News From Congressman Frank LoBiondo

LoBiondo Reaffirms Need to Protect Decision-Making of Military Leaders on the Ground in Iraq

After Being Briefed by the Top U.S. Commander in Iraq, Congressman Opposes Repeated Attempt by Democrat Majority to Undermine U.S. Military Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? A staunch supporter of American troops, U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) tonight voted against the Democrat majority?s Conference report (H.R. 1591) on the ?Emergency Funding Bill for Iraq,? which again attempts to remove command and control over military operations in Iraq from U.S. military leaders. LoBiondo, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has continually spoken out against efforts to weaken troop morale and undermine the authority of military leaders on the ground.

?The Democrat majority?s continued insistence to dictate orders to our military leaders on how to best conduct operations in Iraq serve only to put our troops in greater peril,? said LoBiondo. ?I will continue to oppose any attempts to remove the chain of command and install 535 Commanders in Chief and 535 Secretaries of Defense.?

The full House vote came just hours after Lieutenant General David Petraeus ? the top U.S. Commander in Iraq ? briefed members of Congress on the current situation on the ground. LoBiondo attended the members-only briefing.

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LoBiondo Petitions Bush to Grant Federal Disaster Assistance to Families & Businesses Affected by the Recent Storm

MAYS LANDING, N.J. ? U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today joined with the entire New Jersey Congressional delegation in sending the following letter to the President requesting that residents and businesses across the state affected by the recent Nor?easter are granted federal disaster assistance.

At the request of Acting Governor Codey and urging of LoBiondo, earlier this week President Bush granted hazard mitigation assistance ? federal funding available to communities and municipalities to repair roadways, bridges, dams and coastal erosion ? to the entire state. Initially, Codey failed to request a Federal Disaster Declaration for Salem, Cumberland, Gloucester, Cape May and Atlantic counties in the wake of the flooding and coastal erosion.

The full text of the delegation?s letter to the President is as follows:

April 27, 2007

Dear Mr. President:

We would like to thank you for declaring a major disaster for the State of New Jersey and for recognizing the extent of the damage caused by the devastating storms and flooding on April 15-17 and urge that you approve further disaster assistance.

We understand that you approved hazard mitigation grant assistance for the entire state and individual assistance for the specific counties of Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Passaic, Somerset, and Union. This disaster, however, caused widespread damage across many other counties, as noted in letters sent to you by Acting Governor Codey. We thus respectfully request that you expedite approval of individual assistance for the entire state so that residents can recover faster from the effects of the disaster and get back to their normal lives.

We also respectfully request that you quickly approve public disaster assistance for the entire state. This assistance would help local governments that expended public funds to do emergency assistance, cleanup, and recovery efforts. Many of these towns have spent a large portion of their budgets dealing with this disaster, and public assistance is critical to ensuring that they will be able to continue their services without facing undue financial hardships.

As you know, this storm was the second worst in state history, dropping more rain than any storm since 1882. These downpours resulted in the evacuation of approximately 5,000 New Jerseyans and were responsible for the deaths of at least three. Over eight inches of rain fell in parts of these counties over the course of the storm, causing widespread flooding, breaching dams, washing out roadways, collapsing bridges, and damaging countless homes and businesses.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter and for providing critical assistance to the people of New Jersey.

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