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e-News March 13, 2009

1. The Week Just Past
2. Frelinghuysen Resolution Supports School Choice
3. House passes wasteful water treatment bill
4. Picatinny Working Group meets
5. Meets members of Jewish Federation
6. Bad Idea of the Week
7. Spread the eNews
8. Contact Rep. Frelinghuysen

The Week just past

“Just weeks after enactment of a trillion-dollar spending bill, the Congressional Leaders are already admitting it will fail to meet the President’s job creation goals.  This week, ABC’s World News Tonight reported that the stimulus would NOT produce 3.5 million jobs, “[A] leading Democratic economist, Mark Zandi, said that the Administration’s stimulus package would create 1 million fewer jobs than the White House has predicted.” 

“So what’s the Majority Leadership’s solution?  More of the same -- they are talking about the need for another ‘stimulus’ bill!

“This talk is sadly ironic.  The fact of the matter is that the President and the Congress never passed a real ‘stimulus’ bill this year – they only passed gigantic domestic spending bills that will do little to create or protect American jobs. 

“I supported an alternative to the Pelosi-Reid plan that would have created twice as many jobs at half the cost.  Instead of a second government spending spree masquerading as economic ‘stimulus,’ why don’t we take action on a real solution that will create and protect millions of American jobs?”

Recommended Reading: Alan Blinder in the New York Times on “nationalization”:
 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/business/08view.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=alan%20blinder&st=cse

Recommended Reading II: New York Times editorial “Mr.Obama’s Trade Agenda” which outlines the dangers of trade barriers:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/opinion/11wed1.html?_r=1

Recommended Reading III:  George Will’s column in Thursday’s Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/11/AR2009031103216.html

FrelinghuysenResolution Supports SchoolChoice

Rep Frelinghuysen this week introduced a resolution in support of the successful, yet endangered, private school scholarship program in the District of Columbia.   When approved, the concurrent resolution will declare that it the “Sense of the House of Representatives that “It is in the national interest of the United States to continue the District's Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP).”

“The reality is that high quality schools have always been available to those who can afford them. The scholarship program in Washington opened the door for parents to ‘rescue’ their children from failing schools and gave them an opportunity to place them in an environment – a private or parochial school – where every child is encouraged to achieve success,” Frelinghuysen said. “37 percent of D.C.’s adult population reads at the lowest levels of functional literacy! This is a wake-up call that this program is needed.”

H.R. 1105, the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal 2009 which will be signed into law by the President, contains a provision which, in effect, will end the DCOSP by requiring that it be reauthorized by Congress and approved by the D.C. government to receive federal funding after the 2009-10 academic year.  Experts acknowledge that there is little chance that these actions will occur.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was established in 2003 under Frelinghuysen’s leadership as the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on the District of Columbia.  During the 2008-09 school year, over 1,700 DCOSP students are attending 49 non-public schools of their choice. The average annual income for these families is approximately $22,736.

“While this program affects families in our Nation’s capital, it is also very important to children in every state,” said Frelinghuysen.  “I believe that with these scholarships, DC was showing that there was an effective way to provide educational opportunity for disadvantaged children in poverty.  But we’ll never know because Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid are short-circuiting the program and the study designed to effectively evaluate it.”

Frelinghuysen was joined in introducing the resolution by House Republican Leader Rep. John Boehner (OH) and the Ranking Republican on the House Committee on Education and Labor, Rep. Buck McKeon (CA) and XX other Members of Congress.

House passes wasteful water treatment bill

The House this week approved H.R. 1262, the Water Quality Investment Act. The bill provides nearly $14 billion for an EPA fund that provides grants to states for infrastructure dealing with sewage, water runoff and watershed restoration.

“There is no doubt that our water infrastructure needs attention,” said Frelinghuysen.  “However I cannot support a measure that, in effect, wastes up to 30-percent of the funding in the bill by forcing projects to pay non-competitive union wages.”

H.R. 1262 requires states to follow federal requirements under the Davis-Bacon Act that contractors pay prevailing local wages, which means only union shops need apply and providing new obstacles to many minority- and women-owned businesses.

“At a time of growing budget deficits, we need to make sure our federal funding goes as far as possible,” he said. “Applying these out-dated, union-only regulations ensure that communities will get ‘less for the buck.” 

Picatinny Working Group meets

Rep. Frelinghuysen convened his Picatinny Working Group on Monday at Rockaway Township Municipal Center.   Elected officials, civic leaders and representatives from academia and the business community meet regularly to discuss developments and events occurring at the Arsenal and how the community can best support the important work of the scientists and engineers at the Arsenal.

Frelinghuysen Meets members of Jewish Federation

On Sunday Rep. Frelinghuysen visited the Shimom and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center and met with members of the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties.   The discussion centered on the current economic downturn and prospects for peace in the Middle East.

Bad Idea of the Week

Democrats this week introduced legislation that would effectively eliminate secret ballots in workplace organizing elections, making workers vulnerable to union boss pressure, intimidation, and even coercion.  The so-called Employee Free Choice Act gives workers anything but a free choice, instead forcing them to make their views known publicly on whether they wish to join a particular union.

“The secret ballot is a cornerstone of American democracy and it must be protected. This bill is unfair, unjust, and downright undemocratic,” said Frelinghuysen.
 
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