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Verona In Washington: Gorsuch Confirmation, ‘Lying’ Constituents, More

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Both of the men who represent Verona in the United States Senate voted against it, but Neil Gorsuch was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice by a vote of 54 to 45 on Friday, April 7. The vote came after Senate Republicans changed the rules to allow for a confirmation with fewer than 60 votes in favor.

Some 175 members of NJ11th For Change, a bipartisan group of constituents of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen traveled to Washington on Wednesday, April 5 to try to meet with the Republican legislator. Several small groups did get in to see Frelinghuysen, who has been holding telephone town halls instead of in-person meetings. MorristownGreen.com, a news partner of MyVeronaNJ.com, reported this week that a fundraising pitch sent out for Frelinghuysen’s 2018 re-election campaign accused “Bernie Sanders-style activists” of “lying” about his record.

It was not all disagreement all week. On Monday, April 3, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) joined Verona’s former congressman, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-10) to introduce legislation to honor Larry Doby, the first African-American to play in the American League, with the Congressional Gold Medal. On Friday, after two derailments at New York Penn Station, Menendez and Booker urged Senate leadership to restore infrastructure funding slashed in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.

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“Verona In Washington” is a new weekly column summing up the activity of Verona’s representatives in Congress. Here are the legislative actions by Verona’s federal representatives, both major and procedural, during the week of April 3-7:


Apr 3, 2017 5:31 p.m. — Vote
S. 89: A bill to amend title 46, United States Code, to exempt old vessels that only operate within inland waterways from the fire-retardant materials requirement if the owners of such vessels make annual structural alterations to at least 10 percent of
Bill Passed 85/12
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Yea
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Nay

Apr 3, 2017 6:52 p.m. — Vote
H.Res. 92: Condemning North Korea’s development of multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles, and for other purposes.
Passed 398/3
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

Apr 3, 2017 7:15 p.m. — Vote
H.R. 479: North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act of 2017
Passed 394/1
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

Apr 4, 2017 noon — Vote
On the Nomination PN59: Elaine C. Duke, of Virginia, to be Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
Nomination Confirmed 85/14
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Nay
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Nay

Apr 4, 2017 2:03 p.m. — Vote
On Ordering the Previous Question: H.Res. 241: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1304) to amend the Employee Retirement …
Passed 232/188
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

Apr 4, 2017 2:13 p.m. — Vote
H.Res. 241: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1304) to amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Public Health Service Act, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from the definition of health insurance coverage
Passed 234/184
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Aye

Apr 4, 2017 2:16 p.m. — Vote
On the Motion to Proceed PN55: Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Motion to Proceed Agreed to 55/44
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Nay
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Nay

Apr 4, 2017 2:21 p.m. — Vote
On Ordering the Previous Question: H.Res. 240: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1343) to direct the Securities and …
Passed 229/187
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

Apr 4, 2017 2:30 p.m. — Vote
H.Res. 240: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1343) to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission to revise its rules so as to increase the threshold amount for requiring issuers to provide certain disclosures relating to compensatory bene
Passed 238/177
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Aye

Apr 4, 2017 4:44 p.m. — Vote
On Motion to Recommit with Instructions: H.R. 1343: Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2017
Failed 185/228
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Nay

Apr 4, 2017 4:57 p.m. — Vote
H.R. 1343: Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2017
Passed 331/87
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

Apr 5, 2017 1:58 p.m. — Vote
On Ordering the Previous Question: H.Res. 242: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1219) to amend the Investment Company …
Passed 231/182
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

Apr 5, 2017 2:05 p.m. — Vote
H.Res. 242: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1219) to amend the Investment Company Act of 1940 to expand the investor limitation for qualifying venture capital funds under an exemption from the definition of an investment company, and …
Passed 240/181
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Aye

Apr 5, 2017 3:45 p.m. — Vote
Table Appeal of the Ruling of the Chair
Passed 228/185
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

Apr 5, 2017 3:57 p.m. — Vote
H.R. 1304: Self-Insurance Protection Act
Passed 400/16
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

Apr 5, 2017 — Introduced
S. 842: A bill to prohibit Federal agencies and Federal contractors from requesting that an applicant for employment disclose criminal history record information before the applicant has received a conditional offer, and for other purposes.

Sponsor: Sen. Cory Booker [D-NJ]
This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs which will consider it before sending it to the Senate floor for consideration.

Apr 6, 2017 10:31 a.m. — Vote
H.R. 1219: Supporting America’s Innovators Act of 2017
Passed 417/3
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

Apr 6, 2017 11:02 a.m. — Vote
Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States: Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Cloture Motion Rejected 55/45
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Nay
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Nay

This was the first of four significant votes on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court Justice. This vote was the first vote on cloture for Gorsuch’s nomination and took place under the old rules of the Senate in which a cloture vote on a Supreme Court nomination required 3/5ths of elected senators to vote in the affirmative.

A vote on cloture is a vote to limit further debate and move to an up-or-down vote, in other words to prevent a filibuster. With only 55 votes in favor, 5 short of the 60 required, the Democrats blocked cloture so that they could filibuster the nomination.

Apr 6, 2017 11:30 a.m. — Vote
On the Motion to Reconsider PN55: Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Motion to Reconsider Agreed to 55/45
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Nay
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Nay

This was a procedural vote in the process of confirming Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court Justice. This vote followed the failed first cloture vote and was a vote on whether the Senate should re-do the vote. The purpose of re-doing the vote was to allow for the Senate to change its rules first, which it did in Senate vote #109.

Apr 6, 2017 11:48 a.m. — Vote
On the Motion to Postpone PN55: Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Motion to Postpone Rejected 48/52
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Yea
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Yea

This was a procedural vote in the process of confirming Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court Justice intended to delay further action by postponing consideration of the nomination.

This vote followed the failed first cloture vote, in which the Democrats showed that they had the votes to filibuster the nomination. However the Republicans planned to change the Senate rules next, which they did later in Senate vote #109. This vote was called to delay further Senate action on the nomination prior to Senate vote #109, but the vote failed.

Apr 6, 2017 12:04 p.m. — Vote
On the Motion to Adjourn PN55: Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Motion to Adjourn Rejected 48/52
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Yea
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Yea

This was a procedural vote in the process of confirming Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court Justice intended to delay further action by adjourning.

This vote followed the failed first cloture vote, in which the Democrats showed that they had the votes to filibuster the nomination. However the Republicans planned to change the Senate rules next, which they did later in Senate vote #109. This vote was called to delay further Senate action on the nomination before Senate vote #109, but the vote failed.

Apr 6, 2017 12:18 p.m. — Vote
On the Decision of the Chair PN55: Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Decision of Chair Not Sustained 48/52
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Yea
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Yea

This was the “nuclear option” vote, the second of four significant votes on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court Justice. In this vote, the Senate changed its rules for cloture votes on Supreme Court nominations from requiring a 3/5ths threshold of elected senators to a simple majority vote.

A vote on cloture is a vote to limit further debate and move to an up-or-down vote, in other words to prevent a filibuster. In a previous vote, cloture on Gorsuch’s nomination failed the 3/5ths threshold. In this vote the Senate changed its rules so that a subsequent cloture vote would succeed.

Apr 6, 2017 12:35 p.m. — Vote
Upon Reconsideration, Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States: Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Cloture Motion Agreed to 55/45
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Nay
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Nay

This was the third of four significant votes on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court Justice. This vote was the second vote on cloture for Gorsuch’s nomination and took place after the rules of the Senate were changed through the so-called “nuclear option.”

A vote on cloture is a vote to limit further debate to 30 more hours so that an up-or-down vote can be taken, in other words to prevent a filibuster. With only 55 votes in favor, 5 short of the 60 required in the first cloture vote, the Democrats blocked cloture so that they could filibuster the nomination. In Senate vote #109, the rule for cloture on Supreme Court nominations was changed.

Apr 7, 2017 11:31 a.m. — Vote
On the Nomination PN55: Neil M. Gorsuch, of Colorado, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Nomination Confirmed 54/45
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Nay
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Nay
This vote confirmed Neil Gorsuch as a justice on the Supreme Court. The vote followed three other significant votes advancing the nomination:

  • First Cloture Vote, which failed with only 55 votes in favor, 5 short of the 60 required. The Democrats blocked cloture so that they could filibuster the nomination.
  • Nuclear Option Vote, in which the rule for cloture on Supreme Court nominations was changed to a simple majority from a 3/5ths threshold.
  • Second Cloture Vote, which with 55 votes in favor succeeded under the new simple majority rule requiring just 51. Cloture limited further debate to 30 hours so that this up-or-down vote could be taken and not be filibustered.
  • Sen. Robert “Bob” Menendez is a Democrat who has represented New Jersey in the United States Senate since 2006. You can read more about Menendez’ record on GovTrack, an independent developer of open data resources on Congress.

    Sen. Cory Booker is a Democrat who has represented New Jersey in the United States Senate since 2013. You can read more about Booker’s record on GovTrack, an independent developer of open data resources on Congress.

    Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican, represents New Jersey’s 11th Congressional district. Verona has been part of this district since a gerrymandering in 2012. You can read more about Frelinghuysen’s record on GovTrack, an independent developer of open data resources on Congress.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]

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