e-News June 25, 2010

The Week Just Past:  “If you can’t budget, You can’t govern”
Rodney’s Listening Tour Continues
House Passes New Iran Sanctions
“Rules of Engagement” in Afghanistan
Town Hall Meetings Tomorrow

The Week Just Past: If You Can’t Budget, You Can’t Govern”

“It’s now official.  House Democrats will not pass a budget this year, according to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: ‘It isn’t possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget until we’ve considered the bipartisan commission’s deficit-reduction plan, which is expected in December.’

“Talk about passing the buck.   Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenant, Congressman Hoyer, have a 70 vote majority in the House and they cannot find a way to pass a responsible budget??? 

“This is not just a Congressional housekeeping matter.  This is a missed opportunity to cut federal spending, which has ballooned the national debt past $13 trillion. 

“Due to the reckless spending in Washington, every man, woman and child in America is now responsible for $42,000 of the national debt.

“Yet even with high unemployment and Americans struggling to make ends meet, Congress has continued its spending spree, courtesy of the American taxpayer and foreign lenders.

“How much more must we borrow and spend before Congress begins to rein it in?  The place to start is with a responsible budget.

“But as Speaker Pelosi’s own Budget Committee Chairman, John Spratt, once famously said, ‘If you can’t budget, you can’t govern.’

“The bottom line:  failing to produce a budget signals instability to investors and businesses and costs Americans jobs.  If our spending and debt crisis is not addressed, lower economic growth ensues and Americans will see a much a lower standard of living. 

“The American people deserve better than higher taxes, a stagnant economy, high unemployment, less opportunity, and exploding borrowing.”

FACT: While the President has claimed the massive run-up in government spending would create millions of new jobs, 48 out of 50 states now have fewer jobs than when the so-called “stimulus” bill was signed into law in February of 2009.

Recommended Reading:  On top of the failure of Speaker Pelosi to bring a budget to the floor, members of her leadership team are now talking seriously about forcing new taxes on the middle class.  John McKinnon and Gregg Hitt report on this subject in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, “Middle-Class Tax Boost Broached.”

Rodney’s Listening Tour Continues

Rodney’s listening tour took him to Somerset County this week where he met with businessmen and women in Somerville and Raritan.  He told the business owners that the federal government can best help New Jersey employers and employees by not raising taxes and reducing unnecessary regulation and burdensome red tape.  The government, he said, should "get off the back" of businesses.

You can read the Courier-News story here.

Recommended Reading III: Elizabeth Williamson and Darrell Hughes of the Wall Street Journal report on a scathing indictment of the “hostile environment for investment and job creation” fostered by the Obama Administration.   Read about Verizon’s CEO Ivan Seidenberg’s speech to the Washington Economic Club in “Business Group Slams ‘Hostile’ Policies on Jobs.”

House Passes New Iran Sanctions

With Rodney’s strong support, the House passed a new set of tougher sanctions designed to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons yesterday.  The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, if implemented, will impose crippling sanctions on Iran in an effort to persuade the regime to end its illegal nuclear program.

“The dangers are well-known.  Iran has long history of support for terrorist organizations and if Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, how long will it be before terrorist organizations around the globe have access to this technology? And America and our allies will be at extreme risk,” said Rodney, a senior member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.  “This legislation represents meaningful progress in the United States’ effort to economically and diplomatically isolate Iran.  I would urge the Obama Administration to implement this bill completely and quickly!”

The Act expands and toughens penalties for investment in Iran's energy sector and includes the provision of refined petroleum to Iran as a sanctionable offense.  The legislation mandates that in order to do business with the U.S. government, a company must certify that it or its subsidiaries do not engage in sanctionable activities regarding Iran.  The bill also contains a mandatory financial sanction which requires foreign financial institutions to choose between continued business with Iran or access to the U.S. banking system. 
“Rules of Engagement” in Afghanistan

The headlines were dominated this week by the dismissal of Afghanistan commander General Stanley McCrystal for intemperate remarks regarding civilian officials.  His boss, General David Petraeus will replace him as leader of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan.

(The day after General Petraeus was tapped to command in Afghanistan, he was in the U.S. Capitol meeting with Rodney and Rep. Norm Dicks, Chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.)

Mark Moyar writes in today’s Wall Street Journal that Petraeus’ “selection reassures our Afghan allies that the U.S. will not begin substantial troop reductions until the Afghans can handle the insurgents on their own.”  Read “Petraeus's Opportunity.

No matter who commands U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the so-called “rules of engagement” which dictate when, and how much, deadly force can be applied in combat situations must be re-examined.  Indeed, there is growing frustration among soldiers and Marines, who blame rising casualty figures on increasingly restrictive rules. Platoon and company commanders have complained about having to fight with one hand tied behind their back.  

The Wall Street Journal reported in February about a Marine officer who, after spotting four insurgents planting a roadside bomb, called a lawyer before calling in an air strike.

Rodney questioned the Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, Admiral Eric Olson, on the subject when he appeared before the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday.

Recommended Reading V: Gerald Seib and Matthew Rosenberg in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, “A critical Moment in the War Effort.”

Town Hall Meetings Tomorrow

Rodney will hold additional public town hall meetings tomorrow, and all area residents and concerned citizens in the 11th Congressional District are invited to participate.

He will provide an update on his work in Congress, including his efforts to oppose tax hikes and large federal spending increases, promote homeland security, and support America’s military service members and their families.

The Town Meetings will be held tomorrow, Saturday, June 26:

9:00 AM
Ridge High School
268 South Finley Avenue
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

12:00 noon
Pequannock High School
85 Sunset Road
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444

As always, constituent service staff will be available to address individual concerns.  

Recommended Reading VIWashingtonPost editorial of June 23, “Opportunity denied, D.C.’s voucher program is increasing graduation rates.  It deserves to be revived.”