Weekly Newsletter: January 28th, 2015
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Congressman MacArthur's Weekly Newsletter
A few weeks into my first term representing New Jersey's Third Congressional District, I'm proud to report that things have been going very well. I came to Washington to work with both Republicans and Democrats to bring jobs and opportunity back to South Jersey, and so far we've been doing just that.
Here are a few highlights I wanted to share with you, including a Tele-Town Hall I am hosting tonight:
- Telephone Town Hall – Tonight at 6:05 PM
- Hire More Heroes Act
- Strengthening the Joint Base
- Serving South Jersey Seniors
- Committee Assignments
- Around the District
- Honoring South Jersey Navy Veteran Daniel Frieson
Telephone Town Hall - Tonight at 6:05 PM
Tonight, Wednesday January 28th, at 6:05 PM, I'll be hosting a telephone town hall, where you can call in and talk with me directly about issues we're working on in Congress. You can get more details and RSVP by clicking here. If you can't make this one, don't worry. I plan to conduct these types of meetings often and be very accessible and accountable to all of my constituents.
Hire More Heroes Act
One of my top priorities in Congress is to be a voice advocating for the 65,000 veterans who call the Third District home. That's why I was pleased that the first bill the House passed this session was the Hire More Heroes Act, a measure that will encourage small businesses to hire veterans. This was the first bill I co-sponsored as a Member of Congress, and it really was a bipartisan approach to taking care of those who served our country. You can read more about the bill by visiting my Facebook page.
Strengthening the Joint Base
A few weeks ago, there was some talk in the Pentagon about including another round of base closures in their FY2016 budget request. This would be a terrible mistake. The last time this happened in 2005, the process ended up costing taxpayers $14 billion more than originally promised, and the projected savings have been reduced by 73%. Spending more money and getting worse results is not a recipe for success.
Moreover, reducing our military capabilities with all that is going on in the world today strikes me as shortsighted and dangerous. The Joint Base is the second largest employer in New Jersey, responsible for over 105,000 jobs and an annual $7 billion economic impact on our region. For all those reasons, I'm spearheading an effort calling on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to abandon a new BRAC and protect military bases like Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst from closure.
You can read more about my efforts by clicking here.
Serving South Jersey Seniors
Southampton Mayor Jim Young and other community leaders reached out to me recently about a new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rule that is hurting South Jersey seniors and costing taxpayers more money.
The federal government decided last year that any new ambulance providers would not get paid for transporting Medicare patients in the Philadelphia area. While they were appropriately targeting for-profit ambulance companies abusing the system, they wrongly punished a non-profit, volunteer EMS team in Southampton who is now no longer getting paid for picking up Medicare patients. If this rule doesn't change, Southampton will have to contract with a more expensive EMS team, and Medicare patients might have problems getting picked up by ambulances or getting access to care.
While it is encouraging that CMS is trying to weed out waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid, this ban on new providers is not working for South Jersey. I'm teaming up with Senator Cory Booker on this issue – you can read more about what we're doing by clicking here.
Though I knew which committees I would be on before this session of Congress started, some of my subcommittee assignments were just announced.
I'm pleased to share that on the Natural Resources Committee, I'll serve on the Subcommittee on Water, Power, and Oceans. That Subcommittee is of particular importance as I look at ways to help Ocean County continue to recover from Superstorm Sandy, but it's also a good place to work on helping our commercial and recreational fishing industries. I'll also be on the Subcommittee on Federal Lands, which will be useful as we work on preserving and protecting the New Jersey Pinelands. You can read more about my appointments by clicking here.
My subcommittees have not yet been announced for the House Armed Services Committee, but I'm hoping to get assigned to the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land, which will help me advocate for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, and the Subcommittee on Personnel, which oversees things like Tricare and benefits for the men and women of our Armed Forces. I'll be sure to keep you posted as we learn more.
Around the District
Every weekend and constituent work period, I'm back home in New Jersey meeting with and listening to constituents all across Burlington and Ocean Counties. Here are just some of the things I did over the last couple of weeks!
I visited with congregants and community leaders at Second Baptist Church in South Toms River to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I stopped by Coastal Volunteers in Medicine to hear about how their free clinic works to increase access to health care and discuss health care legislation.
Honoring South Jersey Navy Veteran Daniel Frieson
Last week, I was honored to recognize Marlton resident Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Frieson, who passed away on January 13th. CWO Officer Frieson was one of South Jersey's last living Pearl Harbor survivors, and a truly remarkable man. You can read my tribute to CWO Frieson by clicking here, and learn more about his life by reading this Courier Post article.
Stay in Touch
Thank you for keeping up with my work in Congress. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, thoughts, or comments that you'd like to share with me. You can email me by clicking here, or calling my Washington office at (202) 225-4765.
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