Connecticut’s all-Democrat congressional delegation will be expressing their displeasure of President Trump’s foreign and domestic policy decisions via their special guests to his speech tonight before a joint session of Congress.
The delegation’s opposition to president’s immigration policies will be reinforced by the presence of two immigrants from Muslim-majority nations. U.S. Rep. Jim Himes’ guest is Marwan Sulaiman, who attended St. Luke’s School in New Canaan on a student visa in 2007 and is now a computer programmer living in Brooklyn. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s guest is Hewad Hemat, a former interpreter for the U.S. Army in southeast Afghanistan who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee and who works as a security guard at the University of New Haven. (Iraq was one of seven countries on the now-blocked executive order temporarily halting immigration, but Afghanistan nationals were not impacted by that policy.)
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy is challenging the president’s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by inviting Patrick A. Charmel, president and CEO of Griffin Hospital in Derby, as his guest. “When I talk with people across our state, I can hear the fear in their voices that the insurance they depend on will be stripped away from them,” Murphy said. That’s why I’m fighting misguided efforts to repeal the health care millions rely on. I’ll keep working with Connecticut leaders like Patrick to continue to advance patient care and make the practical changes we need to improve care and control costs.”
U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty emphasized her support of gun control by inviting Waterbury Police Chief Vernon Riddick as her guest. “Right now, the gun lobby is pushing dangerous policies to deregulate silencers and override state-level concealed carry laws,” said Esty, whose district covers Newtown. “I invited Chief Riddick as my guest not just to thank him for his many years of dedicated service, but also to send a message to my colleagues and to President Trump that working to stop our nation’s gun violence epidemic is one of the most important steps we can take to protect those who serve in law enforcement. Congress and President Trump need to put the safety of our communities and our law enforcement officers before the profits of the gun lobby.”