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eNews - May 9, 2008

What's Inside

1. Pushing bi-partisan energy solutions
2. Don't play politics with funding for our troops!
3. 83 days later and the Senate-passed FISA has not been considered in the House
4. Frelinghuysen co-sponsors bills designed to boost housing
5. New Protections for America's "intellectual property"
6. 10 new Officers for the United States Army

Pushing bi-partisan energy solutions

A long-time supporter of more effective renewable energy programs, Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation designed to break the Congressional stalemate on the extension of renewable energy tax credits, which expire at the end of the year.

"I have publicly urged the Democratic and Republican Leadership of the House to stop the finger-pointing and work together to develop solutions to the energy crisis that is developing in this country," Frelinghuysen said. "They can start by passing the bi-partisan Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act of 2008."

H.R. 5984 would extend critical tax incentives such as the production tax credit for electricity produced from renewable sources like wind, biomass, hydropower, and geothermal and the 30 percent investment credit for businesses that install solar or fuel cell equipment. In addition, the bill extends a set of effective energy efficiency programs that 1) give homeowners tax credits for installing energy efficient furnaces, windows and insulation; 2) that allows builders a tax deduction for going the "extra mile" and building more energy efficient new homes; 3) that help businesses make energy efficient improvements to commercial buildings; and 4) that encourage appliance manufacturers to produce the next generation of energy saving appliances.

Don't play politics with funding for our troops!

The House of Representatives this week postponed consideration of a critically important supplemental appropriations bill designed to support deployed warfighters fighting the global war on terror in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

If the Majority leadership continues to "play politics" with this funding, 490,000 active duty military troops will face the prospect of no paycheck in June and 300,000 military families could lose their housing benefits - in effect rewarding the service of our soldiers and their families with IOUs and eviction notices.

The Department of Defense sent its original request for funding to Congress almost 450 days ago. The nation's top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said this week "We need [the supplemental appropriations bill] very badly before the Memorial Day recess."

"By running this legislation down to the wire, the Majority leadership hopes to jam through extraneous spending that has nothing to do with the global war on terror, our troops, or with homeland security," said Rep. Frelinghuysen. "This dangerous strategy could harm the safety of our men and women in uniform and damage our national security."

83 days later and the Senate-passed FISA has not been considered in the House

The Protect America Act expired 83 days ago and as a result, the House Majority Leadership has left America at significant risk and potentially blind to new terrorist plots. Our intelligence agencies have lost critical tools that protect our national security and keep us safe at home.

There were reports this week that conservative Democrat House members may soon back Republican efforts to bring the bi-partisan Senate-passed FISA bill up for as vote in the House before Memorial Day.
Frelinghuysen co-sponsors two bills designed to boost housing
In an effort to boost the sagging housing market, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen has cosponsored two pieces of legislation

"The best way out of the housing crisis is to get Americans purchasing homes again. The housing market needs a jump-start, not a bail-out," said Rep Frelinghuysen.

To that end, he has cosponsored a market-based plan (H.R. 5974) that will help restore the promise of homeownership by stabilizing housing prices, reducing housing inventory, and providing incentives to buyers. The proposal features a one-time tax credit equal to 10% of the purchase price of a primary residence - up to $10,000.

Because reform and transparency must be front and center in any efforts to stabilize the housing market, Frelinghuysen has also cosponsored (H.R. 5857), the Homeownership Protection and Housing Market Stabilization Act of 2008. The bill includes Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reform, resources to crack down on mortgage fraud, funding for housing counseling, and other changes that can start helping homeowners NOW. It also provides liability protection for lenders that help struggling homeowners to refinance and eventually repay their loans.

Through improved disclosure, lender registration, and higher appraisal standards, this bill would begin to address the underlying causes of the subprime mess. It will ensure that borrowers have access to legitimate loans, that they understand the terms of their loan, and that they are taking a loan they can afford based on the actual value of the house.

New Protections for America's "intellectual property"

The House of Representatives Thursday approved legislation (H.R. 4279) designed to improve federal efforts to halt piracy and counterfeiting of American-owned intellectual property, including scientific inventions, pharmaceuticals and artistic works. Among its provisions, the bill would provide the President with a new coordinator for intellectual property issues. The bill also would also increase penalties for violations and establish an Intellectual Property Enforcement Division at the Justice Department to pursue piracy and counterfeiting.

"Intellectual property is one of the key products that will determine how well American industry can compete and win in the global marketplace in years to come," said Frelinghuysen. "This effort is another step toward ensuring its protection and our competitive edge."

10 New Officers for the United States Army

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen participated this afternoon in commissioning ceremonies for ten new officers completing the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program at Seton Hall University.

Frelinghuysen, an Army veteran, congratulated the new officers, "Most of you were still in high school when terrorists brought death and destruction to America's streets on September the 11th, 2001. The main attack from the sky occurred just a few short miles to the east of us. You understood that the cause of freedom would soon depend on your willingness to step forward to defend it. And when it came time to be counted, each of you volunteered, knowing full well the risks involved in the service of a "Nation at war."

"I salute your decision to serve and I congratulate you on your achievement."

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