Representative Joe Courtney is proud to represent the Second Congressional District of Connecticut in the United States House of Representatives.
Congressman Courtney first came to the U.S. House in 2006. He serves on the House Education and Labor Committee and House Armed Services Committee. On the Armed Services Committee, Congressman Courtney serves on the Seapower and Expeditionary Forces and the Military Readiness Subcommittees. On the Education and Labor Committee, he sits on the Higher Education and the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittees. Representative Courtney is also the first Congressman from the Second Congressional District to sit on the House Education and Labor Committee since the World War II era, which is notable given that eastern Connecticut is proudly known as the “higher education district” of Connecticut.
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Congressman Courtney has worked to strengthen our nation’s defense by leading the call for increased ship production. Congressman Courtney’s efforts paid off as he successfully secured more than one-half billion in funding for advanced procurement for the production of a second submarine. Additionally, Congressman Courtney has secured more federal funding outside the President's budget for SUBASE New London in his first two years than the past decade to ensure that New England’s largest military installation will thrive well into the 21st century.
Since his swearing in, Congressman Courtney has distinguished himself as a tireless advocate for both our nation’s veterans and our men and women in uniform. In early 2008, in recognition of his efforts, Congressman Courtney was awarded the Connecticut National Guard’s highest honor, the Meritorious Service Award.
As a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, Congressman Courtney has served as a champion for students and their families across the country burdened with unprecedented costs for higher education. In order to combat rising tuition costs, Congressman Courtney helped pass the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the largest increase in student aid since the G. I. Bill, and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
Congressman Courtney has also made his mark as a champion for the environment. Courtney was the leading voice on legislation that designated the Eight Mile River in Connecticut as a part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Thanks to his efforts, this pristine and scenic watershed will be preserved for generations to come.
Before serving in the House of Representatives, Joe Courtney represented the citizens of Vernon in the Connecticut General Assembly from 1987 to 1994. During this tenure, then state-Rep. Courtney served as House Chairman for both the Public Health and Human Services Committees and also chaired the Connecticut Blue Ribbon Commission on Universal Health Insurance. Courtney was recognized in a legislative poll in 1994 by Connecticut Magazine for his bipartisan efforts, and named the "Most Conscientious” and the “Democrat Most Admired by Republicans.”
Congressman Courtney is a 1975 graduate of Tufts University in Boston. He earned a law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1978.He lives in Vernon with his wife, Audrey Courtney, and their two children, Robert and Elizabeth.