Leonard Lance

Leonard Lance


Ratifying the Bill of Rights: New Jersey Leads the Way


Ratifying the Bill of Rights: New Jersey Leads the Way By Congressman Leonard Lance in The Official NJ350 Blog Editor’s Note: On November 20, 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights – the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. This year, as we celebrate the 350th anniversary of the founding of New Jersey, we also celebrate the 225th anniversary of our state’s quick work to embrace these fundamental American freedoms. How appropriate that New Jersey was the first state in the new nation to ratify the Bill of Rights. That distinction is a fitting keystone in our state’s 350-year history of serving as the crucible for American innovation, enterprise, and culture and our prized role on the forefront of American history: from the crossroads of the American Revolution to the cutting-edge of the 21st century. The freedoms and liberties ratified in the Bill of Rights are engrained in the American experience with a continuing appreciation that this opportunity has been maintained in war and peace. The Constitution and its Amendments are revered by our citizenry and emulated by countries around the globe that seek the same freedoms we have in the United States. The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, enhances personal freedoms, limits the strength and reach of government, and reserves powers to the states and the people. These rights preserve our sacred liberties and enable the free exercise of our beliefs, both political and religious, and strengthen the debate that has continuously moved our Nation forward from the 18th to the 21st century. The Bill of Rights continues to stand the test of time. Without the guiding hand of the Bill of Rights where would our Nation be? Where would we be if the suffragists, led by New Jersey’s own Alice Paul, could not assemble, Martin Luther King could not speak, The New York Times could not report, and citizens could not petition? Would the government and public servants still be accountable to the people, or would our citizens be in service to the government? Would the accused be able to defend themselves or would hysteria condemn the innocent? Would we have 50 laboratories of democracy or would the heavy hand of the federal capital attempt to control all levels of government? I can imagine how difficult writing and then ratifying the Bill of Rights must have been. My family has had a little experience in this area. My father, Wesley L. Lance, was a delegate to the convention that drafted New Jersey’s 1947 Constitution, which starts with a 21-point section on Rights and Privileges. (In fact, he was the last surviving of the 81 members of that convention when he died in 2007 at the age of 98.) He was called again to serve as a delegate to New Jersey’s 1966 Constitutional Convention, which dealt with reapportionment of the Legislature. Neither convention was without conflict and controversy. With so many variations in the American experience, with such great differences in perspective and so many cultural and geographic points of view, controversy and dissent are assured. Yet we have remained one country, one Nation, challenged, though still united under these guiding principles authored more than 200 years ago. The American experiment of representative democracy gains essential strength from the Bill of Rights. My tenure in the United States House of Representatives is guided by voices at my townhall meetings, correspondence to my offices, and petitions that support causes or issues that need the attention of the Congress. The process of building consensus to address the Nation’s challenges relies on a people confident in their ability to be heard, knowing their speech is protected and the power of government is in check. It is that confidence that has continually advanced the Nation as a whole. I am very proud as a Member of Congress and, more important than that, as a citizen of this great Republic, that New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights. Leonard Lance is the U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District. Prior to joining 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. Read More

Lance Statement on Executive Amnesty


WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) tonight released the following statement after President Obama’s announcement that he will use executive orders to shield millions from the Nation’s immigration laws: “President Obama has stretched his constitutional powers and his actions this evening have brought us closer to a constitutional confrontation.  Rather than work constructively with the new 114th Congress in January to reform our Nation’s broken immigration system, the President is awarding amnesty to millions of unlawful immigrants unilaterally in violation of the exclusive power of Congress to amend statutory law.  In response, my colleagues in both the U.S. House and the Senate will review all of the tools established by the Founders to restrain executive overreach, including the power of the purse and the authority to write legislation.  Litigation may be necessary to reaffirm the essential role of Congress under our system of checks and balances. Congress must not allow the President’s actions to stand unchallenged.” Earlier this week, Lance joined fellow Republican House members in calling on President Obama to work with Congress to pass immigration reform instead of moving forward with his expected executive amnesty.  In a letter to the President dated Tuesday, nearly three dozen Republicans lawmakers argued that executive action would hurt efforts to legislate the issue. “While Congress certainly understands the need for reforms to the current system, it is imperative that we work together to pass legislation that improves our immigration system, increases border security, and disincentives undocumented immigration from illegally entering the United States,”  they wrote.  “Any unilateral action taken by the Administration will impede our efforts.” The lawmakers referenced a Nov. 5 statement Obama made when asked about his executive actions following strong Republican gains in the midterm elections:  “I’ll be reaching out to both Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and other Republican as well as Democratic leaders to find out how it is that they want to proceed. And if they want to get a bill done -- whether it’s during the lame duck or next year -- I'm eager to see what they have to offer,” the President said, after asserting his plans to continue moving forward with executive actions before the end of the year. According to Lance and other members, Obama needs to work with Congress now and not hurt the prospect of immigration reform via the legislative process. “We ask that you deliver on your word and allow Congress to debate and vote on a bill for you to sign. We strongly encourage the Administration under your leadership, to work with the 114th Congress to pass sensible, long-term reforms to address our nation’s immigration issues. Our nation’s immigrants deserve concrete policies that become law after thorough discussions,”  the lawmakers concluded. Read More

Lance Reappointed Vice Chair of Energy and Commerce Subcommittee


Other assignments include major health care, telecommunications portfolio WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today announced he has been reappointed Vice Chair of the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 114th Congress.  He will also return to the Health Subcommittee and the Communications and Technology Subcommittee —assignments of great importance to New Jersey life sciences and telecommunication industries.  “The Energy and Commerce Committee has been the most productive committee in Congress, passing more bills into law than any other committee in either the U.S. House or Senate,”  said Lance.  "I look forward to continuing to be at the center of congressional efforts to create jobs, strengthen our manufacturing sector, spur economic growth and enact health care reforms that are affordable for all Americans." The Energy and Commerce Committee is the oldest standing legislative committee in the House of Representatives and is widely considered the most important due to its vast jurisdiction over the Nation's telecommunications, consumer protection, food and drug safety, public health research, environmental quality, energy policy and interstate and foreign commerce. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (MI-06) praised Lance as a workhorse.  “Leonard Lance is a valued member of the Energy and Commerce team, and as Vice Chairman of the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee he will once again play a significant role in the committee’s efforts to support job creation and economic growth."  Lance’s three subcommittee assignments will once again give the 7th District lawmaker a platform in which to advocate for many New Jersey interests.  The 7th Congressional District includes nearly 600 manufacturing facilities that employ 40,000 employees.  New Jersey is also the epicenter of the Nation’s life science sector with many issues coming before the influential Health Subcommittee, where Lance will remain the conduit between patient advocates and the rare disease community and companies working on new treatments and cures.  Major legislation is also expected in the new session that will update the Nation’s telecommunications infrastructure to create jobs,  harness the digital economy and keep the Internet free.  “My committee assignment will allow me to continue to champion patient centered health care, 21st century medical innovation and jobs bills that boost American-made energy and renew American manufacturing.  I am honored by this appointment.  Our work for the Nation will continue at an accelerated pace in the new session of Congress,” added Lance. Read More

Lance, Bucco Announce Drive for Operation Jersey Cares


NEW JERSEY -  Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today announced his district offices will serve as satellite drop-off locations for donations for Operation Jersey Cares, an organization that sends much needed items to our troops overseas.  Assemblyman Anthony Bucco is organizing a drive for many central New Jersey communities and using Lance’s Westfield and Flemington District Offices will allow many more to participate.  Collected items will be packaged in Raritan and shipped out in time for the holiday season.  Contributions are welcome immediately and will collected through Monday, November 24th.  Congressman Lance District Office Locations: 425 North Ave, East Westfield, New Jersey 07090 361 Route 31 (Unit 1400) Flemington, New Jersey 08822 Assemblyman Bucco District Office Location: 1040 Route 10, West Randolph, New Jersey 07869 Complete list of needed items: FOOD Beef Jerky/Turkey Jerky Granola Bars Slim Jims Breath Mints Gum Soup (cup of soup/soup at hand) Powdered drink mix Hot Chocolate Sugar/Coffee Cereal (single serving size) Kraft Easy Mac Tea Bags Cereal Bars/Pop Tarts Microwave Foods(non-perishable) Trail Mix Canned fruit/vegetables Mustard/ketchup/Ranch dressing/ Italian Dressing Tuna or Chicken (can or foil) Coffee Creamer Powdered Drink Mix Twizzlers Cookies (sandwich type) Pringles (cans only) Oatmeal Dried Fruits Pumpkin/Sunflower Seeds/Nuts Spam/Canned Meat (Chicken/Tuna/Vienna sausage)   TOILETRIES (NO GLASS CONTAINERS) Baby Powder First Aid Items Soap Bug Repellent Wipes Foot Powder-Foot Care Sunscreen Chap Stick/Lip Balm Hand Lotion Tissues Nail clippers Moisturizer Toilet Paper(individual) Dental Floss Q-Tips Toothbrush Deodorant (non-aerosol) Over the Counter Meds Toothpaste/ wisp Baby Wipes Razors (disposable) Waterless Hand Sanitizer Eye Moisture Drops Underwear/Undershirts Socks-boot socks/black or White on the bottom-black on top Feminine Hygiene Products Shaving Gel Cough Drops/Throat Drops   OTHER Batteries (AA and AAA) Playing Cards DVD Movies Zip Ties Phone Cards (International) Utility rings/hooks/rope Duct Tape Magazines Read More

Republican Israel Caucus Condemns Terrorist Attack


WASHINGTON, D.C. --- U.S. Representatives Leonard Lance (NJ-07), Peter Roskam (IL-06) and Doug Lamborn (CO-05), co-chairs of the Republican Israel Caucus, today released the following statement strongly condemning the terrorist attack in Jerusalem: “We are appalled to learn that another heinous act of violence has claimed more innocent lives in Israel.  The nature of this attack - targeting peaceful, innocent civilians during their morning prayers - is sickening and an affront to people of all faiths.  We call on the international community to join in our outrage and immediately condemn this act of terror and vow to bring the perpetrators to justice.”      Read More

Lance Backs Keystone Measure Citing Jobs, Security


WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today supported H.R. 5682, legislation that would approve the application for the Keystone XL Pipeline and has been promised a vote in the U.S. Senate as early as next week.   Today’s vote continues the record of the House Energy and Commerce Committee of moving legislation to the House Floor with strong bipartisan support, particularly efforts to harness American-made energy and jobs bills.  Today’s measure passed overwhelmingly 252-161. “Boosting American-made energy results in more American jobs and improved international relations.  It is a winning combination for our Nation’s economy and our national security.  The House has acted, again, to bring the benefits of energy production to American consumers and businesses and I hope the Senate moves with the same passion as the House to embrace this strategy and send this legislation to the President’s desk,” said Lance, a member of Energy and Commerce who has repeatedly supported the Keystone Pipeline as boon to American consumers and our relationship with our ally Canada.   Today’s vote marks the ninth time the House has taken action to move forward with this landmark jobs and energy project which has been the centerpiece of the Lance-championed ‘all-of-the-above energy strategy’ that will result in cleaner, safer and more affordable energy.  With a commitment from the Senate to move this legislation, today’s bill appears to be the most serious effort to force the President to make a decision regarding the project.  For six years the Administration has punted making a call on the project, despite the U.S. State Department’s final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement finding no serious environmental impact from Keystone’s construction.   “With strong bipartisan support in both Houses of Congress, the backing of labor and business and the demand of energy consumers and job-seekers, it is clear it is time to build the Keystone Pipeline,” concluded Lance.   Read More

Lance Statement On the Passing of Former State Senator Robert Littell


WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today released the following statement on the passing of former State Senator Robert Littell: “Heidi and I, and my twin brother Jim, extend our deepest sympathy to the entire Littell Family on the passing of Senator Robert Littell.  Ginnie, Alison and Luke are in our prayers. “The Littell Family and the Lance Family have known each other for at least 75 years. No more distinguished family has served New Jersey over the last century than the Littells.  The State has lost one of the true legislative giants of the second half of the 20th century.” Read More

Lance Statement on Veterans Day


FLEMINGTON, N.J. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today released the following statement celebrating our Nation's veterans: "Today we honor and remember all Americans who bravely stepped forward in service to our Nation.  Across the country at flag raisings, memorial fields and town halls we reflect on the bravery and courage of the American service members who throughout history have been a global force for good.  We as a Nation are grateful for the service of every veteran, treasure the memories of those lost in service and ask that God continue to bless those a world away." Read More

Lance Statement on Second Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy


FLEMINGTON, N.J.– Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ 07) this morning released the following statement on the two-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy: “From the shore to the suburbs to our biggest cities, nearly every New Jersey municipality was affected by Superstorm Sandy two years ago.  Today we remember how Americans came together to help families, friends and neighbors.  First responders answered the call to provide safety and comfort to those in need.  And federal, state and local elected officials worked hand-in-hand on the storm’s aftermath to help provide much needed federal disaster relief for the rebuilding efforts.  Today we recall the Herculean recovery and clean-up efforts of all of the first responders, volunteers, federal agencies and local governments who continue to work together to rebuild New Jersey and make it stronger than before.” Read More

Lance Honored As Champion for Manufacturing Jobs


WESTFIELD, N.J. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) has been named a ‘Champion of Manufacturing’ for his pro job-creating policies to rebuild the American manufacturing industry and for his work on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.  The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has awarded Lance the Manufacturing Legislative Excellence Award based on his votes in Congress and unyielding support for the estimated 18.6 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S. “By enacting pro-growth policies we will empower an American manufacturing renaissance that will create well-paying new jobs, higher wages for existing jobs and reaffirm the presence of American goods and services in the global market,” said Lance who has visited many New Jersey manufacturers to hear first-hand what tools they need from Washington to grow and hire.  “Lowering tax rates to compete globally, easing the burdens of regulations, leveraging American-made energy and providing economic incentives to start new projects all will facilitate the type of manufacturing backbone our economy needs.” “Manufacturers in New Jersey and throughout the United States are making a comeback, creating jobs, making more products and making them better than ever before,” said NAM Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse. “However, manufacturers are often disproportionately impacted by decisions made by policymakers in Washington. NAM is proud to stand with lawmakers like Congressman Leonard Lance who understand what is at stake and seek to implement policies that will foster innovation, growth and competitiveness.” The Seventh Congressional District includes nearly 600 manufacturing facilities that employ 40,000 employees.  According to NAM, policies on taxes, energy and trade make it 20 percent more expensive to do business in the United States which has a tremendous adverse effect on starting new companies and expanding existing ones.  NAM specifically cited Lance for voting to lower the corporate tax rate as the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate among major industrial nations. “The 21st century can be another century driven by American manufacturing if we work now to put smart policies in place,” concluded Lance. Read More

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Contact Information

133 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5361
Fax 202-225-9460

Committee Assignments

Energy and Commerce

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.

Serving With

Frank LoBiondo


Jon Runyan


Christopher Smith


Scott Garrett


Rodney Frelinghuysen


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