WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today praised the Supreme Court of the United States for agreeing to hear arguments in its next session on whether sports betting should be legalized in New Jersey.
“Garden State voters decided overwhelmingly to permit this type of gaming for entertainment purposes and as a potential significant revenue booster for the State. But a special deal worked out three decades ago outlawed sports betting in all but four states - preventing New Jersey from the benefits those four states enjoy. New Jersey deserves its day in court,” said Lance.
Lance has cosponsored bipartisan legislation offered by U.S. Reps. Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02) and Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06) to allow New Jersey to have sports betting.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) issued the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 7-2 in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer that it is unlawful to deny a church an otherwise available public benefit on account of its religious status:
“The Supreme Court ruled correctly that religious institutions may not be excluded from government programs with a secular intent. In this country, religious institutions continually contribute to the public good; for Trinity Lutheran, that involved making a playground safer. A house of worship should not face additional burdens simply because it is a religious organization. That is discrimination and a clear violation of religious liberty - which is a fundamental right. I am pleased this view was shared across the ideological spectrum on the High Court.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today hailed action by the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee for advancing its fiscal year 2018 annual spending bill that directs the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to make public its 30,000 reports. Lance has led the legislative effort for this good government reform.
“This is a great step for transparency. CRS reports should be public information – accessible anytime and anywhere by students, journalists and interested citizens alike. It’s 2017, these taxpayer funded reports belong on a website for public use. These reports are paid for by taxpayer funds, the taxpayers should be able to read them. And our national discourse could use as much factual, non-partisan information as possible. I’m pleased the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee took this step to end the era of secrecy and open these reports,” said Lance.
Every year thousands of non-confidential reports are compiled by the Congressional Research Service for use by Congressional offices and Lance and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-05) introduced legislation to open those reports to the public. Lance has lobbied the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee to include this directive in its funding of the Library of Congress, which oversees the CRS. Lance’s Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act directs the Congressional Research Service to publish its reports on govinfo.gov – a site managed by the Government Printing Office (GPO) that will serve as a one-stop shop for public information. Today’s Subcommittee report included language directing the Congressional Research Service to work in conjunction with the GPO to make its reports available to the public.
Information compiled by the Congressional Research Service is not publically available. Since 1914, reports have only been available for request through House and Senate offices and the bipartisan lawmakers say it is time to bring CRS into the 21st century. Requesting CRS reports through House and Senate offices is often cited as a throwback to the era of patronage jobs and hard-copy reports being too long and expensive for CRS to be available to send through the mail. Good government and transparency groups and tax payer advocacy organizations support allowing these reports to be publically available and interjecting nonpartisan, factual information into public discourse. The lawmakers also want to end the “black market” of CRS reports by which connected individuals and lobbyists obtain reports from contacts on Capitol Hill but everyday Americans are not able to easily view these reports. The lawmakers determined that GPO has the experience and infrastructure in place to host government documents for use by the general public in a user friendly format that CRS does not.
Congressional Research Belongs to the Public (The New York Times)
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, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today proudly announced the Seventh Congressional District students who were nominated and appointed into the United States Service Academies. Lance and a board of local veterans reviewed applications for nomination to the five Service Academies of the United States: The Air Force Academy (USAFA), Naval Academy (USNA), Military Academy (USMA), Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) and Coast Guard Academy (USCGA). Students were informed in recent weeks on their appointment by the respective academies.
“I am proud of these brave men and women who have stepped forward to serve our Nation. In each I know there is a love of country and a deep desire to serve. Placing nominations for the United States Service Academies is among the most gratifying responsibilities for a Member of Congress,” said Lance. “I have great confidence in this year’s talented and qualified class of accepted nominees. I wish them and their fellow classmates safety and great success.”
Pictured with Lance from left to right are:
Jacob Lunn (USNA) of Clark
Ryan Waters (USNA) of Basking Ridge
Austin Kaulius (USNA) of Phillipsburg
Lillian Usadi (USNA) of Basking Ridge
Cara Bradley (USNA) of Stockton
Catherine Hawkes (USNA) of Hillsborough
Cameron Hay (USMA) of Cranford
Benjamin Kelly (USMA) of Westfield
Colin Kim (USMA) of Basking Ridge
Jonathan Mota (USMMA) of Union
Jeremy Lane (USMMA) of Short Hills
Hanna-Lee Harjono (USAFA) of Union
Brendan Rose (USAFA) of Basking Ridge
Not pictured are Matthew Rusiniak (USMA) of Basking Ridge and Matthew Hong (USMMA) of Flemington.
Students interested in the process for securing a nomination to a Service Academy should contact John Malone in Lance’s Westfield District Office at (908) 518-7733.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Leonard Lance (NJ-07) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) today released a bipartisan letter co-signed by 68 colleagues asking Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin to preserve the federal deduction for state and local taxes in any plan to reform the tax code. The Administration’s draft plan released earlier this year eliminated the deduction, which Lance and Pascrell point out would adversely affect New Jersey.
“New Jersey residents pay the highest property taxes in the United States. Eliminating this deduction would increase taxes on the average New Jersey taxpayer by $3,500 per year,” the members wrote in the letter. “We hope you will reconsider this dramatic increase to the tax burden borne to families and homeowners in select high-cost states.”
The letter goes on to state that “…our states are economic engines that deliver disproportionately more revenue to the federal government than they receive back, paying more for services delivered to the country at large. Faced with an already high tax burden and high cost of living, our communities cannot afford another increase to their taxes.”
Lance has made the point that New Jersey taxpayers pay a significant amount in federal taxes and support federal expenditures but do not see as great a return in federal spending as other states. Eliminating the deduction would amount to a federal tax increase on New Jersey taxpayers and only further the disparity between New Jersey and other states.
The lawmakers are joined by groups such as the National Governors Association, United States Conference of Mayors, and the National Conference of State Legislatures in opposing the elimination of the SALT deduction.
The Honorable Steven Mnuchin
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20220
Dear Secretary Mnuchin,
While we welcome your efforts to streamline and modernize the Nation’s tax system, we were concerned to learn that your plan would eliminate the federal deduction for state and local taxes paid when taxpayers itemize their deductions each year.
Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers about his fear that the federal government might monopolize taxation to the “entire exclusion and destruction of state governments.” Eliminating this deduction would single out and harm the highest-taxed states in the country, in particular California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.
New Jersey residents pay the highest property taxes in the United States. Eliminating this deduction would increase taxes on the average New Jersey taxpayer by $3,500 per year. More than four in ten New Jerseyans itemize – approximately 1.8 million people -- and the deduction was worth an average of 8.7 percent of their income. The deduction primarily benefits middle- and lower-income earners: nearly 85% of those claiming the state and local deduction in New Jersey have household incomes below $200,000 per year. Furthermore, states like New Jersey already disproportionately provide revenue to the federal government while receiving less than they give in return. According to the Tax Foundation, New Jersey ranked 41st in states by percentage of revenue coming from the federal government.
It is estimated that the value to New York City alone of taxpayers itemizing deductions for state and local taxes was $7.7 billion in 2014, or $6,600 per affected taxpayer, according to the Partnership for New York City. The state of New York sees 3.2 million residents claiming the deduction, and New York’s itemizers make up primarily lower- and middle-income households: 85% of those claiming the state and local deduction earned less than $200,000 in annual income. New York also sends a disproportionate amount of revenue to the federal government -- despite city residents paying $96 billion in personal income taxes, the city received back only about $61 billion from the federal government.
In California and Illinois, the state and local tax deduction also represents a sizable portion of taxpayers’ income, accounting for approximately 8% of the average itemizer’s adjusted gross income, and 6%, respectively. In California, nearly 5.9 million residents claimed the deduction, with nearly 84% of those earning less than $200,000 in annual household income. In Illinois, the numbers were similar: 86% of the nearly 2 million Illinois residents claiming the deduction are households making less than $200,000 per year.
The elimination of this deduction unfairly penalizes residents in high-tax states like New York, California, Illinois, and New Jersey, where middle-class families can least afford another tax increase.
The National Governors Association, United States Conference of Mayors, and the National Conference of State Legislatures have spoken out against eliminating the state and local tax deduction. The National Association of Realtors has also said eliminating the deduction would “nullify the current tax benefits of owning a home for the vast majority of tax filers.”
We hope you will reconsider this dramatic increase to the tax burden borne to families and homeowners in select high-cost states. As outlined above, our states are economic engines that deliver disproportionately more revenue to the federal government than they receive back, paying more for services delivered to the country at large. Faced with an already high tax burden and high cost of living, our communities cannot afford another increase to their taxes.
We appreciate your consideration of our request.
WASHINGTON, DC --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) released the following statement after a gunman opened fired during a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Virginia:
“My thoughts and prayers go out to my friend Steve Scalise and his family as well as the others wounded in this morning’s cowardly attack. May God speed their recovery.
“I commend our U.S. Capitol Police, other law enforcement and the first responders for their actions in the line of fire. Their heroism undoubtedly saved lives and we are forever grateful for their bravery. These fine men and women have a challenging job every day.
“Today’s senseless act of violence is not only an attack on my colleagues but an attack on the Congress of the United States as an institution. We must come together as a country and debate the great issues of public policy in a respectful and thoughtful fashion. Let us all remember that we are one Nation under God.”Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today supported S. 1094, the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, bipartisan legislation that will address many of the contributing factors to recent scandals at the Veterans Administration.
“In recent years we have seen the horrific stories of dozens of veterans dying while languishing on secret waiting lists and lines at VA hospitals across the country. Then-VA Secretary Robert McDonald compared the lines for care to Disneyland. The VA agency has careened from scandal to scandal since, from the theft and overprescription of opioids to having calls to the VA’s suicide hotline go unanswered. And some employees responsible for oversight of the VA were able to keep their jobs and their taxpayer-funded bonuses too. Our veterans deserve the best care, and instead the VA exhibits the worst of government bureaucracy. While the vast majority of VA employees are hard-working and dedicated, because VA often fails to hold individuals who are not fulfilling their duties accountable for their actions, these bad actors taint the reputation of the department as a whole. It’s time to change that,” said Lance.
The bipartisan VA reform bill S. 1094 will:
• Streamline the process to remove, demote, or suspend VA employees for poor performance or misconduct. The Secretary will also be able to recoup taxpayer-funded bonuses from employees who have acted improperly;
• Expand protections for whistleblowers and bar the VA from removing an employee who has an open complaint; and
• Because of all this ongoing uncertainty, many VA hospitals have acting medical directors. The bill will give the VA Secretary the authority to appoint permanent medical directors who can provide the steady leadership that VA hospitals and their patients need.
The Senate passed this legislation earlier this month and enjoys strong grassroots support from veterans’ service organizations. After passage in the House, the bill moves to the President’s desk for his signature into law.
“Today’s action will bring us one step closing to better care and better results for our veterans. And with real accountability, we can begin to make the real changes needed to fix the VA once and for all,” concluded Lance.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today supported the Financial Choice Act which repeals the Dodd-Frank Law that created bank bail outs with taxpayer money and imposed regulations that contributed to the closing of forty-two New Jersey community banks.
“The Dodd-Frank Law is an example of over-regulation costing jobs. Forty-two community banks in New Jersey have been put out of business since the enactment of Dodd-Frank. Despite having nothing to do with the financial crisis, community banks, their hundreds of employees and thousands of customers have felt the brunt of this law. The Choice Act repeals onerous provisions of the law and ends ‘too big to fail,’ putting big banks on notice that they – not taxpayers – will be on the hook for risky investments.”
Lance also supports the strong consumer protection provisions in the Financial Choice Act:
Lance added that those who have lost the most under Dodd-Frank are those who can’t afford to take their business elsewhere. “Those in hardworking neighborhoods have fewer options for services such as free checking. One-size-fits-all financial policies from big banks have meant higher thresholds for saving accounts, for waiving of credit fees and for other consumer options.”
“The Financial Choice Act is a better way forward. It reverses many of these failed provisions, empowers economic growth and strengthens penalties for those who engage in fraud, insider trading and other corrupt practices,” Lance concluded.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07), member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today issued the following statement after President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords:
“The President and his administration are right to have a healthy concern about the economic costs of complying with the Paris goals and other climate change driven policies. But the Paris accord is a political agreement and commitments are voluntary and may be amended. That's why I joined Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, White House economic council director Gary Cohn and others in the Trump Administration in the belief that it is in our best national interests to remain at the table to ensure a constructive role in negotiating the best deal for America concerning the future of global energy production and consumption and their effect on economic development and climate.
“The United States leads the world in energy efficiency and innovation. And as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee I remain committed to enacting public policy that supports both a strong economy and clean environment, regardless of today's executive action.”Read More
WESTFIELD, N.J. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today announced he will host his 44th in-person town hall meeting on Tuesday, May 30 beginning at 5:30pm at the Roy Smith Theatre at Union County College in Cranford.
During the town hall meeting, Lance will take questions and discuss the important issues facing Congress and the American people, including health care reform, the President’s budget plan, tax reform and foreign affairs.
Additionally, members of Lance’s staff will be available to assist residents who are experiencing difficulties with federal agencies such as the IRS, Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, the State Department or any other federal agency.
WHAT: 44th Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Leonard Lance
WHEN: Tuesday, May 30 5:30pm to 6:30pm
WHERE: Roy Smith Theatre, Union County College
1033 Springfield Ave., Cranford, NJ 07016
The event is free and open to NJ-07 residents only. Tickets are required for all attendees. Tickets will be available online through Lance’s website at lance.house.gov beginning Monday, May 29 at 12 noon. Those interested in attending must visit lance.house.gov to proceed to the online ticket portal. Tickets will available on a first-come, first-served basis until the theatre reaches capacity. Two tickets per online entry.
The town hall can also be seen via the Union County College livestream page found at https://livestream.com/UCC-TV.
For more information, please call Lance’s Westfield District Office at 908-518-7733.
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.
Donated blood with the help of @RedCross for @SteveScalise @CapitolPolice & the victims of last week's shooting. https://t.co/g6FLvW5VDf
Congratulations to these NJ-07 students nominated and appointed to the U.S. Service Academies. I wish them success! https://t.co/H1oVS0sCmk
Great to see so many #NJ-7 @PanCAN advocates on the Hill today raising awareness for pancreatic cancer funding. https://t.co/voWXMpChwI
Retweeted Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell): Leading this bipartisan push with @RepLanceNJ7 to save #SALT deduction in any #TaxReform proposal.
Blue-state Republicans ask Trump to keep state and local tax deductions https://t.co/KO8dmxEphB