4th District Congressman Tom Cole to seek powerful House post

UNITED STATES- JUNE 27 House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen R-N.J. prepares for a House Appropriations State Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing in Rayburn Building on the

The Democrats have another opportunity to take a seat in the House of Representatives since House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) has announced he will retire at the end of his term.

His father, Peter Frelinghuysen, served 11 terms in Congress from 1953 to 1974, and his great-great-great-great-grandfather, Frederick Frelinghuysen, was a Federalist who served in the Continental Congress and was a member of the New Jersey convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

Supporters say the project is needed to avert a potential threat to the region's economy in case the existing 100-year-old trans-Hudson tunnel, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, becomes unusable. So too was an increasing unwillingness to conduct open town halls with the public, instead settling for more carefully controlled phone versions. "My father (a former USA representative himself) reminded me often that we are temporary stewards of the public trust". His seat was already rated a toss-up by the Cook Political Report, and GOP alarm bells went off last fall when Democratic challenger Mikie Sherrill began significantly outraising Frelinghuysen in campaign contributions.

"Since Chairman Frelinghuysen announced his retirement, people have been encouraging me to seek the Appropriations Committee gavel", Granger said in a statement Monday.

"Public service is an incredible way to turn your convictions into something that serves the greater good and to do it alongside people from every walk of life and background", Frelinghuysen said.

"Congressman Frelinghuysen's record of service to New Jersey's 11th district will be remembered for decades to come", Stivers said in a statement.

Frelinghuysen's departure continues a trend of retirements by veteran House Republicans, including prominent committee chairmen, which has raised Democrats' hopes of retaking the House in November.

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Nevertheless, Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said Frelinghuysen's efforts with the environment have not been enough. "That has certainly been my experience here in this House, and during my (U.S.) Army service in Vietnam".

"I often would laugh, express frustration together with Rosa DeLauro, who's as liberal as she can be", Kingston recalled of one of his Democratic counterparts on Appropriations until he left Congress in 2015.

Frelinghuysen's district includes much of Morris County, but also portions of Sussex, Essex and Passaic counties. "The unsung heroes of my time in Congress are my staff, both in Morristown and Washington, who tend every day to the needs of 730,000 constituents", Frelinghuysen said in a statement posted on his website.

"I have been asked many times if I would be interested in a larger role on the committee someday", Simpson said.

As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, this past year I have had a singular focus on "getting our work done". "This will require - and I will happily devote - all my energies to this task", Frelinghuysen added.

He supported a House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a measure that would have likely stripped health care coverage from many in the state.

Stay tuned for more.

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