WESTFIELD, N.J. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today announced his congressional offices have successfully closed its 4000th constituent casework request. Constituent cases are opened by Lance’s staff when residents ask the office for assistance and are experiencing difficulties with federal agencies such as the IRS, Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, the State Department or any other federal agency. Lance’s staff works as an advocate for the constituent until a successful resolution.
“Too often important matters such as Veterans Affairs benefits, Social Security checks and passport requests get lost somewhere in the federal bureaucracy. The job of our casework managers is to help residents get the services or assistance they are entitled to. I encourage all residents experiencing difficulty with a federal agency to use my office as a resource,” said Lance.
A few success stories:
Casework success: 94 year-old veteran gets hospice care
A Union County veteran tried for weeks to get hospice care from the Veterans Administration. Lance casework managers discovered errors made by the V.A. that was preventing this veteran from getting the services he was entitled to. When pointed out to V.A. staff the veteran was admitted to hospice care the next day.
Casework savings: $22,000 in one case alone from the Veterans Administration
A Somerset County veteran contacted our office for assistance with his stalled dependency claim and benefits/compensation claim. Lance casework managers were able to escalate his case and clear the way for payment. Thousands of dollars have been recouped by caseworker managers’ diligence.
Casework savings: $300,000 in total missed earnings from Social Security Administration
A Hunterdon County constituent had been waiting for a decision on his Social Security case. Our caseworkers made an inquiry, submitted additional information to the file and determined that his situation warranted an expeditious resolution. This story has played out on almost a weekly basis.
Casework success: Received never awarded military medals
A Korean War veteran from Somerset County never received several military medals and ribbons he was awarded during his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Our office arranged for medals to be awarded and gathered with local veterans for a ceremony to present them to the veteran.
Casework success: $65,000 saved by correcting IRS error
A Union County family was billed $65,000 from the IRS in mistaken liens. Our caseworkers advocated for them until there was a successful resolution.
Residents in need of assistance should call Lance’s Westfield District Office at (908)518-7733 or Flemington District Office at (908)788-6900. Lance’s offices can assist with problems with the IRS, missing or incorrect figures from Social Security, assistance with passports and visas and a number of veterans related services including health care and pensions, treatment access and receiving service medals that were lost, stolen or never-awarded.Read More
BRIDGEWATER, N.J.--- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today joined BioNJ President & CEO Debbie Hart at the Center of Excellence at Bridgewater to announce the creation of the Congressional Life Science Caucus. Peter Cocoziello, President & CEO of Advance Realty, welcomed Lance as he outlined how the Caucus will serve as a bipartisan working group dedicated to educating Members of Congress, federal stakeholders and other industries on the legislative goals of the life science sector – a major jobs engine in New Jersey and the hub for many 21st century advancements in biotechnology, diagnostic and medical devices, digital health, agriculture and renewable energy.
“New Jersey depends on the life science sector and the world depends on its innovation. From health care to energy needed to power the 21st century economy, the life science sector is vital to the health, wellness, safety and advancement of our Nation and world. The work done right here in Bridgewater will help craft the solutions to some this century’s most pressing challenges,” Lance told the employees and backers of the Caucus that assembled in Bridgewater. “The life science industries have decided to call New Jersey home because of our well-educated work force and support of their mission. The job of the Congressional Life Science Caucus will be to empower and give these industries the support of the public sector. New Jersey and the world are counting on them.”
“BioNJ commends Congressman Leonard Lance on his decision to co-found the Congressional Life Science Caucus, along with Congressman Scott Peters,” said Debbie Hart, President & CEO of BioNJ. “Congressman Lance has been instrumental in developing and supporting the life science ecosystem in New Jersey, home to one of the nation’s largest biotech clusters. He knows the importance of the industry that is bringing new treatments and cures to patients around the world, as well as contributing substantially to New Jersey’s economy. We are proud that he will play such an important role in supporting the industry nationally as well as in his home state of New Jersey.”
Dr. Stuart Peltz, CEO of PTC Therapeutics and board member for BioNJ, made a detailed presentation on the work being accomplished across the State in the life science field. State Senator Kip Bateman (LD-16) was also in attendance for the announcement.
In Congress, Lance has stressed greater investment in life science research and development to foster innovation and growth, bring life-saving treatments to patients, promote cleaner manufacturing processes and energy and keeping America competitive. Lance represents many businesses and their employees who work and invest in research and development and who contribute to the innovation economy. Lance also sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Health Subcommittee, which has broad jurisdiction over federal agencies and policies important to health care, medical research and the life sciences sectors.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today voted for H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act — legislation that would be a first step in strengthening the vetting system for Syrian and Iraqi refugees being admitted to the United States.
“The first responsibility of the federal government is to secure the homeland and keep the American people safe. And with the recent horrific terrorist attacks in Paris and growing threats against American cities like New York and Washington, D.C., it is now more critical than ever that the United States Congress act immediately to suspend the President’s refugee resettlement program until an effective vetting and monitoring process is in place that ensures the safety of the American people,” said Lance.
H.R. 4038 — passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 289 to 147 — sets in place new standards for vetting Syrian or Iraqi refugees:
•Certification: Iraq and Syria refugees only admitted if Nation’s top security officials — Secretary of the Homeland Security, FBI Director and Director of National Intelligence — certifies to Congress that each refugee is not a security threat with monthly reporting to all 12 congressional committees.
•Background Investigation: FBI Director administers thorough background investigations. Refugee not admitted until Director certifies that individual received a background investigation that is sufficient to determine if refugee is not a security threat to the United States.
•IG Review Certification: DHS Inspector General shall conduct a risk based review of all certifications and provide an annual report detailing its findings to the appropriate committees.
Lance’s vote today comes on the heels of his call to President Obama earlier in the week to halt immediately admissions of refugees from Syria and Iraq to the United States until a more comprehensive strategy to address the Syrian refugee crisis and defeat ISIS is developed. The 7th District lawmaker is a cosponsor of two measures (H.R. 3314 and H.R. 3573) that would halt all of the President’s refugee resettlement plans pending a comprehensive review by the Governmental Accountability Office of the program’s costs and effectiveness of its screening, monitoring and security procedures. And Lance also signed a letter to House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) requesting that the year-end spending bill feature language to defund refugee resettlement.
“The threat of ISIS is not contained as the President has suggested. It is not going away. So until there is a certification process in place to prevent terrorist threats in America, the Syrian and Iraqi resettlement program should be paused,” concluded Lance.Read More
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) tonight released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 1737, the Reforming Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act, and H.R. 1210, the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act:
“New rules and regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have put unnecessary burdens on hard-working families trying to achieve the American Dream of home and car ownership. Tonight’s action by the House will make loans more accessible and affordable to millions of Americans by getting CFPB government bureaucrats off the backs of community banks and credit unions lenders,” said Lance after the votes.
H.R. 1210 targets a bureaucratic rule that ties of the hands of community hands with complicated mortgage rules. The Independent Community Bankers Association reports that 73% of community bankers have decreased their mortgage business or completely stopped providing mortgage loans due to the expense of complying with the regulatory burden. H.R. 1737, a measure Lance cosponsored, provides more opportunities for consumers to receive the best financing available to purchase an automobile.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today announced that Americans for Tax Reform is backing his measure that will open the secret taxpayer-funded reports compiled by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to the public. Lance authored H.Res. 34, which will finally open CRS reports after over a century of being kept from public access.
“Taxpayers pay for these reports but cannot read them. It is past time that taxpayers get to use what they are paying for. At least $100 million dollars every year goes to funding valuable public information that countless people would find useful for school work, research or general information but they are shut out from having access to it. I am pleased the Americans for Tax Reform organization is joining this fight for taxpayers,” said Lance.
“Rep. Lance’s bipartisan bill creates a publicly accessible electronic database for CRS reports, similar to what is already available to those working in Congress,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, in a letter to members of Congress. “This is a common sense proposal that will increase transparency, give taxpayers greater access to important information, and enrich public knowledge. I urge you to work to lift this outdated, unnecessary rule and allow CRS reports into the public domain.”
“Lobbyists and special interests have no trouble getting their hands on these reports. I thank ATR for using its platform to fight for fairness and transparency,” added Lance.
Lance’s measure is currently before the Committee on House Administration. Lance and his bipartisan co-author, Rep. Michael Quigley (IL-05), have succeeded in bringing attention to the issue after years of inaction by Congress and CRS.
Give public access to Congressional research reports (Lance and Quigley, The Hill)
The publicly funded reports you can’t read (Samuelson, Politico)
15 reasons CRS reports should be public (Kosar, R Street)
Trying to crack open Congress’s confidential think tank after a century of secrecy (Rein, Washington Post)Read More
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today said he will support legislation to suspend President Obama’s plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States.
“As elected officials in Congress our first priority must be to protect our homeland and our citizens from harm. The horrific attacks in Paris warn us yet again that ISIS is not contained as our President has claimed. And with the current conflict raging in the Middle East, we cannot be certain that all individuals seeking refuge from that region pose no threat to the American people.
“Reliable intelligence is unavailable about refugees from countries like Syria attempting to enter the United States. In fact, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has acknowledged gaps remain in the screening process for Syrian refugees attempting to relocate into the U.S.
“That’s why Congress must act immediately to suspend the President’s refugee resettlement program until an effective vetting and monitoring process is in place that ensures the safety of the American people. If the President will not act; Congress must,” said Lance.
Lance has called on President Obama to halt immediately admissions of refugees from Syria and Iraq to the United States until a more comprehensive strategy to address the Syrian refugee crisis and defeat ISIS is developed. The 7th District lawmaker is a cosponsor of two measures (H.R. 3314 and H.R. 3573) that would halt the President’s refugee resettlement plan pending a comprehensive review by the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) of the program’s costs and effectiveness of its screening, monitoring and security procedures.
Lance will be attending a classified brief later this afternoon with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI Director James Comey to discuss the Paris terrorist attacks.Read More
FLEMINGTON, N.J.— Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today encouraged students in the Seventh Congressional District to participate in the second annual House Student App Challenge. The contest invites high school students from across the Nation to create software applications, or “apps,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.
“The app contest showcases the innovative ideas of New Jersey students. I hope many take advantage of this nationwide event to demonstrate their creativity and technical savvy,” said Lance a member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee. “This exciting competition will challenge students to build or expand their interest in science, technology, engineering and math education and compete with other student leaders across the country.”
The competition is designed to engage student’s creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields. The contest is free and open to all high school students in grades 9 through 12 who reside in the Seventh Congressional District of New Jersey. All work must be original in concept, design and execution.
Students who would like to participate should contact Ryan McDevitt in Lance’s Washington Office for further details at 202-225-5361 or visit Congressional App Challenge.Read More
Every year on Veterans Day I look forward to the ceremonies across New Jersey that celebrate those who served in defense of our great nation. These community events are always filled with proud family members, grateful residents and a patriotic spirit that shows the veterans our tremendous appreciation for their service to the nation.
In May, Memorial Day commemorates the lives lost in service to our country, while Veterans Day honors all those who served. But a salute, a show of gratitude or a thank you to our nation’s heroes should be our practice year-round and certainly is a major point of my focus in Congress. From education and job training, to high-quality health care, I’m committed to ensuring that veterans receive what they have earned and have ample opportunities outside of the armed services.
Several reforms that passed the House of Representatives deliver on this vision:
• For the first time, veterans are able to seek private care outside the Veterans Administration (VA). Major reforms we passed last year made it so that veterans could apply for private care through the Choice Program if they are unable to get an appointment from the VA or do not live close to a VA facility. Recent data shows that 65 percent of eligible veterans have chosen this private program over VA services.
• And more veterans will be able to take advantage of private care because of changes we recently made to cut red tape and expand eligibility for the Choice Program. We also directed the VA to come up with a plan to consolidate all of its private care programs into a single, stronger Choice Program. This is good government, and could lead to even better and faster care for veterans.
• Veterans now have better access to mental health resources. This law is designed to help prevent veteran suicides, which occur at a heart-breaking rate. It is named in honor of Clay Hunt, a decorated Marine who struggled with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
• It is now easier for veterans to find good-paying jobs. The Hire More Heroes Act, a top priority for the new Congress, gives small businesses incentives to hire veterans by offering relief from ObamaCare mandates. It was the first jobs bill that the House passed this year.
• We increased funding to tackle the VA claims process. Congress mandated prioritizing ending the disability claims backlog and improving the transfer of health care records while rescinding $41 million from VA performance bonuses.
· The VA Secretary now has the authority to discharge or demote senior executives who are failing our veterans. When the VA’s leaders insisted that they did not have the authority to take action against bureaucrats, terminations and accountability got held up by red tape. We took action and eliminated that excuse.
• Veterans will now be able to use a permanent ID card that proves their military service. Instead of making veterans carry around old forms that contain sensitive information, this will make it easier for veterans to get the services they need and provide more protection from identity theft.
• We saved New Jersey’s Vets4Warriors program. A one-size-fits-all mandate from the Pentagon nearly shuttered the successful Rutgers program. Vets4Warriors gives service members confidential assistance from peers where they can share life experiences and talk in highly effective ways. The Vets4Warriors program has had over 130,000 contacts with service members and their families.
• Veterans can also expect consistent cost-of-living-adjustments ensuring the compensation promised to them. We boosted disability compensation, support for surviving spouses and families and added additional funds to meet everyday needs.
• And we created the first Thrift Savings Plan program that rewards all service members for timed served regardless of length of service.
This Veterans Day let us reflect on the brave young men and women a world away from home, separated from friends and loved ones and the comforts of everyday life. May God keep them safe and let them come home to the embrace of a grateful Nation.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07), member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement after the Obama Administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline:
“Rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline harms American consumers, American workers and our largest trading partner and ally Canada while helping our adversary China, which will undoubtedly benefit from the flow of Canadian crude west instead of into the United States. The President’s decision today is irresponsible and Congress must overturn it.”
Recent studies from the President’s own U.S. State Department outline some of the benefits that would come with the project, including more than 42,000 direct and indirect jobs including 3,900 construction jobs, and an estimated $3.4 billion boost to the economy. Two thorough environmental analyses also showed that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would have a minimal impact on the environment.Read More
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07), Vice Chair of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, released the following statement in reaction to the Obama Administration releasing the full text of the recently completed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement:
“For months I have urged President Obama to make his trade agenda more transparent and release the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) documents to the public for viewing because I have long believed that increased transparency gives the public, the experts and the press an opportunity to review the deal and allows for an honest public debate on the merits of TPP and the importance of free trade. And thanks to trade promotion authority legislation passed by the U.S. House earlier this year, the American public will now have the ability to review the details of the agreement that was released earlier today. I continue to reserve judgment on enactment of TPP and look forward to discuss final ratification in Congress with my constituents.”
The TPP text can be found at: https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/trans-pacific-partnership/TPP-Full-Text
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 126 to 302 against legislation necessary to complete negotiations on the President’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade initiative. Lance joined the majority in the House in voting against the legislation, saying, “Like many of my constituents, I support free trade and increasing good-paying jobs and economic growth in New Jersey. I voted against reauthorizing Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) as part of the debate on the President’s TPP trade negotiations because my constituents also want trade agreements that are transparent and good for American workers and American taxpayers. My vote sends a very clear message to President Obama that we can do better in these areas.”Read More
133 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Leonard Lance was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2008 and reelected to a third term on November 6, 2012 to represent New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District.
As a result of the 2011 congressional redistricting process the 7th Congressional District now includes parts of Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union and Warren counties as well as all of Hunterdon County.
Prior to coming to Congress, Lance served as a member of the New Jersey State Senate beginning in 2002, where he represented the 23rd Legislative District. He held the position of Minority Leader of the Senate from 2004 to 2008.
Lance was sworn in as a Member of Congress on January 6, 2009 and was appointed to the House Financial Services Committee, where he worked on a wide range of issues relating to the financial services sector and the American economy.
In 2011 Congressman Leonard Lance left the House Financial Services Committee and has been appointed to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The Committee on Energy and Commerce has a broad legislative jurisdiction including national energy and environmental policy, health and health facilities, interstate and foreign commerce, consumer affairs and consumer protection, and travel and tourism.
As a member of the powerful committee Lance will play a greater role in protecting and growing jobs in New Jersey’s energy, life sciences and telecommunication sectors.
Before his election to the State Senate Lance served in the New Jersey General Assembly for 11 years (1991-2002), where he chaired the Budget Committee.
As a member of the State Legislature Lance led the fight against borrowing without voter approval. In 2004 he successfully sued Governor James McGreevey on the issue before the State Supreme Court and in 2008 New Jersey voters approved the “Lance Amendment” to the State Constitution, which requires all future borrowing to be approved by the voters. Lance also authored the successful effort to require funding for open space preservation and he was the prime sponsor of the measure that established funds for the New Jersey Cultural Trust.
Leonard Lance was the third generation of his family to serve in the New Jersey State Legislature, following his great-uncle, H. Kiefer Lance, and his father, Wesley L. Lance.
Lance was born in 1952 and raised in Hunterdon County, where he attended North Hunterdon Regional High School. Lance received a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a law degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University.
Lance served as the law clerk to the Warren County (NJ) Court in 1977 and 1978. He was assistant counsel for county and municipal matters to Governor Thomas H. Kean from 1983 to 1990. He has been a member of the New Jersey Council on the Humanities and a trustee of the Newark Museum, McCarter Theatre in Princeton and Centenary College in Hackettstown.
He is married to Heidi A. Rohrbach and they have a son, Peter Frank, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. The Lances reside in Clinton Township.
Congressman Leonard Lance Highlights ATR Support for CRS Transparency https://t.co/rjiAnUl9u1
Oral parity legislation must pass Congress and become the law of the land to help those cancer patients whose treatments are still out of reach.
Heidi & I send our heartfelt prayers to Anita Ashok Datar's family & all the victims of the Mali terrorist attack. https://t.co/QLzNf1gtnB
Retweeted Nathan Leamer (@nathan_leamer): Great to see @RepLanceNJ7 speaking out for CRS transparency, citing @taxreformer's support
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) Supports Lance Legislation to Make CRS Available to the Public https://t.co/X8AmA0kQQq