against authorizing a strike.[9]

He said the downside risks of military action for U.S. interests and the Syrians outweigh potential benefits.[9]

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.[10][11]

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.[12]

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.[12] A single "present" vote was cast by Ed Markey (D). Murphy was one of the two Democrats who opposed the authorization.[13]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" 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]


Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" 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 funds 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.[15] 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.[16]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" 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 suspended 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

Voted "Yes" 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

Voted "No" 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)

Voted "Yes" 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

Voted "Yes" 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 1 of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[17]

Campaign themes


Murphy's campaign website listed the following issues:[18]

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

The ad accused Murphy of taking “more hedge fund money than any Democrat in Congress.”[19] In 2010, the top Democratic recipient of hedge fund contributions was Scott Murphy (D-NY), but not Murphy (D-CT) as the ad falsely claimed.[19]



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] Murphy defeated Linda McMahon (R) and Paul Passarelli (L) in the general election.[20]

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.[21] In addition, Murphy received endorsements from:[21]


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.[22]

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
Public Policy Polling
(July 26-29, 2012)
Rasmussen Reports
(August 21, 2012)
Quinnipiac University
(August 22-26, 2012)
Rasmussen Reports
(October 9, 2012)
Siena Research Institute
(October 17, 2012)
(October 15-17, 2012)
Qunnipiac University
(October 24, 2012)
Rasmussen Reports
(October 29, 2012)
AVERAGES 48.25% 44.88% 6.63% +/-3.48 615
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. 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

Connecticut's Democratic Senate Primary Candidates
Poll Christopher Murphy Susan BysiewiczMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University Poll
(May 29-June 3, 2012)
Public Policy Polling
(July 26-29, 2012)
AVERAGES 49.5% 26% +/-3.75 1,089.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. 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

Campaign donors

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.[23]

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.[24] This is more than the average $10.2 million spent by Senate winners in 2012.[25]

Cost per vote

Murphy spent $12.57 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Murphy's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

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.[26]


Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Murphy was a "rank-and-file Democrat" while serving in the U.S. House.[27]

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.[28]

Murphy most often votes with:

Murphy least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Murphy missed 0 of 92 roll call votes from January 2013 to March 2013. This amounts to 0.00%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among currently serving as of March 2013.[29]

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.[30]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Murphy's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between -$79,994 and $94,998. That averages to $7,502, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2011 of $20,795,450. His average net worth decreased by 91.71% from 2010.[31]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Murphy's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $-28,992 and $209,998. That averages to $90,503, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[32]

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.


Murphy ranked 114th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[33]


Murphy ranked 103rd in the liberal rankings.[34]

Voting with party


Christopher S. Murphy voted with the Democratic Party 95.2& of the time, which ranked 23th 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]

The first concert he attended was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in 1991.[35]

Recent news

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

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

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See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 AP Results "U.S. Senate Elections Results" Accessed August 14, 2012
  2. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  3. Project Votesmart "Chris Murphy" Accessed June 19, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 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. 9.0 9.1 NBC Connecticut, "Blumenthal, Himes Undecided on Syria Strike Vote," accessed September 9, 2013
  10. Politico, "Senate panel approves Syria measure," accessed September 5, 2013
  11. USA Today, "Senate committee approves Syria attack resolution," accessed September 5, 2013
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syriacommitteevote
  13. Politico, "How Senate Foreign Relations Committee members voted on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Project Votesmart, "Chris Murphy Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16., "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  18. Campaign website, Issues
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Chris Murphy for U.S. Senate "Another Bysiewicz Disaster: Attack Ad Hits Wrong Murphy" Accessed July 20, 2012
  20. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  21. 21.0 21.1 Chris Murphy for Senate "Press Release: Over 200,000 Working Men & Women Endorse Chris Murphy for Senate" Accessed June 27, 2012
  22. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  23. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Chris Murphy," Accessed March 25, 2013
  24. Open Secrets "Chris Murphy 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 19, 2013
  25. Open Secrets, "Election 2012: The Big Picture Shows Record Cost of Winning a Seat in Congress," June 19, 2013
  26. Open Secrets "Christopher S. Murphy 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 8, 2011
  27. Gov Track "Murphy" Accessed June 19, 2013
  28. OpenCongress, "Rep. Chris Murphy," Accessed August 2, 2013
  29. GovTrack, "Chris Murphy," Accessed March 29, 2013
  30. LegiStorm "Christopher Murphy"
  31., "Murphy, (D-Conn), 2011"
  32., "Murphy, (D-Conn), 2010"
  33. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  34. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  35. Roll Call, "Take Five: Sen. Christopher S. Murphy", accessed November 4, 2013
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