Rodney’s Senior Policy Advisor: A recent visit by Adam McGovern

NJ11thForChange_Primary_Logo_2Color.pngRodney’s Senior Policy Advisor: A recent visit by Adam McGovern 

A July 19 meeting with Rodney’s Senior Policy Advisor, Steve Wilson, at the DC office afforded the kind of dialogue we’ve been seeking with the Congressman himself.

ACA Repeal

Steve seemed sure that the Senate’s proposed ACA repeal-only bill would lack enough votes to pass, but confirmed that, if it did, there was no counterpart House bill it could be linked with to move on to the president’s desk.

Planned Parenthood (and comment about Trump Cabinet)

I asked why Planned Parenthood is targeted as an add-on to every ACA-repeal bill so far; this seems to me like a maneuver to push through a political goal as an attachment to a broader bill people are paying more attention to. Steve said that, as far as he could tell, the targeting of PP was “political,” and part of a common practice of attaching controversial measures to bills which have a better chance of passing than the measure would alone. 

I noted that Rodney’s second-round vote for the AHCA would damage PP by attacking Medicaid funding, and that there seemed to be no reason for Rodney to have departed from his former votes in favor of PP funding other than loyalty to GOP party hierarchy. Steve said, “That’s an issue that has passionate people on both sides.” I replied that *abortion* is an issue that has passionate people on both sides, but that is not relevant to PP funding since no federal funds have gone to abortion in many years now. I said that some surveys suggest that a majority even of Republican women are pro-choice, and that there has certainly been no surge in “pro-life” sentiment in the 11th District to coincide with Rodney’s withdrawal of PP support in the last two years; nationally the district was split almost 50/50 for Trump and Hilary (a factor Steve acknowledged), and with redistricting we’ve had an influx of liberal-leaning citizens in Essex County.

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The Rodney Report: Budgetary Blues

  • Rodney’s healthcare: bad for constituents, bad for New Jersey, bad for the country; higher cost, higher taxes and worse care: What’s not to like?
  • Republicans’ Family Planning Problemcranky-rodney.jpg
  • Environmental Spending: A Budgetary Scavenger Hunt
  • From Russia With Lots (and Lots) of Love
  • Equine Slaughter

 

“Don’t tell me what you value,” Vice President Joe Biden famously said. “Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value”  Rep. Frelinghuysen’s moment of truth to show what he values is here as Appropriations bills are coming out of their sub-committees establishing the nation’s budget and showing us what those with power value.

 

Rodney’s healthcare: bad for constituents, bad for New Jersey, bad for the country; higher cost, higher taxes and worse care: What’s not to like?

Frelinghuysen’s Appropriations Committee has been hard at work this week dismantling an essential part of the ACA. The Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Services Bill “advances many other conservative priorities by cutting spending, zeroing out programs and maintaining pro-life policies.”

Specifically, the bill instructs the IRS to stop collecting penalties for people who do not have healthcare coverage, in other words to stop enforcing “the mandate.” Whatever eventually happens with new Healthcare laws in congress, this provision inflames the uncertainty and destabilizes insurance markets with the risk or perhaps the aim of dismantling Obamacare without a single vote to repeal.

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Rodney's Budget; A bad look for America

From the Subcommittee House Appropriation bills we see an agenda.

It calls for “defunding Obamacare,” cutting environmental protections, slashing family planning, and would serve school kids empty calories

During the past two weeks, the House Appropriations Committee, which Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen chairs, and its subcommittees have approved a series of spending bills for 2018. The draft bills will form Frelinghuysen’s budget that will go to the House for approval. While they largely reject most aspects of the President Trump’s infamous one-page “skinny bill,” they would:

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The Rodney Report: In the Absence of our Representative

  • Frelinghuysen Cheers Sneaky Move to Undermine Obamacare
  • Research and Renewable Energy slashed and burned, Clean Water Rule vaporized
  • We won’t have to vote for a ficus in 2018…

cranky-rodney.jpg 

Representative Frelinghuysen had to skip marching in any of the dozen Independence Day parades around the district last week as he was visiting the British Territory of Gibraltar for a “fact finding" tour. But what, if any, facts were found, or whether he missed his patriotic constituents in our Red White and Blue (and Purple), we do not know. He sent us no e-newsletter this week.  Will he be similarly silent as the evidence of cooperation between Russia and the President's family and campaign begins to glare? What would provoke definitive response from our congressman?  A return of a healthcare bill to the House? The elimination of renewable energy programs? Of Net Neutrality? Of Women's rights? We can ask.  And if answers are not forthcoming, we can ask the now four declared candidates who seek to oppose him.

The Rodney Report nevertheless persists, looking under the hood of a couple of bills coming out of the Appropriation subcommittees and introducing you to the courageous woman and men who seek to challenge our absent Representative.

 

Frelinghuysen Cheers Sneaky Move to Undermine Obamacare

Unable to rally public support for the Senate’s Trumpcare bill,  which would result in millions of  uninsured Americans, the GOP devised a backdoor plan that would help dismantle Obamacare.

The House Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved a bill that would halt the IRS from enforcing Obamacare’s “individual mandate,’’ which requires those without insurance to pay a tax penalty to the IRS. Although the tax is dependent on income and other factors, the cost averaged about $470 for those who failed to obtain minimum essential coverage.

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