Weekly Newsletter: February 22nd, 2015
What a great week back at home! I had the opportunity to speak to and meet with a number of groups over this constituent work period. One of the major themes I talked about at some of those events was my responsibility to listen. Our government is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and like it says in my title – I’m here to represent you! With that in mind, I’d encourage you to share your thoughts on current events by emailing me on my website.
- Defense Secretary Carter – Come to the Joint Base!
- Commitment to National Defense
- Encouraging Job Creation
- Honoring Mayor Oscar Cradle
- Around the District
Defense Secretary Carter – Come to the Joint Base!
This week, Ashton Carter was sworn in as our next Secretary of Defense, responsible for overseeing the Pentagon and our Armed Forces. As he settles into his new role, I’ve invited him to come tour Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and learn why this installation is so crucial to not only South Jersey, but to our national security. You can read my letter here.
Commitment to National Defense
As we move into the time of year when budgets are being drafted, I've been thinking a lot about our defense spending. Military investment in our country has fallen from a peacetime average of 6% of GDP since WWII, to less than 3% today. From 2010 through 2016 we will have cut defense spending by $232 billion or 30%. I'm gravely concerned that continuing to gut our military and slash defense spending will put us less capable to handle the evolving threats we face around the world today. I plan on being vocal opponent of further defense cuts through my seat on the House Committee on Armed Services.
This week, the House Committee on Armed Services will hold one of our first hearings on the President's request to use military force against ISIS. Ahead of that hearing, I read an informative article in the Atlantic on the dangers of the Islamic State, which I want to share with you. Read more by clicking here.
Encouraging Job Creation
One of my top priorities coming into Congress was to work on and pass bills that will create jobs and help grow our economy. I'm pleased to report that out of the 42 bills we passed in our first six weeks, the majority of them will do just that!
We've tackled job creation from several angles. For example, the Save American Workers Act will protect part-time employees from seeing their hours cut due to Obamacare, while the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act will ease bureaucratic and regulatory burdens on small businesses, freeing them up to grow and expand.
I'm looking forward to passing many more bills like these in the future, but in the meantime, you can see a recap of what we've done by checking out this list - "17 Reasons the New Congress is Off to a Good Start."
Honoring Mayor Oscar Cradle
February is Black History Month, and in recognition of that, I wanted to do something in honor of someone who has given so much to our community. Oscar Cradle, Mayor of South Toms River, has led a full and impressive life. I’m honored to know him, and was glad to have the opportunity to recognize him in the official Congressional Record. Click here to read what I submitted about Oscar.
Do you know other community leaders who have gone above and beyond? Tell me about them by emailing me here.
Around the District
Many thanks to the AARP for hosting a telephone town hall with hundreds of their members! I spoke with attendees in Mt. Laurel and over the phone about my commitment to preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare for our seniors and those nearing retirement.
I had a very productive meeting with the Military Officers Association of America, where we discussed policies affecting military officers and their families during active duty and retirement.
I was honored to have the chance to address the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s annual Walk to Washington gathering.
Ran into the New Jersey Association of County Engineers at Mastoris in Bordentown.