SHELTON, Conn. — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told employees at a Shelton manufacturing company he hopes to meet with President Donald Trump soon to discuss closing loopholes in the Buy American law to protect jobs and national security.
Though he’s received national attention for opposing some of Trump’s executive orders and cabinet nominees, Murphy said Friday in Shelton that not everything in Washington, D.C., has to be contentious.
“It doesn’t mean it’s a fight on everything,” Murphy said at a town hall-style meeting of about 50 employees at Lex Products Corp. “To me, this is an opportunity to work together.”
Murphy told workers at Lex, which creates portable work lighting, cable ramps and other products for the U.S. military, that they are doing “complicated, mission-critical” work that protects the troops.
“I hope you’re proud of that,” he said.
Murphy took a few questions on a range of issues, from healthcare to the future of Connecticut manufacturing and the state of vocational education for the next generation of manufacturers.
On healthcare, Murphy said he’ll work to see that those who took advantage of the Affordable Care Act aren’t left with nothing should Trump dismantle the system.
“I want to sit down with the Republicans and fix what’s wrong with the Affordable Care Act,” he said.
The senator said Connecticut needs more pathways to the engineering degrees and vocational education needed to prepare employees to work in manufacturing. Today’s high school students need to know there are good-paying jobs in manufacturing — although they are in industrial parks, instead of the factories and plants of the past.
“A liberal arts degree is not right for everyone,” he said.
Murphy took a quick tour of the company, stopping to take photos and shake hands with employees.
Lex CEO Bob Luther welcomed Murphy, noting the senator had shined a spotlight on the Shelton company on his website recently.
“Senator Murphy has been very open and helpful to us,” he said.