Washington - Sen.-elect Chris Murphy, D-Conn., received three committee assignments last week, notably an appointment to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
The HELP Committee's jurisdiction covers a broad range of a variety of health and employment-related issues, ranging from public health to workplace standards to biomedical research and development.
"For decades, Connecticut has had a senator serving on the powerful Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and I am proud to continue that tradition," Murphy said in a statement.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has served on the HELP Committee, but will be leaving this term to join the Commerce Committee. Blumenthal's predecessor, former Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd, also served as a senior member of the HELP panel for many years, and worked closely with the committee's longtime chairman, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., on the health care law enacted in 2010.
Murphy believes this committee assignment will allow him to continue a "career-long commitment to fighting for better and more affordable health care for Connecticut consumers and businesses."
He was also assigned to the Foreign Relations Committee, a logical step given his position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee.
Murphy is finishing his third two-year term in the House. In his first four years in that chamber, he visited Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait and Pakistan, according to his website. He was elected to the Senate last month by a 55-43 percent margin over Republican Linda McMahon.
Murphy said he hopes to use his seat on the Foreign Relations Committee to benefit Connecticut's exports industry. "Our state will only grow jobs if we commit to increasing the volume of our trade with the rest of the world, and my seat on the Foreign Relations Committee will help me improve export markets for Connecticut companies," he said.
Murphy, who assumes his Senate seat early next month, also was assigned a seat on the Joint Economic Committee, which includes members from both houses of Congress.
The Joint Economic Committee researches the U.S. economy and produces reports on its findings. Issues studied by the committee include employment, Social Security, energy, and housing, among other topics. On that panel, Murphy said he looks forward to helping "oversee the massive new financial programs at the Federal Reserve and help move our recovery forward."