Frelinghuysen opposes Trump tax bill, which passes House

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.) Photo by Jeff Sovelove, Sept. 11, 2016.
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.) Photo by Jeff Sovelove, Sept. 11, 2016.


The GOP tax bill passed the House on Thursday without the backing of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.)

“Today I opposed H.R. 1 because it will hurt New Jersey families who already pay some of the highest income and property taxes in the nation!” Frelinghuysen said in a statement.

The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee was among 13 Republican lawmakers–three of them in New Jersey–who opposed the bill, which passed by a 227-205 vote with no Democratic support.

The measure seeks to cut taxes by up to $1.5 trillion this year. Low- and middle-income families eventually would see their taxes rise under this plan, according to some analysts.

A Senate version of the bill, which has some key differences, would benefit millionaires while hiking taxes over the next decade for families making $10,000 to $75,000, contends a new report by Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.

Frelinghuysen said the House bill, H.R. 1, “unfairly limited” state- and local tax deductions, and also reduces mortgage interest deductions.

“These changes will certainly erode property values, one of the most important financial assets for many New Jerseyans.  These provisions alone could do much damage to the business climate in our state, a trend we must never tolerate, let alone encourage,” the Harding resident said.

He said he also opposes the bill’s elimination of  medical expense deductions.

“I had hoped that 2017 would be the year that Congress enacts permanent, pro-growth tax reform.  In fact, I was looking forward to voting for legislation that creates jobs, increases paychecks, reinforces fairness and expands the economy here at home, while strengthening America’s competitiveness around the world.

“However, I simply could not support the legislation due to very negative impacts it would have on so many of my fellow New Jerseyans,” Frelinghuysen’s statement said.

This marks Frelinghuysen’s first major departure from policies promoted by President Trump, who gave Republican members of Congress a pep talk prior to Thursday’s vote.

Activist groups like NJ 11th for Change are working to oust Frelinghuysen, now serving his 12th term, in next year’s midterm elections.

The Sierra Club–which is scheduled to participate in an anti-Frelinghuysen rally on Thursday night (Nov. 16, 2017) at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship– issued a statement earlier in the day blasting the Congressman for supporting the measure, calling it “a sell-out of the people of the 11th District and this entire country.”

Subsequently, the Sierra Club apologized “for the misinformation.”

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  1. Thanks to Rodney’s “yes” vote in Committee the GOP’s tax bill continued moving forward; his “no” vote on the House bill was just another of his meaningless and cowardly acts.

    Rodney, your constituents are not fools; we know how the governmental process works regarding votes. You must go in 2018!

    Please note:
    The House has passed their version of the tax bill and the Senate Finance Committee has moved their bill out of committee. This means that a Senate floor vote could happen right after Thanksgiving, so we need to keep the pressure on to reject this legislation that would give huge tax cuts to the top 1 percent on the backs of middle class families.

    If you need info about getting involved, here are a couple links that will get you started:

  2. At lest this puts the lie to those who would have us believe Rodney is a blind supporter of Trump. His commendable independence has asserted itself again, whether we agree with this particular choice or not.

  3. This was a very deceptive maneuver on the part of the ROP and Mr. Frelinghuysen. Realizing they had enough votes the ROP allowed him to vote against for the appearance of representing his constituents. To be fair the article should have included the hoodwinking.

  4. Comments on Facebook indicate that Rodney only voted against it once he knew his vote wouldn’t count. Tricky. As I understand it he was instrumental in bringing it to Congress in the first place. Hope you print the back story, Kevin. My first reaction was to think he had regained my respect a bit. Not!

  5. He voted no because the party told him he could. NO leadership, NO push to bring others along. It’s disingeuous at best.

  6. Lets be real. Frelinghuysen only voted No because he knew it would pass anyway and got permission from Paul Ryan to vote No. we have been burned before by an initial No vote on the ACA repeal bill only to have him come back a few weeks later and vote straight down the party line.

  7. The headline of this article leads the casual follower of news and politics to believe that Rep. Frelinghuysen, with his NO vote, bravely stood up for his constituents. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    This bill would have never even seen the light of day had Rep. Frelinghuysen not helped pass Budget Reconciliation a few weeks back by voting NO instead of YES. (For the record, all of the other members of the NJ delegation voted NO for the same reasons Rep. Frelinghuysen now cites…it was BAD for New Jersey.)
    After days of not going on the record to express his concerns and tell us his position, he stayed silent…although other NJ GOP did let their position be known. Furthermore, he did nothing to tell New Jerseyans that the relentless TV ads run by a SuperPAC asking the middle-class to “Thank Rodney Frelinghuysen” for looking out for their best interests with the passage of this bill were, at best, disingenuous. By his very vote and subsequent statement, Rep. Frelinghuysen admitted that.
    Simply put, the Republicans needed Rep. Frelinghuysen’s YES vote to help pass the budget when no other NJ Congressman would give it to them…and Rep. Frelinghuysen did. This time, he stayed silent until the GOP leadership was assured they had enough votes to pass the tax bill, and Rep. Frelinghuysen was given his “permission slip” to vote NO.
    As appropriations committee chair, Rep. Frelinghuysen had the standing to protect NJ, and the bully pulpit to push for relief on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions. But, instead of using his prominent position in house leadership to do that, he ducked his responsibility to his constituents and allowed this bill to move forward. He might have voted NO, but his silence was instrumental in the bill’s passage today at our expense.

  8. 1 – He voted to allow this to go to the floor for a vote (when he actually had power to stop it knowing full well the bill would hurt NJ)
    2 – How much money did he spend on ads praising the bill and taking credit for being partially responsible (I saw it several times while watching CNN).
    3 – Then he votes no after verifying that the bill will definitely pass. Why? So he could have it both ways – he is on record as voting both for the bill (when it mattered) and against it (when it didn’t).

  9. This vote is disingenuous to say the least. Me Frelinghuysen was one of the two yes votes on the budget, which paved the way for this tax bill to be brought forth. He had the opportunity to negotiate a good deal for New Jersey at this hat time but failed to do so. Instead, he declined to make a statement against this bill and he declined to lobby against it, until after the bill comfortably passed. He has repeatedly let the wishes of the Washington GOP outweigh the needs of his constituents in NJ11 and New Jersey as a whole. This tax bill represents a massive tax increase for New Jersey’s middle class. Mr Frelinghuysen has one more vote opportunity and we expect him to raise his voice and fight for his district.

  10. He voted yes during the appropriations process to move the tax bill along, selling out his constituents. He #flipflopped and was for raising his constituents’ taxes before he came out against it today. For Rodney Frelinghuysen today was a #fakevote.


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