e-News 9/14/12



The Week Just Past: A Week of Painful Reminders

“The New World Disorder”

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Renewed

Temporary Funding Bill Would Prevent Government Shutdown

New Healthcare Law = A Spike in Regulatory Burdens

Reductions in Medicare Funding Threatens Access to Care

Rodney is a “Guardian of Small Business”

“A New Look at Mexico”


The Week Just Past: A Week of Painful Reminders

“This week was a week of painful reminders.

“Tuesday’s 11th anniversary of the attacks on 9-11, the volatile protests outside our embassies in the Middle East and the murder of our Ambassador to Libya and the other three diplomats make it very clear that the world remains a dangerous place.

"We honor Ambassador Christopher Stevens. All Americans extend their sympathy to his family, salute his career in our Foreign Service and mourn with the families of others who lost their lives serving our country in Libya.

“Of course, the American people are justifiably focused on our struggling economy and the need to create jobs, which has been my priority as well.  To this end, I have outlined an action plan for economic growth and private sector job creation that can serve as a foundation for bipartisan cooperation. 

“But terrible incidents such as those this week in Libya highlight the ongoing security challenges we face around the world. However, while we condemn this vicious and violent attack that took the lives of our dedicated diplomats, we also have to make sure that Armed Forces and our intelligence community have the resources and the tools they need to protect our interests around the globe. And now more than ever, America must show resolve and leadership both in our words and in our actions.

“The Wall Street Journal was right this week when it declared on its editorial page, ‘When America retreats, bad actors…fill the vacuum.’

“That’s why we must continue to work to find a way to prevent the crippling defense budget cuts scheduled to take effect in January.  Clearly, the Department of Defense should not be immune to budget decreases.  However, wholesale reductions will damage our national security and send a signal of weakness to our friends and enemies alike.

“In the meantime, we must redouble our efforts to combat extremist terrorism across the globe and we should not be deterred from continuing to promote peace, democracy, individual and religious freedom throughout the world."

Rodney Frelinghuysen

Recommended Reading: Thursday’s Wall Street Journal editorial, “The New World Disorder. As the U.S. retreats, bad actors begin to fill the vacuum.”

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Renewed

The House of Representatives this week voted to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  This important, bipartisan legislation provides the government with the authority to target the communications of foreigners located outside the United States with greater speed and agility.

This authority is used to gain intelligence about the plans and identities of terrorists, information about the functioning of terrorist groups like al Qaeda, information on the intentions and capabilities of weapons proliferators, information on potential cyber threats to the United States, and other critical intelligence about foreign adversaries that threaten the United States, and at the same time protects Americans' civil liberties.

“This bill provides our intelligence with key capabilities in their ongoing efforts to protect our Homeland,” Rodney said.  “Because this law has been driven by our national security needs, it has been supported overwhelmingly by both parties in Congress over the course both Republican and Democrat Presidential administrations.”

Temporary Funding Bill Would Prevent Government Shutdown

The U.S. House this week approved H.J.Res. 117, the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government until March 27, 2013. The temporary funding measure makes minimal changes to current spending levels and continues funding operations for federal agencies, programs and services, and provides funding for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, for relief and recovery following disasters such as the recent hurricanes and floods.

“This CR fulfills the responsibility of Congress to maintain the continuity of our government and its vital programs and services – for our people and for the stability of our economy,” said Rodney, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. “But this measure is really nothing to cheer about – it still spends too much and fails to recognize many of the changing missions of the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.”

“It is imperative that Congress stop relying on these short term funding bills and the Senate must do its job,” he said.  “The Senate failed to bring any of its Appropriations bills to the floor.  This lack of leadership and action in the Senate is unforgivable.”

Reductions to Medicare Funding Threatens Access to Care

President Obama recently claimed that the new healthcare law’s planned $700 billion cuts to Medicare used to pay for a costly new entitlement program, “won’t touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits.”

Avik Roy of The Manhattan Institute wrote this week about the deleterious impact of those cuts on physicians opting out of accepting new Medicare patients and noted that President’s assertion “only makes sense if you don’t count getting a doctor’s appointment as a ‘benefit.’”

If enough primary-care physicians leave Medicare, it could eventually result in serious access problems for the elderly poor and the disabled.

Noted with Interest: New Healthcare Law = A Spike in Regulatory Burdens

According to former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Fred Goldberg, and supported by the Obama Administration's own figures, the new healthcare law " its current form will be a needless administrative and compliance quagmire for millions of Americans."

Based on IRS estimates approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, the new healthcare law will take American job creators and families nearly 80 million hours to comply with.  Over half of that will fall on small businesses.  

So, what can be done in 79,229,503 hours?

  • The Empire State building, which took 7 million man-hours to build, could be constructed 11 times.
  • The Curiosity Lander could travel from Earth to Mars 13,048 times.
  • Halley’s comet, seen from Earth once every 76 years, could be spotted 119 times.

Every hour and dollar spent complying with the new health care law are time and resources being taken from growing a business, hiring new workers, or caring for patients. 

To date, the new health care law has resulted in IRS and Treasury issuing thousands of pages of new rules and regulations, including 40 notices, 17 regulations, 5 revenue procedures, 2 revenue rulings, and 14 Treasury decisions. Given the enormous impact the regulations will have on job creators, is it any wonder that a recent survey found that over 70 percent of small businesses cite the health care law as a major obstacle to job creation?

Recommended Reading: Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reports that the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS needed 18 pages to define the term “full-time employee” under the new healthcare law.

Rodney is a “Guardian of Small Business”

Rodney has been awarded the “Guardian of Small Business Award” from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for his support of legislation and policies critical to ensuring the success of small businesses across the country.

“Small business men and women are the backbone of our American economy.  They create seven out of every ten jobs in the nation,” Rodney said. “During tough economic times, we must to do everything we can to ensure that small business owners have the tools and resources they need to succeed.  If they succeed, America succeeds and I am committed to enhancing their ability to own, operate and grow their businesses.”

In announcing the award, NFIB President Dan Danner said, “The record shows that Rep. Frelinghuysen is a true champion of small business, having stood strong on key small-business votes in the 112th Congress. This award reflects our members’ for supporting …the pro-growth agenda for small business.”

 The NFIB is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1943.  The organization represents the views of 600,000 small-business owners across the nation.  

Recommended Reading: Nick Miroff and William Booth writing in the Monday Washington Post“A New Look at Mexico. Middle Class Mexicans snap up products 'Made in USA.’"