The Rodney Report is NJ 11th for Change's response to Representative Frelinghuysen’s Weekly E-newsletter.
The 3/24/17 edition
- Frelinghuysen Opposes Trumpcare
- Still Denouncing Obamacare
- Piecemeal 'Reform'?
- On the Line with Rodney: Tele-Town Hall
In a radical departure from his lock-step support of the GOP agenda, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen stunned national political observers Friday with his last-minute opposition to Trumpcare. Due to his powerful position as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, the move was widely reported as the decisive blow against President Trump and Speaker Ryan’s attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
“In the final analysis, it would place significant new costs and new barriers to care on my constituents in New Jersey,’’ Frelinghuysen announced on Friday and reiterated in his weekly E-Newsletter.
For the past seven years, Frelinghuysen has voted to repeal, limit or gut the ACA at every opportunity, including his “yea” vote in 2013 to shut down the government if the ACA implementation was not delayed. Speaker Ryan spared Mr. Frelinghuysen and his GOP colleagues from casting a vote against party by pulling the bill less than an hour before the rescheduled vote.
Beltway journalists from the Washington Post to MSNBC attribute Frelinghuysen’s defection in part to pressure at home from grassroots groups like NJ 11th For Change — and we could not be more proud of our members, whose thousands of calls, letters, tweets and visits helped turn the tide.
NJ 11th for Change welcomed Rep. Frelinghuysen's Friday-morning statement that he is now opposed to the AHCA. Over the last few months, our group has organized a sustained effort with thousands of members calling, visiting, mailing, faxing, and showing up – all urging the congressman to vote against taking health care away from more than 30,000 fellow constituents. Mr. Frelinghuysen’s statement shows that these tireless voices of our grassroots organization were heard loud and clear, together with countless citizens across the district.
What started in November as a few dozen folks on a Facebook page became a few thousand members by early January, when NJ 11th For Change started regular visits to Rep. Frelinghuysen’s District Office. Three people showed up at the first #FridaywithFrelinghuysen. The following week, it was 35. And then it was more than 150. By February, the numbers were reaching 350, then more than 450 constituents. Every subsequent Friday, our members continue to visit Rep. Frelinghuysen’s offices, voicing their concerns about affordable care, Russian interference, environmental protections, and many other urgent federal issues.
Rep. Frelinghuysen held a telephone "town hall" this week. Here are some highlights:
On voting against the measure to release Trump's returns:
"I feel very comfortable by saying to you, and anyone else that’s listening, that I think the president ought to release his tax returns as every president has done before him, but on the floor of the House, I support the ruling of the Chair, regardless of what the issue is, because often the ruling of the chair issue is a political device and, and quite honestly, I need to support the majority in terms of what the chair’s ruling is."
On healthcare: "I'm not sold on the current version of the bill being debated that went through three committees, with one more to come this week. ... I think we're headed in the right direction."
On the border wall: "I'm not sure the wall's the answer. But we're going to make sure he has a plan before he proceeds."
On proposed cuts to the NIH: "I think Mulvaney, quite honestly, and he's not one of my favorite people, I never worked with him when he was in Congress, he has no idea of the facts. ... I've not run into any instances of misexpenditures. ... Obviously, the White House has pushed back, but I think quite honestly, some of their stuff is based, quite honestly, on anecdote and misinformation."
The Rodney Report is NJ 11th for Change's response to Representative Frelinghuysen’s Weekly E-newsletter
The 3/17/17 edition:
- Frelinghuysen’s Budget Assessment
- 'Skinny Budget' Impact on NJ 11
- Marking Women's History Month: The Irony
- Tele Town Hall 3/20: Be there!
Rep. Frelinghuysen heralded the submission of President Trump’s “skinny budget” with a vague injunction that we should trust him, “I think everyone should rest assured that the House Appropriations Committee will take all of the Administration’s proposals and give them complete and fair consideration,” Rep. Frelinghuysen, the head of the Appropriations Committee, stated in his weekly E-Newsletter.
NJ 11th For Change advises vigilance instead of rest.
The proposed budget eliminates entire federal agencies, like the National Endowment of the Arts, and makes massive cuts to others, like the EPA, while pumping $54 billion into military spending. It would drastically reduce funds for the NYPD, including money used for counter-terrorism efforts, the Department of Education, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health & Human Services. It would entirely eliminate the Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Economic Development Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency.
Other agencies slated for the chopping block are the National Broadcasting Corporation and NASA’s Office of Education, which supports STEM education programs all over the country. Ironically, in the newsletter, Mr. Frelinghuysen declared his support for both STEM education in NJ, and indirectly, his pride in NASA, enthusiastically saying, “As part of my ongoing efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM) among New Jersey’s students, I had the honor of escorting a NASA astronaut to two local schools this week.”
Here are just a few examples of the devastating effects proposed cuts could have in NJ 11 and statewide:
- With over 100 Superfund sites, New Jersey holds the disturbing record of most Superfund sites in any state. In the 11th district we have 13 active clean up sites, including locations in Sussex, Morris, Essex, and Passaic Counties. There is the the Radiation Technology, Inc. Site in Rockaway; the Pepe Fields Superfund site in Boonton; and the Unimatic Superfund Site in Fairfield; a residential area of Essex County where groundwater is currently contaminated less than half a mile from public drinking water wells. President Trump’s proposed 31 percent cut to the EPA's already lean budget could cripple its ability to complete the cleanup process. Even Governor Christie’s 2018 Budget includes $190 million in federal funds for environmental cleanup and protection.