Category Archives: Rush Holt

Scudiery Says GoodBye; Announces Intention To End Term As Monmouth County Democratic Chairman

Dear County Committee Member,

In looking back at nearly a quarter century in politics, you remember sweet victories and frustrating defeats. But what you remember most are the people. Once the victory night celebration has faded, the speeches have blurred and the music has quieted, the memory is of the people who worked with you, stood beside you and tried to make a positive difference.

For more than two decades, together we’ve stood side-by-side with Monmouth County and New Jersey’s working families. We’ve stood by those trying to do the right thing, those who work hard to make their children’s future brighter; those who get up every morning and go to work, who struggle to pay the mortgage and their utility bills, to put food on the table for their families; those who attend their places of worship with pride and dignity; those who coach their children’s Little League teams; those who attend the parent teacher conferences.

The wealthy and the powerful always have someone to speak for them; our party gives voice to those who would otherwise be voiceless. Together we have provided that voice and leadership.

During my tenure, New Jersey has elected a Democrat every time there’s been a state-wide federal election. We’ve won every state-wide Presidential and U.S. Senate election. We’ll do so again this year.

I take pride in the ideal that as Democrats we represent all of the people. Our candidates reflect the diversity of the most diverse state in the country. Our ticket this year will reflect that diversity. President Barrack Obama, the first African-American President and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, our state’s first Hispanic United States Senator. We’ve come a long way in 23 years and proven that our Party is open to all. During my tenure New Jersey also elected its first Italian-American Governor and we’ve elected more women to office than any time in our history.

But as former Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas “Tip” O’Neil said, “All politics is local.”

Here in Monmouth County we’ve provided outstanding leadership and built from the municipalities up a growing party that has made enormous strides. Our Mayors and Council members are providing innovative, open and honest government across Monmouth County. We took leadership back on the Freeholder Board and are positioned by developing an outstanding local farm team to provide Democratic leadership again.

During my time as chairman we worked together to take back the 12th Legislative District. We worked to defeat an incumbent Republican Congressman and to elect Congressman Rush Holt. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone has represented much of our county for 24 years.

I believe we’ve been successful as a party because people like you got involved for the right reasons, not because they were looking for a title, status or any other aggrandizement. We succeed when we put the people and the party first.

I urge our Democratic leaders throughout New Jersey to work to stop the infighting and the deal making that pits one group in our party against another. We need to support policies that help the many and walk away from policies that seem to enrich just a few.

Perhaps my favorite memory of politics in Monmouth County is not of a race that we won, but the one that’s most vivid – my first. John Winterstella and Gene Anthony were candidates for Freeholder in my first year; Jack Manutti and Annie Grant contested the Constitutional Offices. In that year, Surrogate Patricia Bennett was our only Democratic county-wide official. I walked with the candidates every day and night, we campaigned hard for months, and in the end came up a few hundred votes short. But we launched the party in the right direction. We gave it a start.

After 23 years, I’ve decided to end my term as Chairman of the Monmouth County Democrats. But I know that because all of the work of dedicated, loyal Democrats like you, I will leave it in good hands.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for the honor and privilege of serving the Monmouth County Democrats and all of the people of Monmouth County.

To our friends in organized labor; everyone who’s ever stuffed an envelope, made a phone call or talked to your neighbors to help elect a Council member or President; everyone who’s given of their time and their money to support our candidates; all of those who have put themselves before the voters and stood up for our party and its principles; all of those who have been selfless in their dedication to a cause that’s right, I thank you.

Godspeed,

Victor V. Scudiery, Chairman
Monmouth County Democrats, Inc.

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Filed under Board of Chosen Freeholders, Chairman, Frank Pallone, Monmouth County, Monmouth County Democrats, Robert Menendez, Rush Holt, Victor Scudiery

Rush Holt:" Made in America" is Making A Comeback

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say that job creation should be Washington’s top priority. Yet the new majority in the House has spent months on phony debates that are more about gaining political advantage than about helping our economy.

The good news is that, even as Washington has taken its eye off the ball, manufacturers have shown a path toward an economic renewal. Although U.S. manufacturing was in decline during the run-up to the Great Recession, it has bounced back noticeably. Last year alone, manufacturers added 152,000 new jobs, and the sector has now seen 21 straight months of growth. Let’s not write any obituaries for manufacturing in our country or our state.

On Tuesday, I toured MICRO Stamping Corporation in Somerset, which employs about 250 New Jerseyans.

This month, I am visiting manufacturers across central New Jersey. These companies employ our neighbors in the manufacture of a wide range of products: everything from medical devices to specialty inks.

My hope is to hear ideas for concrete, actionable steps that Congress can take to build upon the recent resurgence in manufacturing and put more Americans back to work: things like supporting new infrastructure investment, closing tax loopholes for outsourcers, expanding science education, and providing businesses with incentives for new hiring. I hope you’ll share your ideas, too, either by sending an e-mail at holt.house.gov or calling me at 1-87-RUSH-HOLT.

America’s middle class was founded on the strength of our manufacturers. It’s time to rebuild that foundation and renew our manufacturing sector.

Sincerely,


Rush Holt

Member of Congress

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Filed under 11th Congressional District, back to work, great recession, Job creation, made in the usa, Manufacturing, Middle Class, Rush Holt, tax loopholes

Get the Facts on the Debt Deal

I personally don’t like this debt limit compromise and I commend both Middletown area Congressmen Rush Holt and Frank Pallone for having the conviction to vote against it. This deal will do little to restore fiscal sanity back in Washington while hurting many in the middle-class.

The principals of “shared sacrifice” do not exist in this deal and it will be the average joe that suffers in the coming months and years because of it.

The facts sheet below is posted over at Whitehouse.gov:

Bipartisan Debt Deal: A Win for the Economy and Budget Discipline

  • Removes the cloud of uncertainty over our economy at this critical time, by ensuring that no one will be able to use the threat of the nation’s first default now, or in only a few months, for political gain;
  • Locks in a down payment on significant deficit reduction, with savings from both domestic and Pentagon spending, and is designed to protect crucial investments like aid for college students;
  • Establishes a bipartisan process to seek a balanced approach to larger deficit reduction through entitlement and tax reform;
  • Deploys an enforcement mechanism that gives all sides an incentive to reach bipartisan compromise on historic deficit reduction, while protecting Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries and low-income programs;
  • Stays true to the President’s commitment to shared sacrifice by preventing the middle class, seniors and those who are most vulnerable from shouldering the burden of deficit reduction. The President did not agree to any entitlement reforms outside of the context of a bipartisan committee process where tax reform will be on the table and the President will insist on shared sacrifice from the most well-off and those with the most indefensible tax breaks.
Mechanics of the Debt Deal

  • Immediately enacted 10-year discretionary spending caps generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction; balanced between defense and non-defense spending.
  • President authorized to increase the debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion, eliminating the need for further increases until 2013.
  • Bipartisan committee process tasked with identifying an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, including from entitlement and tax reform. Committee is required to report legislation by November 23, 2011, which receives fast-track protections. Congress is required to vote on Committee recommendations by December 23, 2011.
  • Enforcement mechanism established to force all parties – Republican and Democrat – to agree to balanced deficit reduction. If Committee fails, enforcement mechanism will trigger spending reductions beginning in 2013 – split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending. Enforcement protects Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries, and low-income programs from any cuts.

1. REMOVING UNCERTAINTY TO SUPPORT THE AMERICAN ECONOMY

  • Deal Removes Cloud of Uncertainty Until 2013, Eliminating Key Headwind on the Economy: Independent analysts, economists, and ratings agencies have all made clear that a short-term debt limit increase would create unacceptable economic uncertainty by risking default again within only a matter of months and as S&P stated, increase the chance of a downgrade. By ensuring a debt limit increase of at least $2.1 trillion, this deal removes the specter of default, providing important certainty to our economy at a fragile moment.
  • Mechanism to Ensure Further Deficit Reduction is Designed to Phase-In Beginning in 2013 to Avoid Harming the Recovery: The deal includes a mechanism to ensure additional deficit reduction, consistent with the economic recovery. The enforcement mechanism would not be made effective until 2013, avoiding any immediate contraction that could harm the recovery. And savings from the down payment will be enacted over 10 years, consistent with supporting the economic recovery.

2. A DOWNPAYMENT ON DEFICIT REDUCTION BY LOCKING IN HISTORIC SPENDING DISCIPLINE – BALANCED BETWEEN DOMESTIC AND PENTAGON SPENDING

  • More than $900 Billion in Savings over 10 Years By Capping Discretionary Spending: The deal includes caps on discretionary spending that will produce more than $900 billion in savings over the next 10 years compared to the CBO March baseline, even as it protects core investments from deep and economically damaging cuts.
  • Includes Savings of $350 Billion from the Base Defense Budget – the First Defense Cut Since the 1990s: The deal puts us on track to cut $350 billion from the defense budget over 10 years. These reductions will be implemented based on the outcome of a review of our missions, roles, and capabilities that will reflect the President’s commitment to protecting our national security.
  • Reduces Domestic Discretionary Spending to the Lowest Level Since Eisenhower: These discretionary caps will put us on track to reduce non-defense discretionary spending to its lowest level since Dwight Eisenhower was President.
  • Includes Funding to Protect the President’s Historic Investment in Pell Grants: Since taking office, the President has increased the maximum Pell award by $819 to a maximum award $5,550, helping over 9 million students pay for college tuition bills. The deal provides specific protection in the discretionary budget to ensure that the there will be sufficient funding for the President’s historic investment in Pell Grants without undermining other critical investments.

3. ESTABLISHING A BIPARTISAN PROCESS TO ACHIEVE $1.5 TRILLION IN ADDITIONAL BALANCED DEFICIT REDUCTION BY THE END OF 2011

  • The Deal Locks in a Process to Enact $1.5 Trillion in Additional Deficit Reduction Through a Bipartisan, Bicameral Congressional Committee: The deal creates a bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Committee that is charged with enacting $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction by the end of the year. This Committee will work without the looming specter of default, ensuring time to carefully consider essential reforms without the disruption and brinksmanship of the past few months.
  • This Committee is Empowered Beyond Previous Bipartisan Attempts at Deficit Reduction: Any recommendation of the Committee would be given fast-track privilege in the House and Senate, assuring it of an up or down vote and preventing some from using procedural gimmicks to block action.
  • To Meet This Target, the Committee Will Consider Responsible Entitlement and Tax Reform. This means putting all the priorities of both parties on the table – including both entitlement reform and revenue-raising tax reform.

4. A STRONG ENFORCEMENT MECHANISM TO MAKE ALL SIDES COME TOGETHER

  • The Deal Includes An Automatic Sequester to Ensure That At Least $1.2 Trillion in Deficit Reduction Is Achieved By 2013 Beyond the Discretionary Caps: The deal includes an automatic sequester on certain spending programs to ensure that—between the Committee and the trigger—we at least put in place an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction by 2013.
  • Consistent With Past Practice, Sequester Would Be Divided Equally Between Defense and Non-Defense Programs and Exempt Social Security, Medicaid, and Low-Income Programs: Consistent with the bipartisan precedents established in the 1980s and 1990s, the sequester would be divided equally between defense and non-defense program, and it would exempt Social Security, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement. Likewise, any cuts to Medicare would be capped and limited to the provider side.
  • Sequester Would Provide a Strong Incentive for Both Sides to Come to the Table: If the fiscal committee took no action, the deal would automatically add nearly $500 billion in defense cuts on top of cuts already made, and, at the same time, it would cut critical programs like infrastructure or education. That outcome would be unacceptable to many Republicans and Democrats alike – creating pressure for a bipartisan agreement without requiring the threat of a default with unthinkable consequences for our economy.

5. A BALANCED DEAL CONSISTENT WITH THE PRESIDENT’S COMMITMENT TO SHARED SACRIFICE

  • The Deal Sets the Stage for Balanced Deficit Reduction, Consistent with the President’s Values: The deal is designed to achieve balanced deficit reduction, consistent with the values the President articulated in his April Fiscal Framework. The discretionary savings are spread between both domestic and defense spending. And the President will demand that the Committee pursue a balanced deficit reduction package, where any entitlement reforms are coupled with revenue-raising tax reform that asks for the most fortunate Americans to sacrifice.
  • The Enforcement Mechanism Complements the Forcing Event Already In Law – the Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts – To Create Pressure for a Balanced Deal: The Bush tax cuts expire as of 1/1/2013, the same date that the spending sequester would go into effect. These two events together will force balanced deficit reduction. Absent a balanced deal, it would enable the President to use his veto pen to ensure nearly $1 trillion in additional deficit reduction by not extending the high-income tax cuts.
  • In Securing this Bipartisan Deal, the President Rejected Proposals that Would Have Placed the Sole Burden of Deficit Reduction on Low-Income or Middle-Class Families: The President stood firmly against proposals that would have placed the sole burden of deficit reduction on lower-income and middle-class families. This includes not only proposals in the House Republican Budget that would have undermined the core commitments of Medicare to our seniors and forced tens of millions of low-income Americans to go without health insurance, but also enforcement mechanisms that would have forced automatic cuts to low-income programs. The enforcement mechanism in the deal exempts Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare benefits, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement.

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Filed under bipartisanship, budget deal, debt ceiling, debt deal, debt limit, deficit reduction, economy, fiscal crisis, Frank Pallone, President Obama, Rush Holt, shared sacrifice, Tea Party, the White House

>Holt or Sipprelle? Look (and learn) before you leap

>The following Op-Ed appeared in the Times of Trenton yetserday and was posted on NJ.com:

When we get frustrated, we get cranky. And when we get cranky, we sometimes do stupid things that wind up hurting us. We’re on the verge of that right now.

Washington frustrates everyone at the moment. And so, the mood in the electorate is: “Throw out all those bums in Washington — get rid of the whole bunch!” This makes it a bad time to be an incumbent, and a fine time to be a challenger offering simplistic nostrums that appeal to cranky people who are not thinking clearly.

But each campaign is still a choice between two individuals, not between “the incumbents” and “the challengers.” Depending on which of the two individual candidates the voters in each district and state send to Congress, voters’ frustration will either swell or diminish in the years that follow.

In New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, the choice between those two individuals could not possibly be more stark, so voters here could not possibly have a greater duty to understand the profound differences between them.

One is a legislator respected on both sides of the aisle, the other a man who made millions on Wall Street. Looking at their respective positions on critical issues, it is apparent that their personal life experiences shape their perspectives and policies. Challenger Scott Sipprelle is a super-smart financier who amassed an enormous fortune and aims to sustain both his own wealth and that of others who have figured out how to get rich. Incumbent Rep. Rush Holt, D-Hopewell, is a super-smart scientist who studies the interconnections between cause and effect in our society and aims to ensure that sound-bite solutions don’t bite us back. A few examples illustrate these differences:

Rep. Holt has been a driving force in Congress to establish an agency dedicated to protecting consumers from the kinds of flimsy “investments” that proved so deceptive even professional financiers got snookered, wreaking havoc with the U.S. economy and American families from coast to coast. Scott Sipprelle opposes this protection and thinks consumers who invest should fend for themselves.

Rush Holt insists on fiscal responsibility through congressional adherence to the pay-as-you-go (“PayGo”) legislation passed during the Clinton administration, which balances any new expenditure with commensurate cuts and/or new revenues. Scott Sipprelle favors the Bush tax policy of breaks for the very rich and for corporations. PayGo brought about a balanced budget, while the Bush policies created calamitous debts and deficits. Extending breaks for the very rich will add $700 billion more debt for our children to pay off.

Rush Holt has worked to strengthen Medicare, which provides the most cost-effective health care in the U.S. He realizes that there are certain times — maybe not a lot, but some — when the federal government is actually more efficient and wiser than private industry. Meanwhile, Scott Sipprelle thinks that our trillions of dollars in Social Security should now be handed over to Wall Street financiers — the same folks whose feckless derivative vehicles and reckless manipulations have brought the U.S. to the brink of a second Great Depression.

Rush Holt sees that American schools are in serious trouble and understands the implications for sapping our global competitiveness, not to mention stunting the lives of ill-educated individuals. So he is supporting strong initiatives to improve schools’ science and math programs. Scott Sipprelle reportedly would abolish the Department of Education….

Read More >>> Here

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Filed under 12th congressional district, NJ.com, Rush Holt, Scott Sipprelle, Times of Trenton

Rush Holt on health care vote: Decision made after weighing all the arguments

Congressman Rush Holt has an excellent opinion piece in the Asbury Park Press today explaining his decision to support health care reform. He writes about those throughout the 12th congressional district who have written to or have spoken to him about their needs and concerns over this issue. And he is convinced that the reform that he supported and that was signed into law by President Obama will have a lasting positive inpact on his constituants.

“Listen to me” the placard read, held by the demonstrator. As Congress prepared to vote on the health reform legislation, I heard from passionate supporters for reform and against reform. The most passionate advocates argued that if I had listened to them, I would vote exactly the way they wanted me to. In fact, I did listen to them and lots of others.

Throughout the debate over health insurance reform, I talked with patients, seniors, doctors, nurses, small business owners and others to learn their perspectives. I heard from those unsure about the health care bill, but certain that the current system isn’t working for them. I value and understand the concerns raised during this debate.

For me, the debate about health insurance reform always has been about the families who struggle to secure and afford the coverage they need. It’s about patients with diabetes or cancer who can’t even obtain insurance. It’s about the small business owners who face rising costs paying for employees’ health insurance costs. It’s about seniors who can’t pay for their prescription drugs. It’s about the woman who explained that her father died because he did not have access to good health care. It’s about the hard-working, upstanding family forced to declare bankruptcy because their insurance company cancelled their coverage when their daughter’s illness became expensive.

When I voted for the health care package, I did so on behalf of the many thousands of New Jersey residents who desperately need greater control over their health care. My vote was for a constituent from Marlboro, who wrote me about his daughter-in-law who was diagnosed with breast cancer. While she has good coverage now, he believes she will have to stop working when she undergoes her cancer treatments, causing her to lose her insurance.

Because of reform, she can continue to have health coverage if she has to change jobs. She will be able to purchase coverage at group rates through a new insurance marketplace and have help with her insurance premiums to make sure they are affordable. She will not have to worry about being discriminated against because she has breast cancer. In fact, no one in the U.S. will ever be discriminated against because they have a preexisting condition, which can include diabetes, epilepsy or even pregnancy.

Read more >>> Here

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Filed under 12th congressional district, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, Asbury Park Press, health care reform, President Obama, Rush Holt

Holt Issues Statement On NJ Court Decession Not To Require Paper Ballots With Voting Machines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –

(West Windsor, NJ) – Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today responded to the New Jersey Superior Court decision, which failed to require the expeditious deployment of paper ballots voting systems in New Jersey. The ruling found that “[s]ecurity vulnerabilities are present, to some degree, in every voting system. There is simply no such thing as a voting system that is impossible to manipulate.” Yet, the ruling allows for the continued use of New Jersey’s unauditable touch screen voting machines.

“If, as the court acknowledges, security vulnerabilities exist, then the court and the citizenry should want the possibility of audits capable of detecting and mistakes or misbehavior,” Holt said.

Holt has introduced legislation in Congress to create a national standard of voting to help ensure that every vote is recorded and counted as intended. The bill would require paper ballot voting systems accompanied by accessible ballot marking devices and require routine random audits of electronic voting tallies.

“The fundamental purpose of the lawsuit has been to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the vote tallies by requiring the use of paper ballots as the basis of those tallies,” Holt said. “Until New Jersey implements a paper ballot voting system, we will have faith-based voting,” Holt said.

Although the ruling requires New Jersey’s 11,000 voting machines to be re-evaluated by a panel of experts within 120 days to determine whether they are accurate and reliable, requires increased security measures, and prohibits connecting computers that are used for election duties from being connected to the Internet, the results they produce cannot be independently audited.

I happen to agree with Congressman Holt on this issue. Ensuring that each vote counts and that each vote is free from fraud is essential to our democracy. Not to have a paper back-up system to these electronic machines, that have been shown to be vulnerable to manipulation and failure is just plain crazy and needs to be rectified.

Case in point – This past November an electronic voting machine in my district failed during the last hour of the day. The poll workers were unable to reboot the machine in order to retrieve the result, hence the numbers from that machine were not recorded by the county election board and were not certified. In the big picture would those couple of hundred lost votes have made a difference in the outcome of the election? No, because the margin of victory was to large to have been swayed by those votes. But in elections that in the future are much closer those uncounted votes could have been the difference and changed the outcome of the race.

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Filed under New Jersey, paper ballots, Rush Holt, Voter Fraud, Voting Machines

HOLT SUPPORTS “TERRIFIC” EDUCATE TO INNOVATE INITIATIVE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 23, 2009

President Announces New Effort to Increase Hands-On STEM Activities for Students

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), a professional physicist most of his career, today supported President Obama’s announcement of a new campaign to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The new science education initiative includes increased community-based collaborations between scientists, engineers, teachers and students.

One component is a National Lab Day tentatively set for early May 2010. Middle and high school students will benefit from hands-on, discovery-based laboratory opportunities. Additionally, National Lab Day will provide schools with an opportunity to assess and upgrade their current lab facilities. Nearly 200 organizations representing STEM professionals and educators are supporting National Lab Day. More information can be found at http://www.nationalabday.org.

“This is a terrific initiative that comes at a time when we need an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ mentality to provide our children with a first-rate math and science education,” Holt said. “Why is this important?

“We still don’t know how to cure cancer or AIDS, or completely ease the suffering of those with mental illnesses. We still have tremendous challenges regarding energy consumption. And we still don’t know all we should about our planet and the people who live on it. The answers to these important questions are beginning to be formed in our classrooms with young students who one day may go on to investigate these issues and make advances that will benefit all of us.”

Holt, a former educator who sits on the House Committee on Education and Labor, has been a leader in efforts to improve STEM education. He helped establish the TEACH grants program, which provides up to $16,000 over four years in college aid to students who commit to teaching science, math, and foreign language. He also was a member of the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, which published “Before It’s Too Late: A Report to the Nation from The National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century.”

“The push for improving the public competence in science and mathematics is more than just for reasons of economics, national security, and democracy. It should also be for personal well being. Mathematics and science bring order, harmony, and balance to our lives. They teach us that our world is intelligible and not capricious. They give us the skill for lifelong learning, for creating progress itself. This initiative recognizes that.”

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Filed under House Committee on Education and Labor, Improve Math, President Obama, Rush Holt, Science Education