e-News June 4, 2010

The Week Just Past:
Cutting Government Spending NOW!
Listening to Employers
Rodney is “Outstanding Legislator”
Disaster Aid Application Deadline Extended

The Week Just Past:

“Congress was out of Washington for the Memorial Day recess this week, having left town before fulfilling two major responsibilities:

“1) Passing a bill needed to fund our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and to pay for our humanitarian assistance in Haiti.  Instead of voting on the bill, Congressional leaders have been hard at work “larding up” the bill with all sorts of unrelated, deficit-expanding, non-emergency domestic spending;

“2) Passing a budget resolution.  Nearly two months beyond the official deadline, it appears that Speaker Pelosi won’t even bring a budget to the floor of the House for a vote this year.  According to the Congressional Research Service, this is an unprecedented failure to act.  This would be the first time since passage of the Budget Act in 1974 that the House fails to pass a version of a budget resolution.

“It may sound like Washington ‘inside baseball’, but there is one important reason Congress needs to pass a budget: a budget would give us the opportunity to cut government spending.

“Our national debt is growing rapidly.  The International Monetary Fund, of all groups, is predicting our national debt will equal the size of our entire economy by 2015.  That is absolutely unsustainable!

“Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker says time is 'growing short' for the U.S. to address its budget deficit. 'We better get started,' he said in a speech in May in California. 'Today's concerns may soon become tomorrow's existential crises.'  

“I could not agree more."

Rodney Frelinghuysen

Recommended Reading: “Fail this jobs bill, Obama's shallow plan to spend $23 billion on education” in the Washington Post – an editorial worth reading.

Cutting Government Spending NOW!

If Speaker Pelosi ever proposes a budget, there are some common-sense first steps that the framework should include:

1) Shut Down TARP:  Congress should close down the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and use the money to pay down the deficit.  It should absolutely not be used as a “piggy bank” to finance other unrelated domestic spending.

2) Repeal Unspent “Stimulus”:  The so-called economic "stimulus" legislation has not worked.  Instead of keeping the unemployment rate below 8 percent, it stands at 9.9 percent nationally today and we're even deeper in debt.

3) Impose Strict Budget Caps:  Congress should examine all spending proposals line-by-line and eliminate wasteful, unnecessary or duplicative spending, and save more than $375 billion using tools like strict budget caps.

Recommended Reading II: Michael Gerson, writing on the new health care law in the Washington Post: “A lollipop Americans don’t want.  With health care reform, familiarity breeds contempt.

Noted with Interest: The U.S. Department of Labor reported this morning that the “official” national unemployment dropped to 9.7 percent in May.   However, of the 431,000 jobs “created” last month, only 41,000 people were hired by private businesses. In other words, without temporary Census Bureau hirings – jobs that will end in a few weeks - there were virtually no jobs created last month and it appears many Americans have again given up looking for work.  It is clear the President’s so-called “jobs agenda” has failed to stimulate anything other than more debt. 

Listening to Employers

As part of his ongoing efforts to engage and assist New Jersey employers, Rodney visited two more Morris County businesses with the Morris County Chamber of Commerce this week.   He listened to concerns about local property taxes, the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the impact of the new health care law. However, the most important part of the visits was engagement with the workers, who expressed concern about the economic climate in New Jersey.

“It is clear that New Jersey’s tax structure and regulatory burden are creating intense pressure,” Rodney said.  “I told them that our top priority must be to ‘get government out of the way’ and allow workers to do their jobs and help businesses to grow.  That’s the only way our economy will recover and thrive.”

Rodney will continue his “listening tour” of New Jersey businesses – large and small – later this month.   

Recommended Reading III:  Kirk Adams writing an excellent analysis in the Washington PostThe truth behind Arizona's immigration law.” 

Rodney is “Outstanding Legislator”

The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) has named Rodney its “Outstanding Legislator of 2010.”  In announcing the selection, AUSA officials cited his strong support of the Army during his service in Congress, advocating veterans health care funding, caring for homeless veterans and working to pass the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

This is the 12th year AUSA has presented the award.  Past recipients have included Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, former Appropriations Committee Chairman C.W. Bill Young and the current Secretary of the Army, John McHugh. 

Recommended Reading IV: Thursday’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal: “Iran's Nuclear Progress, Even the U.N. now says Iran has enough fuel for two weapons.”

Disaster Aid Application Deadline Extended

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has extended the deadline for area residents and business owners seeking disaster aid for problems stemming from this year's severe floods.

Applications to the FEMA state Office of Emergency Management must be received by close-of-business on July 1.

Assistance includes grants for home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

People who sustained losses can register with FEMA by calling 800-621-FEMA or on the Web at: