e-News 6/22/2018

A Nation of Immigrants and Laws
Boosting Diplomacy and Overseas Engagement
“Facing Chinese cyberthreat, Pentagon to bake better contractor security into buying decisions.”
Reforming the Veterans Administration: “More Needs to Be Done”
Salute: Picatinny’s Garrison Commanders


A Nation of Immigrants and Laws

At long last, the House of Representatives this week began floor debate on legislation designed to modernize the nation’s broken and dysfunctional immigration system.  Our system is failing and prevents the best and brightest from coming to America legally.

We are a nation of immigrants.  But we’re also a nation of laws, and Congress has a profound responsibility to control our own borders.  There is no doubt that U.S. border officials need better tools and legal authorities to keep out violent criminals, deter and arrest drug traffickers, halt human trafficking and identify those who may be seeking to take advantage of our asylum laws.

That is why I have long supported enhanced security measures at our borders – greater surveillance, sensors and physical barriers where needed.   

But I also believe that how we treat strangers reflects the moral values upon which this country was founded. Separating children from their parents can never be part of any solution!  We can, and must, enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders without breaking families apart.  I am aware that the President signed an Executive Order on Wednesday, but this cruel practice must end immediately!

Next week, my House Appropriations Committee is expected to approve a Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Health and Human Services funding bill that includes federal dollars to ensure that unaccompanied immigrant children have the proper housing and care they need, and that refugee families have the resources necessary to assimilate and become productive members of our communities.

To learn more about the FY 2019 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill, please visit


Boosting Diplomacy and Overseas Engagement

Now is not the time for the United States to back down from global engagement.  We are facing challenges from China, Russia and other adversaries, continued terrorist attacks across the world, sophisticated criminal networks that traffic in human beings and drugs.

This week, the House Appropriations Committee debated and approved the FY 2019 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, legislation that funds our diplomatic and foreign assistance efforts around the world.  This is the bill that includes $54 billion to support the “soft power” component of our national security strategy.

The bill includes a total of $9.3 billion for international security assistance, including efforts to dismantle terrorist networks and stop the illegal flow of drugs. It also supports our key allies and partners, and makes the first investment in our new 10-year memorandum of understanding with Israel.

And the bill supports economic assistance that will support development across the world and improve our own economic standing in strategic areas.

Importantly, this bill recognizes that disease, hunger, and poverty can destabilize countries and governments, and in turn, undermine our own national security. The bill before us today continues to devote crucial resources to health concerns around the globe, such as improving the health of mothers and children, and combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

The bill makes these critical investments while ensuring that every cent of taxpayer money that supports overseas engagement is used responsibly.

I look forward to working with Secretary of State Pompeo, who has improved morale among our Ambassadors and Foreign Service officers, to build back at the State Department what his predecessor reduced.

For a summary of the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, please visit

To read the report accompanying the State-Foreign Operations bill, please visit

To read the text of the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, please visit


Worth a Read: Joe Gould’s story on Fifth Domain: “Facing Chinese cyberthreat, Pentagon to bake better contractor security into buying decisions.”  Read it here


Reforming the Veterans Administration: “More Needs to Be Done”

I was disappointed to read the report in the Bergen Record that the Community Living Center located at Lyons Medical Center in Somerset County ranked 109 out of all 133 VA nursing homes nationally and was one of 58 VA facilities to only receive a rating of “one star.”

Our veterans deserve better and I wrote to Vincent Immiti, Director of the VA New Jersey Health Care System:

“I share the frustration of veterans who travel to Lyons to receive the promise of world-class health care they deserve and have earned. Unfortunately, these ratings, which have yet to be made public by the VA, indicate that more needs to be done to fulfill that promise. 

Over the last several years, the House of Representatives has committed itself to reform the VA into an modern, state-of-the art organization truly worthy of the veterans it serves! We have provided significantly increased funding.  This article proves once again, that every day we must focus on the VA’s problems and improve the department’s ability to provide our veterans the care and benefits they have earned. 

Read the story, “Veterans nursing home in New Jersey is near bottom in national ratings, newspapers find,here


Salute: To Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Ivey (USA) and Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Morgan (USA), the outgoing and incoming Commanders of the Picatinny Arsenal Garrison.  A Change-of-Command ceremony was conducted at Picatinny on June 14.

LTC Ivey has served as Garrison Commander for the last two years.  He departs to serve in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Army where he will work as a strategic planner in the Strategic Initiatives Group.

LTC Morgan comes to Picatinny from Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he served as the commander for the Special Operations Logistics Support Element for the Joint Special Operations Command.

Good luck, Col. Ivey!  Welcome Col. Morgan!