e-News 4/28/17

e-News 4/28/17

  • Keeping Federal Agencies Open for Business
  • Obama Administration Concessions = Iranian Belligerence
  • More Telephone Town Hall Meetings
  • Hurricane Hunter Boosts Local STEM Education
  • Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Award
  • Salute: Madison PBA Helps Disabled Marine


Keeping Federal Agencies Open for Business

The House today passed House Joint Resolution 99, my legislation that will continue funding for federal agencies, programs and services until May 5, 2017.

This “Continuing Resolution” will keep the government open and operating as normal for the next several days, as our Appropriations Committee works to finalize legislation to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year.

I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon. It is time that this essential work is completed so that critical programs and activities – including national defense –are properly and adequately funded for the year.”

Length and Level of Funding– The CR extends funding for operations for federal agencies, programs and services until May 5, 2017. It maintains the current budget cap level of $1.07 trillion put into place under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Obama Administration Concessions = Iranian Belligerence

In 2015, many supporters of President Obama’s Iran Nuclear Agreement, assured the world that implementation of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action would prompt Iran to moderate its behavior and become a better neighbor in the Middle East.   However, the head of U.S. Central Command,  Gen. Joseph Votel, recently told Congress, "We have not seen any improvement in Iran’s behavior since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was finalized in 2015." In fact, Gen Votel agreed that Iran has actually increased its destabilizing activity since the JCPOA.

After all, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism received over $100 billion in previously frozen assets from the Obama Administration – much of it in untraceable cash. 

And then came a stunning Politico investigative report this week which claims that the Obama Administration damaged its own efforts to end the proliferation of nuclear and missile technology in order to provide even more concessions to the Iranians." In addition, it appears as if senior Justice and State Department officials often sabotaged active investigations against Iranian agents!

According to the Politico report, the Obama Administration freed or dropped cases against several Iranians who had been charged with serious national security offenses. The report says one individual had "provided Iran with components for an especially deadly type of IED which are known to have killed hundreds of American troops in Iraq.

Why is Iran continuing its support for terrorism, its belligerence and its dangerous behavior toward the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf?  Because it suffered no consequences for eight long years.  The nuclear deal gave Iran one concession after another.  And it is undermining America's national security.

Hurricane Hunter Boosts Local STEM Education

Roughly one month before the beginning of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, I brought a veteran National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) “Hurricane Hunter” to visit with students at four local schools on Monday, April 24, 2017.  Commander Justin Kibbey, a National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pilot and I visited Memorial Middle School in Whippany.

Valley Road Elementary School in Stanhope, Lenox Elementary School in Pompton Lakes, and Littleton Elementary School in Morris Plains.

Commander Kibbey has thousands of hours of flying experience in some of the worst hurricanes to approach or hit our shores. His presentation educated all of us on hurricane science.

But more than a primer on hurricanes, we share the same goal: to convince students the value of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education.  Hopefully, Commander Kibbey’s experience will inspire many boys and girls to pursue their life’s work in these fields.  For these students, this very presentation may be key to their future.  STEM education, from preschool through college, prepares pupils for well-paying careers across education levels. The median annual wage for STEM workers is more than double the median wage for all workers. This holds true across education levels, including the 25% of STEM workers with less than a bachelor’s degree. Beyond this reality, STEM is the future of our U.S. economy.

Commander Kibbey of the NOAA Corps is a veteran P-3 pilot. In March 2010, he was selected for an interservice transfer from the U.S. Navy to the NOAA Corps at the Aircraft Operations Center in Tampa, Florida. He flew his first hurricane mission in September 2010, and he has flown approximately 20 flights every year since. He helps scientists gather data by flying planes into hurricanes.

More Telephone Town Hall Meetings

Along with numerous stops around many of the 54 towns across the 11th Congressional District, I will be hosting additional Telephone Town Hall meetings in coming weeks, including one during the May 8-12Congressional District Work period.  Participating constituents will be able to talk about the important issues that matter to them the most.

So far this year, I have held three such Town Hall meetings and dialed into every area of the district and hosted thousands of constituents on the line, listening to concerns and answering questions from several dozen callers on a wide-range of topics including health care, proposed budget cuts, our national security and immigration, to name a few.

All constituents are welcome.  If you’re interested in participating, please visit my website and register using the convenient button on the right-hand side of the opening page to sign up.  Or call one of my offices (973-984-0711202-225-5034) to be put on the call list.  

Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute Award

I was honored this week to accept the Leadership in Public Service award from the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) during the Annual CHLI dinner. 

I share the commitment of the CHLI to advocating for the Latino community and ensuring the success of Hispanic families in New Jersey and all across the country.  I look forward to continuing to work with members of the Latino community on our many shared priorities, including access to higher education, creating jobs and assuring freedom for oppressed people around the globe.

Past CHLI honorees include Alvaro Uribe Velez, former President of Colombia; Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain; President Felipe Calderon of Mexico; President Porfirio Lobo of Honduras; Senator John Cornyn and Governor Jeb Bush. At this year’s ceremony, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, a longtime prisoner of conscience in Cuba, received the Leadership in International Relations Award.

Founded in 2003, CHLI is dedicated to fostering a broad awareness of the diversity of thought, heritage, interests and views of Americans of Hispanic descent. CHLI programs strengthen the U.S. Hispanic community by promoting the advancement of Hispanics in all sectors of the U.S. and global economy, and it has focused its efforts on developing and strengthening tomorrow’s leaders.

Salute: Hats off to Police Benevolent Association (PBA) No. 92  in Madison for helping a borough resident who police and supporters are calling “a local hero” — a Marine Corps veteran who was severely injured when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan.  Read more here.

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