eNews - July 25, 2008
1. Frelinghuysen Visits Troops in Iraq
2. Opposes Federal Bailout
3. Focuses on Energy Solutions
4. House Passes Legislation to Fight Disease Worldwide
5. Spread the eNews
Frelinghuysen Visits Troops in Iraq
This past weekend, Rep. Frelinghuysen made his fourth trip to Iraq to visit U.S. troops. There he met with and was briefed by General David Petraeus, Multi-National Force-Iraq Commander on the state of "surge" strategy that was adopted in February of 2007. He also met with US. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, an Arabic speaker and former Ambassador to Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, and Pakistan.
Yesterday, the Morris County Daily Record ran an article about the visit saying:
"The strategy has worked. I always call it reinforcements; somehow it's got characterized as 'the surge,'" Frelinghuysen said. "There are some positive developments in Iraqis actually stepping up to the plate."
More Iraqi soldiers are being trained, he said, and the police forces also are improving. Violence is down because the flow of insurgents from outside Iraq, from countries such as Syria, has slowed considerably, and U.S. and Iraqi forces are dismantling al-Qaida in Iraq.
Making his fourth trip to Iraq, Frelinghuysen left last Thursday and returned on Monday. He traveled with five other House members, including the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. David Obey, D-Wis. Frelinghuysen is a member of that committee, which decides federal spending levels.
To read the entire article, visit http://frelinghuysen.house.gov/
Opposes Federal Bailout
The ongoing mortgage credit crisis, including higher foreclosure rates, is depressing the housing sector. Clearly, the vitality of this sector is a primary catalyst in an economy that expands and creates good jobs at good wages for Americans here at home.
On Wednesday, Frelinghuysen voted against a bill (H.R. 3221) that allows lenders to shift up to $300 billion of their worst loans to the taxpayer-backed Federal Housing Administration (FHA). It also establishes a new $4 billion grant program to let state and local governments buy foreclosed properties at the taxpayers' expense, a provision that could actually prolong the mortgage credit crisis.
Another provision which offers the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a direct investment of taxpayers' dollars raises troubling questions. The cost to taxpayers could range as high as $100 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
"The federal government can help the struggling housing market without making taxpayers liable for tens of billions of dollars of losses incurred by lenders who made bad loans," said Frelinghuysen. "We all share sympathy for those who have gotten themselves into a serious bind regarding their mortgages, but the answer is not found in a bailout at taxpayer expense. Congress should focus on regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, modernizing FHA, and cracking down on rogue elements in the mortgage industry, not a taxpayer funded bailout. And, the Chief Executive Officers of those Government Sponsored Enterprises, who earn $11(Fannie Mae) million and $18 million (Freddie Mac) respectively, should have been fired for their mismanagement."
Focuses on Energy Solutions
The energy challenges facing us are significant, but so are our collective talents and abilities to overcome these obstacles. Undeniably, in the short-term, American supplies of oil must be increased, and that will require more drilling. We can and we must find the appropriate locations here in the U.S. and use cutting-edge technologies to responsibly drill. And, we must take an inventory of all domestic and foreign reserves.
We need a comprehensive energy solutions. I support:
Ensuring that speculation in commodity markets is not artificially driving up the price of energy. I introduced legislation, H.R. 5768, which increases transparency and accountability;
Substantially boosting car mileage (CAFÉ) standards, while making vehicles affordable to average consumers;
Cutting home and business energy as best we can;
Making greater investments in solar, wind power, and other renewable energy sources.
Making the production of biofuels cost-competitive with gasoline, but end the costly ethanol mandate;
Building more nuclear power plants to produce usable electricity (New Jersey gets 48 percent of its power supply from nuclear);
Constructing more oil refineries. Consider using closed military bases for this purpose;
More domestic drilling in the United States to increase the supply of oil.
House Passes Legislation to Fight Disease Worldwide
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5501, the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act.
The legislation authorizes the President's five year Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The program was first authorized in 2003 and funds the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS as well as malaria throughout the world. The United Nations estimates that 33.2 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS.
"Of course there is a moral imperative here, but providing assistance to those struggling with disease throughout the world promotes our own security," said Frelinghuysen.