Rodney P. Frelinghuysen is serving in his seventh term as the Representative for New Jersey's 11th Congressional District. In the 110th Congress, Rep. Frelinghuysen serves as New Jersey's senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and on two appropriations subcommittees: Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, of which he is the Ranking Member, and Defense. He is also a member of the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel.
Frelinghuysen represents 56 municipalities in the 11th Congressional District, including all those in Morris County as well as several surrounding communities in Sussex, Somerset, Passaic, and Essex Counties.
Throughout his service in Congress, Frelinghuysen has been a leader and tireless fighter for the people of New Jersey. For his efforts, The New York Times called him ï¿½New Jerseyï¿½s ï¿½go-to-guy.ï¿½ï¿½ He continues to focus on critical issues facing our state, including securing our homeland, expanding our mass transportation systems, preserving open space, creating jobs and supporting our veterans.
Frelinghuysen recognizes that there is no higher priority than ensuring our families, schools and places of business are safe. Especially since September 11, 2001, he has worked tirelessly to make the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area more secure. He has introduced the Smarter Funding for All of Americaï¿½s Security Act, which strictly adheres to the 9/11 Commissionï¿½s recommendations for changing the federal homeland security funding formula to address critical infrastructure, population density and unique security risks in New Jersey and other high threat areas. He continues to fight for increased funding to protect our ports, trans-Hudson tunnels and bridges, as well as ensuring our first responders have the best possible equipment and training. Frelinghuysen has also introduced legislation to include New Jerseyï¿½s Task Force One ï¿½ a team of very specialized, highly trained, well equipped responders - as part of FEMAï¿½s National Urban Search and Rescue system. Task Force One was the first team outside of New York City to respond to the events of the September 11 tragedy.
As New Jerseyï¿½s senior member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Frelinghuysen continues to fight for increases in Americaï¿½s defense budget to ensure that our young men and women in uniform have the necessary resources to win the War on Terrorism. Frelinghuysen has made an official visit to Afghanistan to visit troops and to Qatar in the Persian Gulf to meet with General Tommy Franks, then Commander of United States Central Command about military operations He has traveled to Iraq several times to learn more about our mission through the lens of those New Jerseyans who are serving there and, most recently, to meet with Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno who are directing U.S. military operations in Iraq. He is also well known for championing the important work being done at New Jerseyï¿½s vital military installations, especially Picatinny Arsenal in Rockaway Township, the U.S. Armyï¿½s premier research and development facility.
As a veteran himself, Frelinghuysen recognizes how important it is to care for those who risked their lives in the defense of our freedom. To honor our veterans, Frelinghuysen closely supports the mission of Lyons and East Orange VA Hospitals, two healthcare support centers serving many veterans in northern New Jersey, and continues to ensure our veterans received their promised benefits of greater health care, housing, employment and educational opportunities. To make access to VA health care more convenient for our local veterans, Frelinghuysen secured federal funding to open a VA outpatient clinic in Morris County and renovate a facility at the Lyons VA to support homeless veterans. He has also the author of The Veterans Comprehensive Hepatitis C Health Care Act, which would replace the VAï¿½s patchwork approach to testing and treating all veterans for the Hepatitis C virus with a standardized, national policy.
The 11th Congressional District is located at the heart of the most densely populated state in the nation. Understanding that we must protect our remaining open space treasures, Frelinghuysen has been a pioneer in the fight to preserve New Jerseyï¿½s Highlands. In 2004, he championed the Highlands Conservation Act through Congress and President Bush signed this historic legislation into law In 2007, the Highlands Conservation Act received its first funding in the amount of $2 million Along with having already preserved thousands of acres in the Highlands, Frelinghuysen continues to secure millions of dollars in federal funds for the expansion of the Morristown National Historical Park and the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge, cleanups of toxic waste at Superfund sites, flood protection, wetlands purchases, and the preservation of our stateï¿½s 127 miles of shoreline. Frelinghuysen has also introduced the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area Act to recognize and preserve New Jerseyï¿½s existing American Revolutionary resources and historical attributes President Bush signed legislation creating the Crossroads National Heritage Area in 2006.
Frelinghuysen is well known at home and on Capitol Hill for his fiscally conservative views on government spending, taxes and the economy. His focus on helping our economy recover from the attacks of September 11 through greater tax relief and job creation has earned him the ï¿½Hero of the Taxpayerï¿½ Award from the Americans for Tax Reform, as well as praise from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Frelinghuysen has cosponsored several pieces of legislation to cut taxes, including the marriage penalty tax relief, extending the child tax credit and relief from the alternative minimum tax. He has also been commended by the Citizens Against Government Waste for his dedication to limiting government spending.
Recognizing that a more efficient transportation system is critical to a stronger economy, job creation and healthier environment, Frelinghuysen continues to secure critical federal funding for more mass transit opportunities for New Jersey commuters. His focus on reducing congestion on our roadways has led to work on such vital projects as the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, the Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link, the Lackawanna Cutoff and the Route 22 Sustainable Corridor. For a stronger economy, his efforts have also included critical funding to continue modernizing New Jerseyï¿½s port facilities, keeping the New Jersey, New York ports and harbor safe and ï¿½open for business,ï¿½ and the development of plans for a new trans-Hudson tunnel.
Expanding scientific education and research is one of Frelinghuysenï¿½s long-term priorities. For his commitment to the advancement of science - especially in the classroom - Rutgers and Princeton Universities have presented Frelinghuysen with the ï¿½Science Coalition's Champion of Science Award.ï¿½ He has been a ï¿½consistent champion of scientific support in the appropriations processï¿½ to ensure that federal funding continues for university-based scientific, medical, engineering and agricultural research, basic science and science education.ï¿½ Additionally, Frelinghuysen has worked on behalf of the county colleges in his district, as well as NJIT, FDU, Caldwell College, Drew University, and Centenary College. In 2004, Frelinghuysen received an honorary degree from Drew University for his commitment to higher education.
After graduating from Hobart College in 1969, Frelinghuysen served in the U.S. Army. Following basic training at Fort Dix, he served with the 93rd Engineer Battalion (Const.) in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. After being honorably discharged in 1971, Frelinghuysen became Morris County's State and Federal Aid Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. From 1974 to 1983, Frelinghuysen served three-terms as a member of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, where he was chosen to be its director in 1980.
Frelinghuysen served in the New Jersey General Assembly for eleven years, beginning with his election in 1983. As Chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee during the 1988-89 legislative session, and from 1992 to 1994, Frelinghuysen created a record as one of the most fiscally conservative members of the Legislature.