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e-News June 5, 2009

1. The Week Just Past
2. Now more than ever: GM = Government Motors
3. Bad idea of the Week
4. Swine Flu might be out of the headlines, but…
5. ‘Hurricane Hunter’ promotes math and science education
6. Hosts Academy Night

The Week Just Past

It was fitting that the first deployed units of the New Jersey Army National Guard started their march home in the week before Memorial Day - the day America pauses to honor its heroes.  Returning after months in Iraq, units like the 2-113th Infantry Battalion have witnessed a marked decrease in violence.  They experienced only a single roadside bomb attack on the routes in their area of operations around Camp Bucca.  And, there is a 92 percent reduction in so-called “IEDs” countrywide.

“All of New Jersey should be proud of the contributions of the men and women of the New Jersey National Guard,” said Frelinghuysen, a veteran of the Vietnam conflict.  “They have worked hard to protect the Iraqi people, allowing them to build a stable society.  We admire our Guard for their spectacular performance and thank them for their tremendous sacrifice.”
Other soldiers of New Jersey’s 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team had simultaneously deployed to multiple locations in Iraq as part of the largest mobilization of the New Jersey National Guard since World War II.  All will be on their way home in the coming weeks.

Now more than ever: GM = Government Motors

General Motors kicked off the week by filing for bankruptcy as part of the Obama administration's plan to shrink the automaker and give a majority ownership stake to the federal government and the United Autoworkers Union.

Rep. Frelinghuysen noted that this agreement may “buy some time,” but does nothing to ensure GM’s success.  “The only thing it makes clear is that the government is firmly in the business of running companies using taxpayer dollars.  Does anyone really believe that politicians and bureaucrats in Washington can successfully steer a huge, multinational corporation to economic viability?” he said. “It is high time for the President to fully explain what the exit strategy is to get the U.S. government out of the board room once and for all.” 

Bad Idea of the Week

At the request of the Obama Administration, Congressional Democrats this week tried to lard up a “must-pass” troop funding bill with a new $100 billion line of credit for the International Monetary Fund.

“Is this really the kind of spending that should be added onto a bill that’s meant to fund our troops protecting our security in Iraq and Afghanistan?” Rep. Frelinghuysen said.  “This IMF proposal should be judged on its own merits and in its own legislation – not as part of an essential measure meant to fund men and women in harm’s way.”

“I want to support the President’s strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we want to work in a bipartisan way to ensure they have the resources they need for success,” he said.  “However, weighing down this critical legislation with non-defense spending will only drag this process out further.”

Earlier this year, the United States supported changes to the IMF that would allow for over $50 billion in “drawing rights” for our own government.   This is noteworthy because, historically, the IMF has been a resource designed to help “third world” countries in time of economic crisis!

This week’s “good news” associated with the troop funding bill: the Congress has firmly rejected the Obama Administration’s request for $80 million to begin the closure of the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Swine Flu might be out of the headlines, but…

…the H1N1 virus continues to spread across northern New Jersey.  Earlier this week, 13 new cases of the flu were confirmed in Morris County, bringing the county total to 20. 

For further information, please visit our website at
http://frelinghuysen.house.gov/services/?subSec=45

Rep. Frelinghuysen has worked with New Jersey’s pharmaceutical industry to ensure that the Department of Health and Human Services has adequate supplies of anti-virals on hand to combat a pandemic outbreak.

‘Hurricane Hunter’ promotes math and science education

As part of his ongoing efforts to promote math and science education among New Jersey’s students, Rep. Frelinghuysen is brought a pilot with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hurricane Hunter division to visit with students at three middle schools in our area this past Monday.

Commander Randy TeBeest, a commissioned officer of the NOAA Corps and a career NOAA Corps Aviator, met with students at the Ridgedale Middle School in Florham Park, Millburn Middle School in Millburn and Somerville Middle School in Somerville.

“Commander Tebeest is a distinguished pilot who has had the unique opportunity to fly directly into some of the worst hurricanes our planet has ever seen,” said Frelinghuysen.  “His presentation was an exciting way to educate us on the science behind hurricanes, while demonstrating to the students the value of math and science education.”

TeBeest has over 16 years in aviation and has recorded 155 “eyewall penetrations” of hurricanes aboard NOAA research aircraft.  He has flown into numerous hurricanes and tropical storms, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

He is a native of New Jersey, a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Willingboro, and the College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State College). 

Hosts Academy Night

On Monday Rep. Frelinghuysen also hosted his annual Academy Night, providing interested local students, parents, and guidance counselors the opportunity to meet with representatives and cadets from the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Coast Guard Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.   This event, held at Parsippany Hills High School, was one of the largest gatherings of freshmen, sophomores and juniors in the history of Rep. Frelinghuysen’s Academy Night!