NJ Politics Digest: Congressman Emerges as Key Player in House Healthcare Fight

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) Max Pizarro for Observer

With Republicans in Congress moving ahead with their pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone is emerging as a leader in the fight to delay their efforts. The Asbury Park Press, meanwhile, reports what the GOP alternative planned, which the newspaper dubbed Trumpcare, will mean for New Jersey residents.

The state’s two Democratic senators have split on President Donald Trump’s choice for Ambassador to Israel and Politico reports that while Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen might not be vulnerable in 2018, he most likely will face a serious re-election fight as the long-time U.S. representative takes heat in his district for his increasingly conservative voting record and his penchant for avoiding meeting with his constituents.

Political battles continue in New Jersey, too, with Democrats vowing a court fight over Gov. Chris Christie’s move to loosen handgun regulations and historical preservationists vowing to fight on after the state demolished a historic structure.

Quote of the Day: “The Republicans keep talking about what they don’t like in the Affordable Care Act, but they never talk about how what they’re proposing today is going to improve it. In almost every case I can tell you that what they’re going to do would make it worse.” – U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, on his efforts to block the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare hearing rolls past 24 hours. Meet the N.J. leader of Democratic resistance
The Republican trying to shepherd the GOP’s Affordable Care Act repeal bill through a key committee got about eight words into his opening statement Wednesday when Democrat Frank Pallone interrupted.
Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Read more

Trumpcare in NJ: What’s in it for you?
It’s good to be young. And it’s even better to be young and make $75,000 a year, or so says an analysis of the new federal health care measure moving through the House of Representatives.
Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press Read more

N.J. Democrats: We will sue Christie to stop new handgun rule
Democratic leaders in the Legislature say they will go to court as early as next week and ask a judge to block Gov. Chris Christie’s new regulations designed to make it easier to carry handguns, NJ Advance Media has learned.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

Flood insurance surcharge to fund Donald Trump’s wall raised at hearing
A top Federal Emergency Management Agency official faced questions Thursday about the National Flood Insurance Program’s $24 billion debt and whether 5 million policyholders will be hit with a separate surcharge to help pay for President Donald Trump’s promised wall along the Mexican border.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Booker, Menendez split on nominee for Israel ambassador
Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker voted the opposite way in the Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday on confirming David Friedman to be ambassador to Israel.
Herb Jackson, The Record Read more

Frelinghuysen, once challenged by a ficus tree, could face real opposition in 2018
Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen has never had a hard time getting re-elected.
Matt Friedman, Politico Read more

Five Opportunities To Get Involved in State Budget Review
State lawmakers are planning to hold five public hearings at venues across the state over the next several weeks as they launch the formal process of scrutinizing Gov. Chris Christie’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
John Reitmeyer, NJSpotlight Read more

Another mayor indicted? Paterson residents say ‘ho hum’
The morning after her mayor was charged with corruption, Yvette Simes sat in a booth inside Mr. G’s diner in Paterson and looked out the window. The street outside, 10th Avenue, is smooth by Paterson standards, but dirty, and each passing car kicked up little tornadoes of grit.
Christopher Maag, The Record Read more

South Hackensack deputy mayor pleads not guilty
William G. Regan, the South Hackensack deputy mayor accused of domestic violence, pleaded not guilty Thursday morning.
Rodrigo Torrejon, The Record Read more

Could Maternity Report Card Help Reduce NJ C-Section Rate?
New Jersey has worked diligently to bring down its stubbornly high rates of cesarean section deliveries, but they remain at least 10 points higher than the national average, and the numbers vary significantly among hospitals across the state.
Lilo H. Stainton, NJSpotlight Read more

N.J. hires company to provide drug treatment for inmates
Gov. Chris Christie announced Thursday that the Gateway Foundation, a national company already working in New Jersey, will provide drug and alcohol services at Mid-State Correctional Facility when it opens later this year as a first-of-its-kind treatment center for inmates.
Dustin Racioppi, The Record Read more

Bill to deliver $400 million in 100 days for transit projects moves forward
A bi-partisan bill which would appropriate $400 million in 100 days for transportation projects pledged by Gov. Christ Christie during his budget address, cleared its first legislative speed bump Thursday.
Larry Higgs, NJ.com Read more

PennEast pipeline will carry on without PSEG
Wall-based New Jersey Resources says the proposed PennEast pipeline will continue despite one of its partners looking to sell their share of the pipeline.
Russ Zimmer, Asbury Park Press Read more

Appeals court rejects Straub’s claim to ex-Showboat casino
Glenn Straub has lost another round in his real-life game of Monopoly in Atlantic City.
Associated Press Read more

Defenders of demolished Revolutionary War house in N.J. vow to fight on
Still reeling from the stealthy, state-sponsored demolition of a Revolutionary War-era house in Bellmawr, the Camden County Historical Society met Wednesday to consider its next move.
Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Read more

Wal-Mart scraps new N.J. store after decade of planning
Wal-Mart has scrapped its proposal to build a new store in Toms River after 13 years of planning.
NJ.com Read more

Closter looks to ban short-term rentals
The borough may follow the trend of many local municipalities by placing limits on the short-term rentals, an effort that officials say will protect both residents and renters.
Stephanie Noda, The Record Read more

Court Dismisses Mayor Dansereau’s Complaint Against Assemblyman Holley
A court today dismissed a complaint filed by Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau against Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-20).
InsiderNJ Read more

NJSIAA awaits Wallace’s findings on Eastside’s program
It could be weeks, even months, before the NJSIAA renders a decision on a player eligibility scandal that led Eastside High School to withdraw its boys and girls basketball teams from the state tournaments.
Greg Mattura, The Record Read more

Ocean County tourism a $4.68 billion industry
Tourism in Ocean County grew three percent in 2016, generating $4.68 billion in revenue, according to the Ocean County Board of Freeholders.
Erik Larsen, Asbury Park Press Read more

Fired NJ cop sues chief and prosecutor: They ‘ruined my life’
A veteran Washington Township, N.J. cop who was fired for misconduct after he stopped a N.J. lawmaker for DUI five years ago has filed a lawsuit against his chief and the prosecutor who charged him with making a false arrest in a volatile, high-profile case.
Jan Hefler, Inquirer Read more

Advocacy group in Montclair plans forum on education
How is the state of public education in New Jersey? A local group will discuss that topic Sunday.
Matt Kadosh, The Record Read more

Editorial: Corruption still pays in New Jersey
David Samson abused his power as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He pressured United Airlines into maintaining a special weekly flight near his South Carolina home, even though the route consistently lost money. Samson threatened to scuttle United’s hangar project at Newark Liberty International Airport if the airline didn’t deliver.
Asbury Park Press Read more

Editorial: Menendez, Archbishop rally for grandpa facing deportation. Will you?
When Catalino Guerrero reports to immigration headquarters in Newark on Friday, he won’t be alone.
Star-Ledger Read more

Editorial: Christie loosens gun regulations
Gov. Chris Christie this week abruptly changed a state regulation making it easier for people in New Jersey to carry guns. While loosening state gun laws has been one of Christie’s recent priorities, his announcement appears to defy two resolutions passed by the Legislature blocking the change.
The Record Read more

Three health care issues N.J. must watch
With much discussion focused on possible federal changes to the Affordable Care Act, it’s critical for state policymakers and residents to be aware of several other potential issues that could impact the quality, cost or access to health care for New Jersey residents.
Robert Singer Read more NJ Politics Digest: Congressman Emerges as Key Player in House Healthcare Fight