eNews - July 3, 2008
1. President Signs Supplemental Bill into Law
2. Frelinghuysen Speaks at Morristown National Historic Park
3. Tours Impact Instrumentation
4. Visits Operation New Hope
5. Happy Independence Day
President Signs Supplemental Appropriations Bill into Law
On Tuesday, President Bush signed the Supplemental Appropriations bill into law. The legislation proves $165 billion for ongoing military and humanitarian operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The legislation also includes a provision that significantly enhances and modernizes the GI Bill of Rights, providing improved educational benefits to our veterans, current service members, and their families.
"It's been a long time in coming, but this bill marks a major victory for our troops and their families," said Frelinghuysen. "Not only are we giving our dedicated warfighters the resources they need to fight and win in the Global War on Terror, we are also providing them and other veterans with a much-needed increase in educational benefits under a vastly improved GI Bill of Rights."
The provision improves benefits and allows servicemen and women to transfer education benefits to their wife or husband; daughter or son. Under the old law, the education benefits had to be used by the person who served.
The legislation also extends these benefits to the National Guard and Reserves, something not done under previous law.
"The GI Bill had not been updated substantially since 1984," said Frelinghuysen. "It is our responsibility to give current and former service members the best benefits we are able to provide. As a veteran, I know how important the GI bill is to those who serve, and I am pleased we have finally improved benefits for our troops and their families."
Speaks at Morristown National Historic Park
Rep. Frelinghuysen will speak tomorrow at ceremonies marking the 75th Anniversary of Morristown National Historic Park becoming part of the National Park Service.
Morristown National Historic Park is the headquarters of New Jersey's "Crossroads of the American Revolution." In 2006, Rep. Frelinghuysen authored legislation designating the Crossroads as a National Heritage Area to be included in the National Heritage Areas Act of 2005 and signed into law.
The "Crossroads of the American Revolution" links New Jersey's Revolutionary War sites and parks from across the state. National Heritage Areas have an incredibly positive impact on the regions within its boundaries. They provide educational benefits, a boost to historic preservation, economic advantages through tourism, and even opportunities to protect more open space.
Tomorrow's address will focus on the use Morristown National Historic Park by General George Washington during the American Revolution. During two winters, 1777 and 1779-1780, Washington and his troops set up encampments on land, which now makes up a great portion of the park.
Tours Impact Instrumentation
Continuing his longstanding tradition of visiting New Jersey employers, Rep. Frelinghuysen toured Impact Instrumentation in West Caldwell on Monday morning.
During the tour, Frelinghuysen was briefed on the company's cutting edge work on medical devices that help transport wounded soldiers from the battlefield. Following his briefings, he participated in a town hall meeting with employees. He took questions about issues before Congress including health care and energy.
Impact Instrumentation is a veteran owned small business that develops and manufactures medical respiratory devices. The company employs over 100 people at its headquarters in West Caldwell, New Jersey.
Visits Operation New Hope
On Wednesday, Rep. Frelinghuysen visited Operation New Hope at Somerville Depot. The program is part of the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) New Jersey Healthcare System.
Operation New Hope is staffed primarily by veterans who were formerly homeless. It supports events and homeless programs across the country and has provided over $100 million in excess Defense Department clothes and supplies to homeless veterans.
"The work done by Operation New Hope helps homeless veterans across the country," said Frelinghuysen. "I applaud the New Jersey Healthcare System for this initiative and, along with Hope for Veterans' at Lyons VA, we are doing more than ever to support those who need it more. I will continue to work to see that our needs of our nations' veterans are met."
In 2005, Frelinghuysen supported federal funding for the "Hope for Veterans" facility at Lyons VA, which houses, rehabilitates, and provides job training for homeless veterans.
Happy Independence Day
Tomorrow marks the 232nd anniversary of our nation's independence. To mark the occasion, Rep. Frelinghuysen will attend events in Florham Park, Morristown, and Randolph.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson:
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Have a safe and happy Independence Day.