The Week Just Passed: Syria
"I spent the part of today in the "secure spaces' of the U.S. Capitol in briefings by senior Obama Administration officials on Syria. What I heard confirmed my belief, and that of most of the world, that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the killing of over 1,400 men, women and children in a chemical weapons attack. However, what I did not hear was much clarity about the President's strategic military plans.
"Over the last two years, we've seen over one hundred thousand people die in Syria, millions of Syrian refugees fleeing to neighboring countries and an influx of various jihadist terrorist groups flooding in to the country.
"Like all Americans, I am horrified by the deaths of so many people who lost their lives in the sarin gas attack. But I do not believe that the President's plans will change the course of this civil war and I cannot vote to authorize his military strike.
"Many of you know that I traveled to the region last month. My visit confirmed that a clear lack of Presidential leadership has left our policies in this vital region in shambles: this Administration has virtually destroyed a valuable 30-year friendship with Egypt, allowed Iran to continue its march to a nuclear weapons capability, threatened the stability of Jordan and left our best friend in the region, Israel, incredibly vulnerable!"
"As Congress prepares for its formal debate on this request, the President will be addressing the nation on Tuesday evening. I will be listening, again, to hear how the President justifies his strategy."
Recommended Reading: George Will, writing in the Wednesday Washington Post, "Obama Seeks and Accomplice."
Recommended Reading: Charles Krauthammer, writing in today's Washington Post, "Unless he's serious, don't strike."
Recommended Reading: Retired Major General Robert H. Scales, writing in the Friday Washington Post, "A War the Pentagon Doesn't Want."
Mixed News from Today's Jobs Report
The Labor Department reported this morning that the nation's unemployment rate dipped slightly to a four-year low, but only because so many people dropped out of the labor force. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said that the number of Americans (16 years or older) who have decided to leave the nation's labor force has topped 90,000,000 for the first time.
A person is not participating in the labor force if they are 16 or older and have not sought a job in the last four weeks.
In July, according to BLS, 89,957,000 Americans did not participate in the labor force. In August, that climbed to 90,473,000 -- a one month increase of 516,000.
In January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, there were 80,507,000 Americans not in the labor force.
"In the weeks and months to come, Congress will have the opportunity and responsibility to pursue solutions that can build momentum for a stronger recovery and more jobs for more Americans." Rodney said. "Whether through pro-growth tax reform, a genuine effort to tackle the nation's debt, or protecting the American people from the more destructive aspects of Obamacare, we must work together on solutions that will promote economic opportunity."
Recommended Reading: Friday editorial in the Wall Street Journal, "Navigating Obamacare Outrage."
Salutes: Roseland Fire Department, Picatinny Arsenal
Congratulation to the Roseland Fire Department which celebrates its 100th Anniversary this weekend!
Happy Birthday to Picatinny Arsenal, the Department of Defense's Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition and an integral part of northern New Jersey's economy. The Arsenal was founded on September 6, 1880!
Save the Date: Rodney's Veterans Fair
Rodney is sponsoring a Veterans Fair on September 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Verona Community Center, 880 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona NJ 07044.
The event, co-hosted by the Township of Verona and the Cedar Grove Elks Veterans Service Committee, is designed to provide veterans -- men and women - with assistance in finding jobs and housing, as well as making decisions about their future in a challenging economy. Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs, county and state veterans service officers and other organizations will be on hand, along with local businesses who have made hiring veterans a priority.
For more information, please contact Rodney's Morristown office at 973-984-0711.
Follow Rodney on social media: @USRepRodney & https://www.facebook.com/rfrelinghuysen