Frelinghuysen’s farewell from Congress

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.) accused Democrats of trying to 'take over one-sixth of the economy.'
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.)

Editor’s note: We took a little breather around Christmas and missed this. Former Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.) sent his last e-blast on Dec. 27, 2018, reflecting on his 24 years of service in Congress. In fairness, we want to share these parting thoughts as his successor, Democrat Mikie Sherrill, begins her first term.

The last e-newsletter from Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen:

Partial Government Shutdown

Honor to Serve the People of New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District in Congress

Salute: My Excellent Staff

Partial Government Shutdown  

It is deeply disappointing that Congress was unable to reach a compromise that would have prevented this destabilizing, unnecessary, partial government shutdown during the holidays. I urge House and Senate leadership—Democrat and Republican—and the White House to come together and find a deal that will reopen the government, provide much-needed border security funding, and help Americans recover from recent natural disasters—as quickly as possible.
The Appropriations Committee did its work on all twelve bills and gave our House and Senate leaderships every opportunity to include our bipartisan efforts in the final ‘deal’ to keep the government open.
I am proud of the efforts of all twelve Chairs, Ranking Members and all committee members, but most especially the professional committee staff for all their hard work and dedication in recent weeks, but especially during the August ‘break’ or recess, which most missed because they were still in Washington working on their bills to anticipate every ‘exit strategy’!
Honor to Serve New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District in Congress

It has been the honor of my life to serve and represent the people of New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for twenty four years.
During my time serving here there have been times of great tragedy including the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the ravages of Hurricane Sandy on my home state.  In my role on the House Appropriations Committee, I made sure that New Jersey’s needs were met in both the immediate aftermath as well as over time in the wake of these events.

Nasier Cotten and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.) at Morristown fundraiser for Nasier's prep school tuition. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Nasier Cotten and Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.) at Morristown fundraiser for Nasier’s prep school tuition, August 2012. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

I have proudly been able to secure key federal investments for New Jersey to strengthen our economy, our institutions of higher education, our hospitals and public transportation systems, to preserve open space and protect the environment and to better serve our veterans and our fellow citizens with mental illness and developmental disabilities.
As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, over the past two years, I had a singular focus on “getting our work done.” In Fiscal Year 2019 we approved 75 percent of all annual discretionary funding prior to the start of the fiscal year – a critical step in returning to the regular federal funding process, and an achievement that has not occurred in twenty-two years.

In Fiscal Year 2018, we passed all twelve bills in record time through regular order, and three Disaster Supplemental Appropriations bills, historic in scope, and the expediency with which we acted to help our fellow citizens in times of despair and destruction.
Throughout my service in this House, my deepest devotion has been supporting our Armed Forces, all volunteers, wonderful men and women, and their families, here and abroad, and those warfighters who have returned home with injuries and who depend on a functioning veterans’ health care system.  To those of you I have met while you served us overseas and to those of you that I have sat by your bedside, I hope and trust I have served you well.
A key component of my focus to ensure our nation’s military remains second to none included supporting New Jersey’s critical military installations. Chief among these was my efforts to expand the mission of Picatinny Arsenal and support the thousands of engineers, scientists and dedicated professionals who work to provide our warfighters with the resources that allow our Armed Forces to succeed on the battlefield.
I am also extremely proud of my efforts to provide substantial increases in funding to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to hasten their critical work of recovering the remains of military personnel lost in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. As a Vietnam veteran, I will never forget those who died, were wounded, or were lost or missing in Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia.
I have worked in a bipartisan manner, not just in times of crisis but always, because I believe it best serves our District, our state and our country. My father reminded me often that we are temporary stewards of the public trust.  I have sincerely endeavored to earn that trust every day and I thank my constituents and my home state of New Jersey for the honor to serve.
Salute: My Excellent Staff

The unsung heroes of my time in Congress are my staff who served in Morristown and Washington, my Chief of Staff, Kathleen Hazlett, Austin Bone, Kacy Hobbis, Nora Burns, Aura Dunn, Judith Lemus, Ryan Gallagher, Anthony Pryer, Nick D’Alessio, and many other men and women who dedicated their time and talents to serve my constituents. And, the professional staff of the House Appropriations Committee, led by Nancy Fox, my former Chief of Staff.


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  1. I add my sincerest appreciation for your 24 years of dedicated service to ALL of your District 11 constituents. As reflected in your letter (above), your modest voice of pride in your achievements, gratitude to those who helped achieve those goals, and commitment to our State, plus your leadership on the Appropriations Committee all will be sorely missed. Don’t be a stranger, Rodney; we still need your caring involvement to help ensure the ongoing well-being and strength of our communities, County, State and region.

  2. i am going to miss Congressman Frelinghuysen. He helped secure funding for the NIH when it looked like those funds might be cut and working with advocates from across the country helped to secure additional funding for kidney cancer research, a very underfunded type of cancer despite being one of the most deadly.

  3. Thank you, Rodney!
    No one has worked harder to support the people of CD11, and Morris County in particular. Despite an intense schedule, you always made time to be with your constituents at innumerable community events. You got to know us very well, and you served us very well.
    You have our gratitude and best wishes in all your future endeavors.