1) The Week Ahead: An Avoidable Shutdown
2) It’s About Time: Progress on Trade Agreements?
3) Onerous 1099 Provision Repealed
4) A Reversal on 9-11 Terror Trials
The Week Ahead: An Avoidable Shutdown
“As I write this, federal agencies and their workers across the country are preparing for the first shutdown of the federal government since the mid-1990’s.
“The reason: in a serious dereliction of duty, the Democratic leadership of the LAST Congress failed to fulfill one of Congress’s most basic responsibilities by not passing a budget for 2011. In fact, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid failed to gain passage of ANY of the 12 annual appropriations bills, despite enjoying significant majorities in both the House and Senate.
“As a result, Congress and the Obama Administration continue to negotiate the terms of LAST year’s budget – six months late! Unfortunately, because the latest ‘stopgap’ funding bill will lapse at midnight, many operations of the federal government will soon ‘shut down.’
“You’ve heard me say this before: the people of New Jersey want two things—they want to sharply cut federal spending AND they want their federal government to remain open. We can and must do both!
“Frankly, I hate the idea of a government shutdown. We should have been able to avoid putting our country through this. But I also hate the notion of leaving trillions and trillions of dollars in debt to our children and grandchildren.
“If we continue to borrow from the Chinese and Japanese 40 cents out of every dollar the government spends and continue to spend $3.5 trillion every year when we collect only $2 trillion, we will shortly crush our own American economy.
“We have to change course by making serious cuts in federal spending and reducing the size and reach of the federal government. And because the American people are rightfully demanding accountability, we have to ensure that we cut spending without the budget gimmicks and tricks Senate Democrats have proposed and the President is supporting.
“I am also particularly incensed that the same President who says he supports our troops and wants to keep the federal government operating while budget negotiations continue would announce that he would veto a bill passed by the House Thursday that would fund our troops and keep the government ‘open’ for another seven days. This attitude is simply inexplicable!
“Understandably, many people have questions about how the federal government shutdown will affect them. I have compiled a ‘Government Shutdown’ FAQ for your information. You can find it on my website @ http://frelinghuysen.house.gov/.
“Please know that I will continue to work with the House leadership to reach a final agreement for the current fiscal year, 2011. We can then move on to other critically important issues as 1) restoring an environment in which private sector businesses and entrepreneurs can create new jobs; and 2) approving a budget for the NEXT fiscal year, 2012, that will cut trillions- not billions - of dollars from our out-of-control federal bureaucracy!”
Recommended Reading: George P. Schultz, Gary Becker and John Taylor writing in the Monday Wall Street Journal, “Time for a budget game-changer. Assurance that current tax levels will remain in place would provide an immediate stimulus. House Republican budget planners are on the right track.”
It’s About Time: Progress on Trade Agreements?
The White House signaled on Wednesday that implementing legislation for the three pending free trade agreements – Colombia, Panama and South Korea - will be sent to Congress in the weeks ahead.
These trade agreements will allow American businesses – large and small - to boost their exports without spending a dime of taxpayer money! At a time when millions of Americans are out of work, the agreements would create real business opportunities and a level playing field for American exporters.
Congress would have passed these agreement overwhelmingly much earlier if President Obama had just submitted them to Congress.
Recommended Reading II: Rodney’s Op Ed piece in the Sunday Morris County Daily Record, “Frelinghuysen: While White House dithers on trade, U.S. jobs disappear.”
Further Recommended Reading:Thursday editorial in the Washington Post, “Mr. Obama’s free-trade deal with Colombia.”
Onerous 1099 Provision Repealed
The Senate this week finally got around to approving legislation, cosponsored by Rodney, to repeal the onerous Obamacare “1099 provision” that will harm small businesses and hurt economic growth.
“Since Obamacare was signed into law a year ago, there has been bipartisan agreement that the harmful 1099 provision has to go,” Rodney said. “This heavy-handed provision hurts small businesses by requiring them to complete and file mountains of paperwork when they should be concentrating on growing their businesses and creating new jobs.”
The House passed legislation to eliminate this provision last month. Despite the fact that the 1009 provision was a key section of the Obamacare law, the President is expected to sign its repeal into law soon.
“Many of the provisions in ObamaCare were included to provide one more way for Washington to raise taxes and assert more control over health care - patients, doctors, hospitals and other providers. American business owners want relief from burdensome and overbearing government red tape and repealing the 1099 provision will allow businessmen and women to spend less time on unnecessary paperwork that costs time and money so that they can start hiring again.”
A Reversal on 9-11 Terror Trials
Attorney General Eric Holder announced this week that the Department of Justice will move the trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and four other individuals to military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This move represents a significant reversal of the Administration’s earlier plans to try KSM in a civilian court located somewhere in the United States after an earlier reversal of the decision to try the 9-11 mastermind in New York City.
In making the announcement to move the case to the Department of Defense for prosecution, Attorney General Holder blamed the Congress for forcing his hand in the matter. “As one who strongly opposed trying these cases in our civilian court system,” Rodney said. “I am honored to be associated with bipartisan Members of Congress who have urged the Administration to reverse its wrong-headed decision.”
“Ideology and politics should have nothing to do with the criminal justice system. These cases and these tribunals should have proceeded months ago. Were it not for the Administration’s politically-motivated decisions followed by agonizing delays over where it was politically feasible for this case to be tried, these violent terrorist would have already been brought to justice. The victims of 9-11 and their families deserved no less.”
“To my mind, Eric Holder is a reincarnated Ramsey Clark!”