e-News 3/3/17

e-News 3/3/17

  • Telephone Town Hall: Healthcare, Russia, Medicare, Tax Reform and More
  • “Prosecute the Perpetrators” of Anti-Semitic Crimes!
  • Defense Appropriations: The Rebuilding of our Military Starts Now!
  • Appropriations Committee at Work
  • Veterans Job Fair This Month
  • Salute Veterans Stakeholders Honorees


Telephone Town Hall: Healthcare, Russia, Medicare, Tax Reform and More

We had over six thousand constituents on the line for another successful Telephone Town Hall on Tuesday as I called residents in the western portion of the 11th Congressional District – Morris and Sussex Counties. 

John in Morristown raised issues with the Affordable Care Act and efforts to replace it. Marilyn in Montville brought property taxes to the discussion and expressed concern that tax reform may affect her deduction for property taxes. Samantha in Morristown expressed concern about the rise of anti-Semitism, which I condemned.

I told Mary in Hopatcong that I am not a denier of climate change. Ronald in Montville suggested that there’s nothing wrong with rules and regulations to come to this country. Sal in East Hanover asked why he should have to pay for illegals?

I told Mary in Morris Plains that I believe the President should release his tax returns, Vladimir Putin is KGB and not a friend of this country and that we must put pressure on Putin and his cronies at every turn.   

I also told Lynn in Randolph that we want to preserve Medicare to make sure that Social Security system that we pay into works.

I want you to know that we do 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.

Yes, sometimes they are conducted on short notice mainly due to the vagaries of voting schedule on the House floor.  Often these votes unexpectedly conflict with our plans for the telephone town hall meeting, necessitating a postponement or cancellation. 

In the weeks and months ahead, we will be calling into all sections of the 11th District on a rotating basis.  So, please answer your phone: it may be your Congressman calling!

“Prosecute the Perpetrators” of Anti-Semitic Crimes

The FBI announced earlier today that they had arrested a Missouri man and charged him with making bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers and other facilities including nursery schools. 

I wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this week urging that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI quickly “prosecute the perpetrators.” of recent anonymous bomb threats made via telephone and email.  

My letter:

“I am writing to again express my deep concern with the ongoing threats and acts of anti-Semitism against Jewish centers and synagogues.

“As you well know, just yesterday, another 31 bomb threats targeted 23 community centers and eight Jewish day schools. These threats are not just attacks against the Jewish religion, heritage, culture and values, but are threats to our entire nation.

“It is my understanding, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division continue to investigate these crimes. I would strongly urge the DOJ to prosecute the perpetrators for violations of federal criminal laws and work to end these threats!”

Close to a hundred Jewish institutions have been targeted with bomb threats since the beginning of the year and several Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized.

This nation was built on the foundation of religious tolerance. Anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry are shameful and must end!

I also wrote to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, John F. Kelly last night, urging him to expedite the release of Nonprofit Security Grant funds to at-risk organizations.    These are Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants that support “target hardening” and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack. 

Based on these rising threats of violence targeted at Jewish Community Centers and institutions, I urge you to expeditiously proceed with the release…in order to provide much-needed funds to respond to this disturbing trend.

Defense Appropriations: The Rebuilding of our Military Starts Now!

It is Congress’ first responsibility under the Constitution to protect the United States.  Today, the nation is facing dangerous emerging threats and a readiness crisis at the same moment in our history. 

Next week, I will bring the FY 2017 Department of Defense Appropriations bill to the floor of the House for debate.  Passage of the legislation is critically important because it begins the rebuilding of our national defense and our military. 

I will share more detail on the bill next week, but, in short, this legislation pays our troops, provides care for them and their families, supports our Armed Forces’ missions, and provides the resources necessary to support our allies, defeat terrorists, and deter our adversaries.

  • The FY2017 DOD Appropriations bill includes a 2.1% pay raise for our service men and women, a 0.5% increase above the Obama Administration’s request.
  • Reverses the drawdown of troops by the Obama Administration and increases end strength levels for the Army, Air Force and Marines.
  • Fulfills unmet requirements for additional weapons, aircraft, and ships.
  • Includes additional funding to increase readiness and facilities sustainment modernization and restoration.
  • Supports overseas operations to combat terrorism and enhances our allies’ deterrence against Russian aggression.
  • Contains $600.7 million for Israeli Cooperative Missile Defense Programs, $455 million above the Obama Administration’s request.

For text of the legislation, please click here

For the Explanatory Statement, please click here.

Appropriations Committee at Work

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction will hold a hearing next week on the “Quality of Life” for members of the Armed Forces.   The Subcommittee will hear from the top enlisted personnel in the services: Command Sergeant Major Daniel A. Dailey, Sergeant Major of the Army, Master Chief Petty Officer Steven S. Giordano, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Sergeant Major Ronald L. Green, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Chief Master Sergeant Kaleth O. Wright, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.

In addition, the Subcommittees on Defense, Financial Services, Agriculture, Energy and Water Development will hold “Members’ Day” to all representatives to testify on the priorities of their constituents. 

For specific information the on Committee’s schedule, click here.

Veterans Job Fair This Month

A wide range of veterans, government, community and business organizations are providing key support to a Veterans’ Jobs Fair in late March. The event, March 25 at the Wayne YMCA , is designed to provide men and women veterans with assistance in finding jobs as well as making decisions about their career.

As I travel to every corner of my Congressional District, it has become apparent to me that there are still too many veterans struggling in a challenging economy.  In many cases, they need help finding that first job or reconnecting with employers. I can think of no better way to thank our former service members than assisting with their transition to civilian life by helping them help themselves.  These men and women have skills and work ethic that the public and private sectors want and needs.  With this jobs fair, we’re trying to provide that critically important link.

The details:

Saturday, March 25

Wayne YMCA

1 Pike Drive, Wayne NJ 07470

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cosponsors of the Job Fair include Wayne Mayor Chris Vergano and the Township of Wayne, the Passaic County Board of Freeholders, Community Hope, Passaic County Veterans Services, American Legion Post 174, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 174, Jewish War Veterans Post 695, Lakeland Chapter of the Marine Corps League, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs which will provide enrollment assistance and benefits counseling.

For additional information, contact Frelinghuysen’s District Office at973-984-0711.

Salute: Congratulations and “thank you” to the veterans and community leaders who will be honored tomorrow at the 2nd annual Stakeholders Awards Breakfast, including James and John Lagrasso of Morris County, Frank Armino of Sussex County, Kristin Corrado of Passaic County, Rich Mannes of Essex County.  Their support of individual veterans and veterans organizations is critically important to the men and women who have served!

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