- Let the (Health Care) Debate Begin!
- More Telephone Town Hall Meetings!
- “Rebuilding the American Military Starts Now”
- Greater Access to VA Healthcare for Northwest New Jersey Veterans
- Veterans Job Fair Approaching
- White House Tours are back!
- Salute: Read Across America
Let the (Health Care) Debate Begin!
The House leadership unveiled legislative details of the “replace” portion of the ongoing Obamacare “Repeal and Replace” process this week and the open and transparent legislative process is just beginning.
However, we must be clear that the choice before us is not simply Obamacare versus a Republican replacement plan. Obamacare, though well-intentioned, has failed: it’s failed in its goals, and it’s failed in its promises.
Before the legislative process is completed in the House, four committees will have reviewed the proposals unveiled this week. I am eager to analyze the final proposal, but for my part, I am encouraged that the foundation of any House rescue plan is protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, lifting the cap on lifetime benefits and the provision that allows young adults to remain on their family’s health insurance.
I am also anxious to hear from you as the legislative process moves forward. Let me know what you think!
You can email me through my Congressional website here.
More Telephone Town Hall Meetings!
I will be conducting additional Telephone Town Hall meetings in coming weeks and I want you to know that we provide the opportunity for any constituent to be on all the calls. If you’re interested, please call one of my offices and provide them with a telephone number which will then be added to the list. Or visit my website and use the convenient button on the right-hand side of the opening page to sign up.
By the way, we’re tentatively planning the next Telephone Town Hall meeting for Tuesday atWe’ll be reaching out to constituents in Essex and Passaic counties and anyone who has “signed up.”
“Rebuilding the American Military Starts Now”
I was gratified this week to be able to steer the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill, H.R. 1301, through the House by a strong bipartisan vote of 371-48.
Our nation faces serious new challenges across the world. Our troops are serving with honor in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan, the Baltics, Africa and across the globe! “The rebuilding of our military starts today and I applaud the House for passing it with such a strong bipartisan vote.”
The bill funds military operations overseas, increases the purchase of state-of-the-art aircraft and ships and improves readiness of our troops to meet worldwide threats. The measure also provides for a 2.1% pay raise for our troops and strengthens the health programs for military personnel and their families. In addition, H.R 1301 enhances the contributions New Jersey’s military personnel and installations make to our national security.
In addition to providing base operating funds for New Jersey’s military installations, Picatinny Arsenal, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Naval Weapons Station Earle and the 177th Fighter Wing in Atlantic City, the legislation includes funding that will increase New Jersey’s military contributions. For example, H.R. 1301 contains new funding to allow scientists, engineers and technicians at Picatinny Arsenal, the DoD Joint Center of Excellence for Armaments, to accelerate their urgent work to ensure that our weapons systems overmatch those of our adversaries. The bill also includes funding to expand production of the new KC-146 Pegasus air refueling tankers that will be stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst beginning in 2020, enhancing the future missions of the New Jersey base.
To protect New Jersey residents at home and abroad, the measure includes $1.9 billion above the President’s budget for key readiness programs to prepare forces, including the National Guard and Reserve, for continuing combat operations overseas and peace-time missions in the United States.
“Protecting the strength and sustainability of New Jersey’s unique military installations is critical to all of our Armed Forces,” Frelinghuysen said. “Supporting these bases is vital to both our national defense and our state’s historical support for national security. Beyond a doubt, they are essential to our economy, our national security, and our future.”
In total, H.R. 1301 provides $577.9 billion, an increase of $5.2 billion over current spending and $1.6 billion more than the Obama Administration sought in its last budget request. This includes $516.1 billion in base discretionary funding – an increase of $2 billion above current levels – and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)/Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) funding – $3.2 billion above current levels. When combined with the $5.8 billion in supplemental funding enacted in the December Continuing Resolution, total Defense funding for fiscal year 2017 is $583.7 billion, an increase of $10.9 billion over fiscal year 2016.
The bill will now be considered by the Senate before it can be signed by the President.
To View my Floor Statement on H.R. 1301, please click here.
For a bill summary, please click here.
For text of the legislation, please click here.
For the Explanatory Statement, please click here.
Greater Access to VA Healthcare for Northwest New Jersey Veterans
When it comes to veterans, the federal government has a solemn responsibility to ensure that not a single veteran, man or woman, is left behind – not a single one. Making sure veterans have timely access to medical care is a national priority.
That is why I was proud to participate in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Veterans Administration Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Sussex County on Monday.
For over two years, I have been working with my Congressional colleagues, Sussex Freeholders, state legislators and veterans leaders to bring greater access to health care to veterans in Sussex County by convincing the VA to establish this community health clinic.”
The clinic is located at 222 High Street in Newton. The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Read Lori Comstock’s article in the New Jersey Herald here.
Veterans Job Fair Approaching
A wide range of veterans, government, community and businesses are joining with me to sponsor a Veterans’ Jobs Fair on March 25 in Wayne. The event is designed to provide veterans, men and women alike, with assistance in finding jobs as well as making decisions about their careers.
Here are the details:
Saturday, March 25
1 Pike Drive, Wayne NJ 07470
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"After their health, employment is one of the top priorities of any veteran transitioning from military to civilian life,” said Frelinghuysen, a veteran of the Vietnam War. "One million veterans are already unemployed and millions more will leave the services in coming years. We need to support them just as they have supported us when they wore our nation’s uniform. This Jobs Fair is just one way to help!"
For information, please click here.
White House Tours are back!
After a three-month interruption, the White House officially reopened for public tours this week. As in the past, public tours must be requested through Members of Congress, and requests may be submitted up to three months in advance. The self-guided tours are scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis.
Tours are available during the following hours:
Tuesday – Thursday from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Friday – Saturday from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Further details, including what visitors will need to access the White House campus, can be found here.
To schedule a tour of the White House or the Capitol, please my website.
Salute: To all those volunteers who took the time to participate in the national “Read Across America” program which brings the celebration of reading and literacy into the nation’s classrooms and schools. This year I read to students at Alfred Vail School in Morris Plains and the Randall Carter Elementary School in Wayne.