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About Rodney

Rodney Frelinghuysen fights every day to improve New Jersey’s future and change the way business is done in Washington. Putting problem-solving ahead of politics, he brings an independent perspective to the challenges we all face. No matter what the issue, Rodney actively seeks the opinions and advice of his constituents so he can carry their concerns to Washington and fight for lower taxes, government accountability, stronger national security, and more economic security and freedom.

Rodney’s legacy of service dates back to 1969, when he served our nation in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He understands firsthand the sacrifice of our young men and women serving in the military and that of their families. Since then, he has been dedicated to serving the people of New Jersey, first as a county freeholder, later as a state legislator and now as a Congressman.

Today, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rodney serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and New Jersey's only member. 

Throughout his service, Rodney has worked to promote economic growth, create private sector jobs and opportunities, lower taxes and provide for a strong national defense. He is well known in New Jersey and on Capitol Hill for his fiscally conservative views on government spending.

For example, as Republican Leaders in Congress strove to reduce federal spending this past summer to levels last seen in 2008, Rodney’s Energy and Water Appropriations bill actually rolled back funding to nearly 2006 levels, while still supporting important energy research and development.

This focus on spending control and encouraging economic expansion and keeping the Port of New York and New Jersey “open for business” has earned him the “Hero of the Taxpayer” Award from the Americans for Tax Reform, as well as high marks from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

While battling for smaller government, less spending, borrowing, debt and against higher taxes, Rodney has found a way to be an effective champion for New Jersey priorities earning the title “New Jersey’s ‘Go-to-Guy.’” from theNew York Times. He tirelessly advocates for our state, focusing on the modernization of mass transit, protecting open space, and supporting our military personnel, their families and our veterans.

Upon graduation from Hobart College in 1969, Rodney completed basic training at New Jersey’s Fort Dix. He served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army as a member of the 93rd Engineering Battalion (Construction) deployed to the Mekong Delta.

After returning to New Jersey in 1971, Frelinghuysen began his work on behalf of the people of New Jersey when he became Morris County’s State and Federal Aid Coordinator. From 1974 to 1983, Frelinghuysen served as a member of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, where he was chosen as its director in 1980.

Rodney went on to serve in the New Jersey General Assembly in 1983. He served as Chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee from 1988-89 and again from 1992 to 1994. In Trenton, our state capital, he created a record as one of the most fiscally conservative members of the state legislature.

Rodney was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives as part of the 1995 “Republican Revolution.” He was immediately selected to serve on the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees all aspects of the federal budget. In subsequent years, Rodney has become a well respected voice on military, security, and intelligence affairs. He has made numerous trips to Afghanistan and the Middle East to meet with dedicated New Jerseyans serving our nation in uniform.

As a veteran, he understands that we must support our troops both while on the battlefield and when they return home. Rodney recognizes how important it is to care for those who risked their lives in the defense of our freedom. To honor our veterans, he energetically supports the mission of Lyons and East Orange VA Medical Centers, hospitals serving many veterans in northern New Jersey, and continues to ensure our veterans received their promised benefits of greater health care, housing, employment and educational opportunities. To make access to VA health care more convenient for our local veterans, Rodney secured federal funding to open a VA outpatient clinic in Morris County in 2000 and build facilities at the Lyons VA to support homeless veterans.

He has also built a strong reputation for outstanding service to his constituents. Through countless events in communities across northern New Jersey, Rodney actively seeks out and listens to the opinions and advice of his constituents. In addition to his very popular Telephone Town Hall meetings, he visits dozens of schools, attends hundreds of community events, and personally responds to over 75,000 letters, emails, faxes and telephone calls each year.

Rodney is active in numerous volunteer and charitable organizations. He is a member of the American Legion Post 59 and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3401. His Congressional outreach initiatives include his Youth Advisory Committee, Picatinny Working Group and Academy Review Board.

Rodney Frelinghuysen resides in Harding Township, New Jersey, with his wife, Virginia. He has two daughters. He was born on April 29, 1946.

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