It was nearing 5:30 am on a bleary eyed Wednesday morning when Senator Bob Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, approached me on the Senate floor to enlist my help. The Senate had been in session all night passing the resolution that would allow us to consider President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, and 97 Senators were wearily filing out of the chamber to catch a few hours of sleep before boarding planes back home.

The three Senators who remained were me, Menendez, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. For months, Cruz had been blocking the passage of…


I miss John McCain. We were of different parties, different generations, and different ideologies, but we both agreed that America could be a true force for good around the world. I was lucky that he took me under his wing, early in my Senate career, and took me with him around the world to represent the United States. Our particular focus was Ukraine — he and I went there three times between 2013 and 2014 as the country was forcing its way out of Russia’s orbit.

I think my focus since then on advancing the U.S.-Ukraine relationship is a function…


Every time I take a trip overseas in connection with my work as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I write a short behind-the-scenes account on the plane ride home. The purpose is twofold: first, for me to process my thoughts and experiences during the trip; and second, to pass along to you, my constituents and supporters, a true sense of what it’s like to represent the United States abroad. So, what follows is an inside look at my recent trip to Qatar, Oman, and Jordan.

First, the background: the Yemen civil war has set in motion the world’s…


Every now and again, I like to write behind-the-scenes accounts of my work as a U.S. Senator. The hope is that by peeling back the public relations veneer, and personally describing what really it’s like to do this job, you can get a better idea of how events pull and tug at the public policy choices of elected officials like me.

So, a few weeks ago I was appointed the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee that oversees the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, and so last Friday, I went to the U.S.-Mexico border with a small, high-level delegation…


U.S. Soldiers deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. (Photo credit: U.S. Air National Guard)

On February 23, 2021, I spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations and made the case for a new approach to U.S. policy in the Gulf. We’ve followed the same script in the region for decades, but our policy toward the Gulf states no longer aligns with our interests and values. I hope you’ll take a minute to read the full text of the speech below.

There are probably a lot of legitimate reasons why the government of the United Arab Emirates would make a $180 million investment in a children’s hospital on the other side of the world. And…


President Joe Biden takes the oath of office

It’s been a while since I’ve written a “behind-the-scenes” post, but I can’t imagine a better day to recount than yesterday. It was a day of relief, joy, and purpose, and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped get us there. Swearing in a new president on the same day as the Senate switched control made Wednesday a day of consequence for the nation, and I’m grateful for both the faith that Connecticut has placed in me to be a part of this historic moment, but also for the work that so many people put into getting Joe Biden, Kamala…


Photo Credit: Evelyn Hockstein for the Washington Post

The first thing that seemed wrong was how fast the Republican floor staffer was moving toward Senator Chuck Grassley. She abruptly rustled him from his seat in the front row of the chamber and motioned that he quickly ascend to the dais, to relieve Vice President Mike Pence in the chair.

This transition from Pence to Grassley as presiding officer was expected, so maybe few people noticed anything out of the ordinary. But to me, the pace at which Pence was exiting the chamber seemed alarming. …


So I’ve heard this week from people in Connecticut with questions about my proposal to limit federal funding for police in schools, and I want to take a minute to walk you through why I think this bill is important, but also to clear up some misconceptions about what it does and doesn’t do. I hope you’ll take a second to read this.

I get that this is an emotional issue. As a parent of two school-age kids, nothing matters more to me than my children’s safety. And I also know that there are a ton of professional, kind-hearted police…


I just got back from a return trip to visit President Zelensky in Ukraine and a stop at the important Munich Security Conference in Germany. As is my habit, on the long plane ride home I wrote a candid, behind-the-scenes summary of my trip. I find that these journals help me digest my thoughts about these foreign trips, but it’s also a helpful way for you to see what really happens on these congressional delegation trips, and why they are so critical to U.S. foreign policy. …


As President Trump withdraws America from the world, Congress has an unwelcome new burden to help manage the crises that Trump has created around the world, and make clear that Trump’s presidency is hopefully just a pause in America’s role as the global moral and security leader. So as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I have a responsibility to represent the United States abroad — now more than ever — and as has been my practice, I like to share these experiences with you.

It’s long, but I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read it.

Senator Chris Murphy

U.S. Senator, Connecticut

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