Pancakes with a side of politics. That was the order of the morning in Stratford for U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy on Friday. The junior senator from Connecticut broached a number of hot button topics before an audience of dozens at the Sterling House Community Center on Friday. Murphy said the tax bill being presented by congressional Republicans will be harmful to Connecticut and middle class families. The GOP bill, he said, would potentially eliminate the deductibility of state and local taxes and takes away the deductibility of medical bills and student loan interest. Murphy called parts of the bill \u201can assault\u201d on middle class families. \u201cThere\u2019s no way to sugar coat this. If it passes, it will be devastating to our state,\u201d Murphy said. \u201cIt is targeted very specifically to hurt states like Connecticut.\u201d Murphy said the country\u2019s tax structure is \u201cbroken,\u201d but the current GOP efforts to change it are not the right way to do it when it adversely affects states with many Democrats and benefits those with a heavily Republican population. \u201cMy hope is that this bill fails, that it won\u2019t get 50 votes, but then we\u2019ll be able to talk together about how we can craft a tax reform bill that cuts taxes for the right people and we do it together, Republicans and Democrats,\u201d he said. The end of funding for the Children\u2019s Health Insurance Program is also a concern for Murphy. Renewing the funding had not been a problem in previous years. Murphy said lawmakers are also trying to find some solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented children who came to the United States and remained in the country illegally to receive a two-year period of deferred action from deportation. Murphy said there are about 10,000 undocumented children in Connecticut and Democrats and Republicans think they should not be held responsible for their parents\u2019 actions. President Donald Trump\u2019s administration rescinded the program in September and the program is set to expire in March 2018. Murphy said lawmakers are working on a solution. \u201cWe\u2019re trying by the end of the year to get something done for them,\u201d Murphy said of the undocumented children, often called Dreamers. Murphy also talked about gun violence, a major issue of his following the shooting massacre five years ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Murphy said changing gun regulations is a \u201clong, long, hard and difficult fight\u201d and the National Rifle Association is a powerful lobbying group. \u201cBut things are changing and they are changing slowly but meaningfully,\u201d he said. Murphy said there is a level of trauma for children in areas where gun violence happens often. He mentioned that children in violence-prone neighborhoods deal with the release of cortisol, a chemical in the body that is released in response to fear or stress. \u201cFor kids in these neighborhoods, it gets released every day and it pollutes their brains to a point where they cannot learn,\u201d he said. \u201cSo it is not a coincidence that all of the underperforming schools in this state are in the neighborhoods with high rates of violence.\u201d Murphy said people have to consider victims and the people who are left behind when thinking about gun violence. Murphy also talked about getting the ball moving on redevelopment of the Stratford Army Engine Plant on Main Street. Officials from the federal government and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are at odds on how much the property should cleaned up. \u201cThis is a unique community asset, a wellspring for economic development for the [town] and the state. We need to get this done as quickly as possible,\u201d he said. \u201cI don\u2019t accept how long the foot dragging has taken on this and will do what I can to get this project accelerated.\u201d Several town officials were on hand for Murphy\u2019s address, including Mayor Laura Hoydick, Town Council Chairman Jim Connor, state Sen. Kevin Kelly, R-21, and state Rep. Joe Gresko, D-121. See next week\u2019s Stratford Star for more on this story.