e-News 03/09/18

Across-the Board Tariffs = New Taxes on American People

The Appropriations Committee at Work: Oversight

Military Services Need “Flexibility” on FY ’18 Funding

Recommended Reading 

National Veterans of Foreign Wars Honors Frelinghuysen

2018 Congressional Art Competition Begins

Salute: Staci Mannella of Randolph - ParaOlympian!


Across-the Board Tariffs = New Taxes on American People

President Trump announced yesterday that the United States will impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.  The stated reason for this action is to protect the U.S. steel and aluminum industries from unfair trade. 

The U.S. government has an obligation to react to those nations and companies that trade unfairly and hurt America through their practices and pricing.  However, it is clear that new across-the board tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will raise costs for American businesses and, thus, American consumers.  In many ways, they act as a new tax on the American people.

There is also a national security aspect to this debate. At a time when global threats are rising and evolving, the United States needs all the partners and allies it can get.  I cannot see how new worldwide trade wars, undertaken in retaliation to our broad-based streel and aluminum tariffs, can promote security cooperation.

There is no doubt that the United States must defend itself and its industries and workers from unfair trade.  However, the solution must not cause greater problems than they seek to solve.

The Appropriations Committee at Work: Oversight

Even as we labor to hammer out the multitude of agreements with the Senate that will allow us to complete Congressional action on all 12 of the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bills this month, the Appropriations Committee has already begun its Fiscal Year 2019 work.

The Administration’s budget was delivered to Capitol Hill last month and we are conducting oversight - doing our due diligence, conducting hearings, and going through the proposal line by line to ensure taxpayer dollars are invested effectively and wisely. 

Of course, we need to protect the vital programs that our people rely on, that promote economic growth and job creation and that protect our nation.

It is our duty to represent our districts and our people at home. That is why we have a budget process, so that voices can be heard on programs that are important to the American people.

The Committee has now started an exhaustive oversight series of hearings with Cabinet members and other senior government officials.

To watch the hearing with the Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, please visit:

To watch the hearing with the Secretary of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, please visit:

To watch the hearing with the Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller. Please visit here:

Military Services Need “Flexibility” on FY ’18 Funding

One of the key issues we discussed with the Navy-Marine Corps leadership this week was their need for modified spending rules to help them cope with the late arrival of their FY ’18 Appropriations.  Sydney Freedberg offers an explanation in his story on the Breaking Defense website.  Read “House Approps Chair Promises Pentagon “flexibility” on O&M Funds. And watch the video:

Recommended Reading

Books I have enjoyed reading this year:

“The Jersey Brothers – A Missing Naval Officer in the Pacific and His Family’s Quest to Bring Him Home” by Sally Mott Freeman.  This story has Morris County connections!

“The Bedford Boys – One American Town’s Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice” by Alex Kershaw.

National Veterans of Foreign Wars Award

This week, I was honored to receive the 2018 VFW Congressional Award by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  The award is presented annually to one sitting member of the House or Senate that the VFW deems to have “made the most significant contribution towards veterans, service members, their families and the nation” over the past year.

I have had the honor of representing the people of New Jersey in the House of Representatives for twenty-three years.   Among my highest priorities – from my first day in office – has been to support our Armed Forces, and their families, and also the veterans who served before them, especially those who have returned home with injuries – seen and unseen.  They deserve a quality veterans’ health care system and I work every day to see that they get it!

As a life member of VFW Post 3401 in Morris Plains, I thank the VFW for recognizing my commitment to those who serve!

Read more here:

2018 Congressional Art Competition Begins

I am pleased to announce that our annual Congressional Arts is now open.  I invite all high school age students from our 11th Congressional District, which includes 54 municipalities in Morris, Essex, Passaic and Sussex counties, to participate. 

Each year, the students from my Congressional District display exceptional artistic talent and vision through our Congressional Art Competition.  I am excited to review the submissions this year.

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district.  Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

Students submit entries to their Representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.

The New Jersey C.D. 11 winning entry from last year, “Don’t Look.” by Barbara Benda of Nutley High School, has been displayed in the Capitol over the past year. 

Each school may submit up to four entries from students residing in the district. The deadline for art submissions is 5:00pm on Friday April 13 to my Morristown office: 30 Schuyler Place, Morristown NJ, 07960.

Specific rules and information can be found here:  

Please contact my Morristown office at 973-984-0711 should you have any questions.

Salute: To Staci Mannella, a partially-sighted skier from of Randolph, who is participating in her second Paralympic Games this weekend, this time in PyeongChang, South Korea.  Ranked in the Top 10 in the world in all the Alpine disciplines at the end of the 2017 season, Mannella and her guide Sadie DeBaun will compete in the slalom, giant slalom, super-G and super combined.  Read more in Jane Havsy’s story in the Morris County Daily Record.