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Verona In Washington: Dodd-Frank Repeal, Comey Testimony, Lead-Free Water

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On Thursday, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ11) voted to approve the
Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, which dismantles some of the consumer protections and regulatory rules created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial markets collapse.

The CHOICE Act–the acronym stands for “Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs”–passed the House by a vote of 233 to 186. It aims to repeal the so-called Dodd-Frank Act, which Frelinghuysen asserted in his weekly newsletter was responsible for the U.S. economy’s weak recovery from the crash. “It’s gotten so bad that we’re losing an average of one community bank or credit union every single day.” While many observers, in and out of the banking industry, concur that the ranks of community banks have shrunk in the last few years because of Dodd-Frank, it isn’t true that fewer banks has meant fewer loans to small businesses, as Frelinghuysen also asserted in his newsletter, saying “families and small businesses can’t get the loans they need to get off the ground”. Thanks to an influx of non-bank companies with computerized lending models, lending to small businesses is back at its pre-crash levels, and any banker will note that banks never gave out start-up capital. (For a fuller analysis of small business lending, see this report from former Small Business Administration chief Karen Mills. For more on the pros and cons of Dodd-Frank, there’s this report from the Brookings Institution.) NPR says the CHOICE Act faces “dim prospects” in the Senate, where New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) had this reaction:

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) worked on clean water this past week, introducing a bill alongside Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ5) to help schools make sure that their water supply is lead-free. Booker also issued a statement on Thursday’s testimony by former FBI Director James Comey, saying in part ““Under oath, the former Director of the FBI presented a foundation for obstruction of justice charges against the President of the United States. His testimony was profoundly consequential, and we must continue to relentlessly seek the truth in this instance and the broader Russia investigation.”

“Verona In Washington” is a weekly column summing up the activity of Verona’s representatives in Congress. Here are their votes for the week of June 5-9:

June 5, 2017 5:32 p.m. — Vote
S.Res. 176: A resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.
Resolution Agreed to 90/0
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Not Voting
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Not Voting

June 6, 2017 2:15 p.m. — Vote
On the Nomination PN104: Courtney Elwood, of Virginia, to be General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency
Nomination Confirmed 67/33
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Nay
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Nay

June 6, 2017 6:55 p.m. — Vote
H.Res. 354: Condemning the violence against peaceful protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017, and calling for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and measures to be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Passed 397/0
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea
H.Res, 354 summarizes the incident outside the Turkish Ambassador’s residence on May 16, 2017. Specifically, the resolution notes: 1) Armed members of Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail acted to suppress the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens by beating, kicking, and choking unarmed demonstrators; 2) The demonstrators did not instigate the violence and at no time was President Erdogan in danger; 3) Two Turkish security officers were briefly detained and then released as they held Derived Head of State immunity, but a joint criminal investigation into the actions by those Turkish security officers is ongoing; 4) This is one of several instances where Turkish security officials attached to President Erdogan’s protective detail physically assaulted protestors …

June 6, 2017 7:02 p.m. — Vote
H.Res. 355: Condemning in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in Manchester, United Kingdom, on May 22, 2017, expressing heartfelt condolences, and reaffirming unwavering support for the special relationship between our peoples and nations in the w
Passed 397/0
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea
H.Res. 92 summarizes the terrorist attack outside the Manchester Arena following a concert by American recording artist Ariana Grande in the United Kingdom on May 22, 2017. Specifically, the resolution: 1) Condemns in the strongest terms the brutal attack that took the lives of at least 22 people, and seriously injured 59, many of whom were children and offers deepest sympathies to the victims and their families. 2) Notes that the investigation is ongoing as to whether the terrorist acted on his own or as part of a wider network; 3) Mentions that the Islamic Stat of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for this attack and threatened further attacks; 4) Highlights that British first responders acted swiftly and …

June 7, 2017 1:58 p.m. — Vote
Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 722
Cloture Motion Agreed to 92/7
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Yea
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Yea

June 7, 2017 2:19 p.m. — Vote
On Ordering the Previous Question: H.Res. 374: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2213) to amend the Anti-Border Corruption …
Passed 228/189
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

June 7, 2017 2:27 p.m. — Vote
H.Res. 374: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 2213) to amend the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010 to authorize certain polygraph waiver authority, and for other purposes.
Passed 231/185
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Aye

June 7, 2017 2:43 p.m. — Vote
On Ordering the Previous Question: H.Res. 375: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 10) to create hope and opportunity …
Passed 228/185
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

June 7, 2017 2:49 p.m. — Vote
H.Res. 375: Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 10) to create hope and opportunity for investors, consumers, and entrepreneurs by ending bailouts and Too Big to Fail, holding Washington and Wall Street accountable, eliminating red tape to …
Passed 231/188
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

June 7, 2017 4:39 p.m. — Vote
Table Appeal of the Ruling of the Chair
Passed 228/186
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea

June 7, 2017 4:52 p.m. — Vote
H.Amdt. 127 (Lujan Grisham) to H.R. 2213: To prohibit the bill from going into effect until 1) the CBP completes its evaluation and pilot program of the Test for Espionage, Sabotage, and Corruption (TES-C) which is then certified by the DHS Inspector Gen

Failed 179/238
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Nay

June 7, 2017 5:06 p.m. — Vote
H.R. 2213: Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act of 2017
Passed 282/137
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Aye

June 8, 2017 1:41 p.m. — Vote
On the Nomination PN349: Scott P. Brown, of New Hampshire, to be Ambassador to New Zealand, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador to the Independent State of Samoa
Nomination Confirmed 94/4
Sen. Booker [D-NJ]: Nay
Sen. Menéndez [D-NJ]: Not Voting

June 8, 2017 4:16 p.m. — Vote
On Agreeing to the Amendment: Amendment 1 to H R 10
Agreed to 232/185
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Aye

June 8, 2017 4:20 p.m. — Vote
On Agreeing to the Amendment: Amendment 2 to H R 10
Agreed to 231/180
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Aye

June 8, 2017 4:24 p.m. — Vote
On Agreeing to the Amendment: Amendment 4 to H R 10
Agreed to 235/184
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Aye

June 8, 2017 4:28 p.m. — Vote
On Agreeing to the Amendment: Amendment 6 to H R 10

Agreed to 233/185
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Aye

June 8, 2017 4:38 p.m. — Vote
H.R. 10: Financial CHOICE Act of 2017
Passed 233/186
Rep. Frelinghuysen [R-NJ11]: Yea
This bill would make sweeping changes to the financial regulatory system by revising the changes that were put in place after the 2008-2009 economic crash. The bill would weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and regulations that prevent commercial banks from trading for their own gain, among other changes. See this New York Times summary for more details.

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.

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.

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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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