E-news 2/10/2012

The Week Just Past:  Bipartisan Action on Transparency in Congress

A Plan to Boost the “Real Economy”

Behind The Numbers: A Different Side of the Jobs Equation

President Obama’s Birth Control Mandate

E-Verify Expands and Improves

Town Meetings!

Valentines for Our Veterans

The Week Just Past:  Bipartisan Action on Transparency in Congress

“Often I hear from my constituents that ‘Congress needs more bipartisanship – that we need to work together for the good of the nation.’ Well, I could not agree more and I am pleased that the House yesterday passed a Congressional reform bill with broad support in both parties.

“I am a cosponsor of the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge” Act, or the STOCK Act.  The legislation is designed to prevent lawmakers from using ‘inside knowledge’ gained through their positions to profit in the stock market. 

“Of course, Insider trading is already prohibited under the rules of the House of Representatives.  But, the STOCK Act would strengthen existing law by requiring additional financial disclosures by Members of Congress and other government employees.  I strongly support this extra effort to restore public confidence.

“It is unacceptable for any Member of Congress, federal official or their staff to use non-public information for their own financial benefit. The American people need to be able to trust that officials at all levels of the federal government are living under the same rules they are and aren’t using their position for profit in any way.  

"My colleagues from both sides of the aisle have worked hard on this issue and they deserve credit for their efforts to increase transparency and accountability as we take a step to restore the public’s trust in the federal government. It’s about time their efforts resulted in a strong law.”

                                               Rodney Frelinghuysen

Recommended Reading: Read Rodney’s Op Ed in the Sunday Morris County Daily Record, “A plan to bring 'real' economic boost” here.

Behind The Numbers: A Different Side of the Jobs Equation

At first blush, we were all pleased last week to learn that the national unemployment rate dipped to 8.3 percent in January.  However, upon closer examination, we learn that the percentage of working Americans hits 30-year low!

The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, fell to a 30-year low of 63.7 percent in January.  In fact, much of the recent decline in the unemployment rate can be attributed to the fact that more American are giving up on finding a job.

Consider this: if the January unemployment rate included all the discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work plus part-timers who wish they had full time work, the unemployment rate would be a sky-high 15.1 percent! 

President Obama’s Birth Control Mandate

Recommended Reading: Tuesday’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal on the President’s birth control mandate for religious organizations.  Read “ObamaCare’s Great Awakening” here.

E-Verify Expands and Improves

As of yesterday the E-Verify Self-Check system is available to every U.S. worker in all states.  This component of the E-Verify system helps U.S. workers make sure their immigration records are accurate so they will not have a problem getting a job if the employer uses E-Verify. 

It is good that E-Verify continues to expand and improve but more should be done to encourage US employers to use E-Verify.  We could open up millions of jobs for US citizens and legal immigrants working here and protect the jobs from citizens by checking the Social Security numbers of new hires,.  It is free, quick and easy to use – persons eligible to work are immediately confirmed 99.5% of the time.

Recommended Reading: Former Secretary of the Navy, Gordon England, writing in the Washington Post,Military preparedness does not come cheap”.

Town Meetings!

Rodney will hold the next in a series of public town meetings on February 11 in Livingston, Essex County and Kinnelon, Morris County. All area residents and interested citizens in the 11th Congressional District are invited to attend.

12 noon to 1 pm, Saturday, February 11

Township of Livingston

357 South Livingston Ave.
Livingston, NJ 07039-39947

2:30pm to 3:30pm, Saturday, February 11

Borough of Kinnelon Municipal Building

30 Kinnelon Road
Kinnelon, NJ 07405

Rodney will provide an update on his work in Congress, including his efforts to promote the creation of jobs and opportunities in the real economy, cut federal spending, upgrade homeland security, and support America’s military service members and their families.

“I hold public town meetings regularly to allow me to hear the voices of local residents,” he said. “The topics are theirs to choose.  The opinions are theirs to give.”

Seating may be limited.  The facility is handicap-accessible. Constituent service staff will be available to address individual concerns. 

Valentines for Our Veterans

On Monday, Rodney visited area schools to collect “Valentines for Veterans” made by local students.  Each year, he invites elementary students to create hand-made Valentines Day cards for hospitalized veterans.

He was joined this year by Air Force Master SGT Jim Vigilante of Parsippany. 

“These thousands of messages from students lift the spirits of veterans confined to a hospital on Valentine’s Day,” said Frelinghuysen, a veteran of the Vietnam War.  “It is also an important way for young people to learn more about the sacrifices made by Americans in uniform.  Veterans made our nation great, and we must never forget all they have done to ensure our freedom.”

Rodney and MSTR SGT Vigilante visited students at the Lester Noecker School in Roseland and the Eastlake Elementary School in Parsippany.  Valentines from the students at the two schools will be delivered to veterans at the Lyons VA Medical Center and to Parsippany’s own Army SPC Derek McConnell, recuperating at the Walter Reed Militasry Medical Venter from wounds sustained in Afghanistan last summer

Read more about Valentines for Vets here.