e-News 6/2/17

e-News 6/2/17

  • Some Good News on the Economy, More Work to Do
  • “I mistook those tears for weakness”
  • Every Child Deserves to Have a Safe Childhood
  • Hurricane Season Arrives: Prepare
  • Salute: New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
  • Salute: Judith Morales, Totowa Legion’s First Female Commander


Some Good News on the Economy, More Work to Do

This week saw some good news on the economy.  Job creation surged in May due to a jump in construction positions and a boom in professional and business services, according to a report released yesterday.   Private payrolls increased by 253,000, well ahead of expectations.

At least some of that job creation can be attributed to new confidence by business leaders after Congress repealed a raft of burdensome regulations this year, saving businesses $55 billion in regulatory costs.   

In other areas, Congress continues to work to create jobs and get the economy moving again.

We have begun the process which should lead us to significant pro-growth tax reform. Pro-growth means just that: growth of wages, growth of jobs, growth of opportunity, and growth of our economy.

In coming weeks, the Education and the Workforce Committee will present unanimously-approved bipartisan legislation to improve career and technical education. This will make it easier to connect people with the skills they need to get good-paying, in-demand jobs. 

Learn more about the Ways and Means Committee’s Tax Reform efforts here.

“I mistook those tears for weakness”

The last two weeks have brought vivid reminders of the battle that lay ahead of all Americans.

First, there was the heinous bomb attack in Manchester, England, actually targeting a concert attended by young fans of pop star Ariana Grande, which killed nearly two dozen innocents.

Then this week, more than 90 civilians were slain in another apparent suicide attack in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan.  11 Americans were among the wounded. Even though the enemy claims that they only target Afghan Security Forces and members of foreign militaries, like Americans, this gruesome attack was aimed directly at civilians and designed to cause death and suffering amongst innocent Afghans.

We all strongly condemn these attacks and renew our pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies to defeat this unspeakable evil at its source. 

Here at home, we rely on security experts, law enforcement officers and other first responders to keep us safe.   

A week after Memorial Day, I recommend to you this “Op Ed” piece, authored by my new colleagues, Rep. Brian Mast of Florida.  Brian served for 12 years in the United States Army as an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician, a “bomb tech,” whose last meeting with an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan resulted in catastrophic injuries, including the loss of both of his legs.

His piece, “I mistook those tears for weakness,” which originally appeared at, can be found here.

Every Child Deserves to Have a Safe Childhood

Human trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion enterprise, and exists in virtually every corner of the world, whether as a source, destination or transit country.  Profit-seeking networks – ranging from amateur to very sophisticated transnational criminal organizations – claim children as well as women and men as victims by the millions.  Here in America, there were 7,572 reported cases of human trafficking in 2016. That’s an increase of 35 percent just of the year before.

Unfortunately, New Jersey has been described as a “hub” for human trafficking.  Why?  Our state is easily accessible via our interstate highways. Major tourist destinations like Atlantic City and New York City makes us more vulnerable and susceptible.  And since traffickers often prey on victims of their own background, New Jersey’s great ethnic diversity makes it harder for law enforcement to observe and prosecute these activities.

Nationwide, the crisis goes beyond trafficking to recording and transmission of child pornography, abuse uncovered on the U.S. Olympics Teams and the handling of trauma cases in our justice system.

Every child deserves to have a safe childhood, but sadly this is not the case for far too many children. They are among the most innocent and vulnerable among us and deserve the strongest protection possible under of the law.

Last week, the House approved several bills that will provide law enforcement the tools they need to prevent child abuse and bring those who harm these little ones to justice.

Here is a summary of the bills approved by the House last week:

The Child Protection Improvements Act (H.R. 695): This bill ensures that youth-serving organizations have access to national background checks on prospective staff and volunteers through the FBI’s database. Currently, many youth-serving organizations only have access to state-level background check systems.

The Targeting Child Predators Act (H.R. 883): This bill helps protect valuable information used to prosecute and convict child predators. Under current law, law enforcement is able to obtain the IP address of a suspected child predator and then subpoena Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for the user information attached to the IP address. However, the provider then may notify the user of the law enforcement inquiry, allowing the alleged child predator to destroy critical evidence. Under H.R. 883, ISPs must wait 180 days before notifying customers in child predator cases, where law enforcement has certified that such notification would endanger a person, cause the destruction of or tampering with evidence, cause flight from prosecution, or cause the intimidation of a potential witness. The bill also allows ISPs to challenge a nondisclosure requirement in court.

The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1188): This bill reauthorizes the two primary programs of the Adam Walsh Act—the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act and the Sex Offender Management Assistance Program—for five years and makes targeted changes to make the system more efficient and just. These programs help prevent child abuse by ensuring the public has access to information on known sex offenders who may live in their neighborhoods.

The Strengthening Children’s Safety Act (H.R. 1842): This legisaltion makes communities safer by enhancing penalties for sex offenders who fail to register in the national sex offender registry and then commit a crime of violence. It also ensures enhanced penalties for child exploitation crimes apply equally to all dangerous sex offenders by assuring those convicted of certain sex offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice are subject to the enhanced penalties applicable to recidivists under current law.

The Global Child Protection Act (H.R. 1862): The legislation combats global sex tourism by closing loopholes that allow child predators to go unpunished for their abuse of children overseas. Specifically, the bill expands the conduct covered for child sexual exploitation cases that involve abuse occurring abroad to include sexual contact. It also broadens the offenses covered in the recidivist enhancement provisions in current law to protect the youngest of child victims.

The Put Trafficking Victims First Act (H.R. 2473): This bill provides training to prosecutors on investigating and processing cases with a trauma-informed and victim-centered approach, and encourages states to provide appropriate services to victims of trafficking. The bill also calls for reports on the implementation of state safe harbor provisions and on how to improve mandatory restitution procedures for victims of trafficking in federal courts.

The Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act (H.R. 1761): This measure protects child pornography victims by remedying a federal court ruling in United States v. Palomino-Coronado. This decision allowed a defendant to walk free from production of child pornography charges, despite photographic evidence that he had engaged in sexual abuse of a seven-year-old child, because the court found that he lacked the specific intent to produce child pornography prior to abusing the child. To address this loophole in the law, the Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act adds additional bases of liability to the crime of child pornography production to prevent this heinous crime and bring criminals to justice.

The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act (H.R 1973): This legislation requires prompt reporting of suspected cases of abuse, mandatory training, and implementation of policies and procedures for preventing, reporting, and addressing allegations of sexual abuse at amateur athletic governing bodies. It responds to recent allegations of sexual abuse made against personnel involved with USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, and USA Taekwondo.

Enactment of these bills alone will not end human trafficking or exploitation in and of themselves. But they will help.  They’ll help prevent these crimes. And they’ll help victims recover.

Hurricane Season Arrives: Prepare

This week marked the “official” beginning of Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin.

Remembering some very serious storms we’ve had in northern New Jersey in recent years, it’s always wise to prepare yourself, your family and your home.  Get tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) here.

Hurricane Season runs until December 1.

Salute:  Congratulations to Judith Morales who was recently installed as the first female commander in the 81 year history of American Legion Post 227 in Totowa.

Read more in Lindsey Kelleher’s story on New here.

Salute: New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).  Among my other visits and meetings this week, I spent time at the NJIT, one of the nation’s leading public polytechnic universities.  The university’s multidisciplinary curriculum provides the technological proficiency, business know-how and leadership skills that future business leaders and entrepreneurs need. With over 40 specialized labs and $120 million in research expenditures, NJIT prepares its diverse 11,400 undergraduate and graduate students to perform in our technology-dependent economy. Remarkably, over one-quarter of all engineers working in New Jersey have NJIT degrees!  Overall, the University produces over $1.74 billion in economic activity in our state!

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