To the Editor:
I attended a town hall meeting on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at the Roseland Municipal Building that was conducted by Rodney Frelinghuysen, the Congressman representing NJ’s 11th district.
As a veteran who served this country, I have a special interest in understanding how and why our representatives vote on issues of war, the military, and veterans’ affairs. I asked Congressman Frelinghuysen three questions about his voting record:
- Why did you vote against a house resolution to remove our troops from Afghanistan?
- Why did you vote against bills that would have provided clean water to our troops in Iraq and that would have given our military units with minimum rest periods between deployments to Iraq?
- Why did you vote against a bill that would have provided job training to men and women who served in our military?
Congressman Frelinghuysen never answered the first question. With respect to the second two, he replied as follows: “Veterans should never be second class citizens. I’ve always voted to support health care and job training for veterans.” When asked the third question, the Congressman actually denied ever having voted against any resolution that would provide health benefits and job training to men and women who served in our military.
Perhaps the Congressman misspoke because apparently, he did just that. And the proof is in Congressman Frelinghuysen’s voting record.
In 2011, he voted against a resolution to remove our military men and women from Afghanistan. H.R. 28, Roll Call 193, March 17, 2011.
In 2007, he voted against a bill giving our troops a longer break between deployments to places like Iraq and Afghanistan. H.R. 3159, Roll Call 796, August 2, 2007.
In 2006, he voted against a motion to provide a tax break on death benefits for windows and orphans of military personnel who died serving this country. H.R. 5122, Roll Call 144, May 11, 2006.
In 2005, he voted against a motion to provide job training to our vets.
H.R. 27, Motion to Recommit, Roll Call 47, March 5, 2005.
In 2005, he voted against a motion that would have given men and women in the reserves the same access to healthcare as active-duty members.
H.R. 1815, Roll Call 221, May 25, 2005.
In 2003, he voted against an amendment that would have provided better drinking water and health benefits for service men and women.
H.R. 3289, Roll Call 546, October 16, 2003.
And these bills are just the tip of the iceberg. He voted over and over again to expand the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He rejected over and over again any measure that would make the lives of our troops slightly more tolerable. He voted over and over again against aid to veterans.
It’s as if the Republican Party wants to have their cake, my cake, and your cake, and eat it too. Unfortunately, that is not the way it works.
As an educated constituent, I have difficulty supporting any candidate who supports veterans in their words, but not in the deeds of their voting record.
—John Paul Foley