The U.S. Veterans Administration has opened a service center in Morris County and will soon add an outreach office in Warren County, bringing VA services closer to those who served and are now living in northwestern New Jersey.

Morris County’s Veterans Center Community Access Point is located at 540 West Morris Ave. in Morris Township, in office space provided by the Morris County commissioners. The Vet Center Outstation in Warren County will be in Hackettstown, but a location and opening date have not yet been selected.

The offices were announced at a news conference last week held by federal, state and county officials, where U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, said they were trying to address a “critical gap” of services for veterans in the area. “After countless letter writing campaigns, many meetings with VA officials, and tireless community outreach, today’s announcement … is a step in the right direction towards ensuring our veterans – and their family members – have access to the care they need,” said Sherrill, a former Navy pilot, according to a statement posted on the Morris County website.

A local veterans speaks with Veterans Administration Undersecretary Shereef Elnahal (second from left), Morris County Commissioner John Krickus and U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (right) as new VA offices were announced in Morris Township and Hackettstown.

A Vet Center Community Access Point is a satellite location of the VA, typically established in donated spaces in conjunction with community organizations to provide readjustment counseling services to eligible veterans, service members and their families. The Morris Board of County Commissioners agreed to provide two rooms at the county’s Veteran Services Office, according to the statement.

The county has recently doubled its space for veterans services and added a fourth veterans service officer and an intern this year, added Commissioner John Krickus, a Marine Corps veteran.

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MADISON – Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, D-11, presented a ceremonial big check for about $4.1 million to the borough, representing the federal funds she’s secured for the preservation of the Drew Forest during a press conference on Glenwild Road in front of the forest Monday, April 22.

During the event on Earth Day, Mayor Robert Conley said this funding, along with the $5 million from the Morris County Open Space Fund, brings the total to $9.12 million.

“We have worked incredibly hard to find every venue we can for funding the Drew Forest because we know there’s a lot of work to be done,” Sherrill said.

“We know it’s critically important that Drew University, which is such a gem in our community, is strong and resilient and has the funding that it needs. We know that this forest is critical of so many people here in the community.”

Mayor Conley said the money has been secured to make dreams to preserve the forest one step closer to reality.

The mayor also said the 51-acre forest has environmental resources. It’s the only forest in the county with a native understory where pollinators and other insects survive, along with birds that depend on them, he said.

Also, the forest purifies and recharges natural groundwater supplies and reduces flooding, surface runoff and soil erosion, he said.

“Yes, there have been and there will be challenges along the way, but if we let these challenges stop us, we will be unable to climb and save the next mountain,” Conley said. “So when we cut this ribbon in the future on a forever-preserved Drew Forest, we will speak about how we came together and used our creativity to make it a reality.”

Read more: Sherrill presents big check for Drew Forest preservation, total funds hit $9.12 million

CHATHAM – The Education, Careers and Lifelong Community (ECLC) of New Jersey, a non-profit which provides schooling to special needs children on Lum Avenue, has received an $850,000 grant for necessary structural repairs, Mayor Carolyn Dempsey announced at the Monday, March 11 council meeting.

The ECLC’s need for upgrades was first brought to the attention of the public last March, when Executive Director of the ECLC Peter Petrou delved into necessary fixes in a prepared release. Last April, a grant requesting $4 million for repairs was submitted by Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, for the 2024 fiscal year, and the council has received word that the school will receive $850,000 in federal grant money.

Petrou was present at the council meeting, and gave a few remarks. He noted that engineers had noted that the 100-year-old building has “very strong bones,” but it still needs work. The student population has changed significantly, he said, and the education given today mostly focuses on life skills, and is delivered in a more therapeutic manner.

The grant money will go towards furnishing unfinished space in the school’s basement, converting a storage area at the auditorium to a meeting area, and setting up as many as 10 new therapy rooms for students. The school also hopes to relocate its administrator’s office closer to the main entrance for better school security, and move its nurse’s office to the front of the building.

“What it means to have a facility like ECLC in a community like Chatham – to the parents who are facing the prospect of raising children with intellectual disabilities, I’m a parent, my daughter attended ECLC for a dozen years, and she benefited greatly from that education,” Petrou said. “It’s really terrific to know that we’ll be able to improve the facility to make it better for the next proceeding generations.”

The Lum School was first built in 1920, and the ECLC has been in its current location at 21 Lum Ave. since 1989. One-hundred and seventy-five students attend the school.

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Sixteen million dollars to combat auto theft, pay for public-works projects and possibly save a forest will flow into North Jersey in the form of federal dollars for community projects shepherded into the 2024 federal budget by Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-Montclair.

The funds are included in a $460 billion package of spending bills signed by President Joe Biden on Saturday and approved by the Senate.

The 15 projects that will receive funding this year in the 11th District benefit portions of Morris, Essex and Passaic counties, said Sherrill. Those projects range from $500,000 for the Nutley School District to install smoke detectors and fire alarms to more than $4 million to help fund the sale and preservation of Drew Forest in Madison.

“These funding requests address a wide range of issues — like crime prevention and flood mitigation — that are of the utmost importance to local leaders and constituents in NJ-11,” Sherrill stated in an announcement listing the projects. “With these federal resources, our towns will be able to invest in our communities without raising local taxes.”

Lawmakers are negotiating a second package of six bills, which includes defense, to have all federal agencies fully funded by a March 22 deadline.

The largest grant of $4.1 million was awarded to Madison to help fund the purchase and preservation of Drew Forest. The borough has been in negotiations for several years with Drew University to preserve its 51-acre track of environmentally sensitive forestland that serves as both a “living laboratory” for environmental study students and as a buffer between the campus and neighboring residential communities.

Those negotiations have resulted in conflicts that landed both parties in court last year, with Drew objecting to its land being excluded from calculations for Madison’s affordable housing obligation, thereby lowering the market value of the land.

Facing declining revenues, Drew in 2022 announced its intentions to sell off most of the forestland, including a portion to developers hoping to build it out.

Madison sought a $10 million Open Space grant last year from Morris County to help fund the purchase, which borough officials say will cost “significantly more than” $10 million, but instead was awarded $5 million.

Funds for Morris County

Two $1 million grants will go to Morris County, which makes up the majority of Sherrill’s congressional district.

One grant will support the Workforce Development Program at County College of Morris including a new satellite campus for health care studies. Another will fund the renovation of the historic Union Hill schoolhouse into a new civic center in Denville. Mayor Tom Andes said the facility would be used by the Denville Library and Recreation Department to “run a multitude of programs for our children.”

Other projects will address crime prevention, particularly in the form of $963,000 grants to both Essex County and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office to expand the use of automatic license plate reading technology to track auto thieves.

Additional grants will help fund projects aimed at traffic safety, flood mitigation, water infrastructure and community resources. 

The complete list:

  • $963,000: Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Regional — ALPR Expansion
  • $963,000: Essex County — Coalition of 17 Municipalities for ALPR Expansion
  • $500,000: Passaic County / Little Falls — Traffic Light Installation
  • $959,752: Maplewood — New Stormwater Subsystems
  • $500,000: Hanover, East Hanover, Florham Park, Morristown, Morris Plains — Whippany River Regional Improvement Initiative Phase II
  • $4,116,279: Madison — Drew Forest Preservation
  • $959,752: Belleville — Lead Line Replacement Project
  • $750,000: Jefferson — Public Sanitary Sewers Initial Army Corps Study
  • $959,752: Wayne — Mountain View Pump Station Rehabilitation Project
  • $1,000,000: County College of Morris — Workforce Development Center
  • $963,000: Seton Hall University — Semiconductor Related Research & Workforce Development 
  • $850,000: Chatham Borough — ECLC School Facility Renovations
  • $500,000: Nutley — Public School District Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms
  • $1,000,000: Denville — Community Center Renovation Project
  • $850,000: West Essex — YMCA Facility Construction

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A group of funding bills passed by Congress and signed by U.S. President Joseph Bidenon Saturday avoided a partial shutdown of the federal government — and also provided Maplewood Township with $959,752 in funding to support new stormwater subsystems.

The subsystems will “will be able to convey larger volumes of runoff to address flood risks while providing additional water quality treatment.”

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill announced the allocation as a part of $15.8 million in appropriations “coming back to NJ-11” — the district she represents that includes Maplewood and South Orange.

Sherrill announced “that all 15 of the Community Project Funding (CPF) requests she submitted to the House Appropriations Committee for Fiscal Year 2024 were passed by the House of Representatives – totaling $15.8 million coming back to NJ-11. … The federal funds for these local projects create jobs, drive our local economic growth, and improve the quality of life and affordability throughout the district and state.”

“These projects bring federal resources back to New Jersey to address some of the most pressing concerns I hear about from local leaders and constituents,” wrote Sherrill in an announcement posted to her website. “From bolstering public safety and mitigating flood risks to updating community spaces and preserving our open spaces, these bipartisan projects will have a great impact on towns in every corner of the district. I look forward to seeing these projects funded and improving the quality of life for residents.”

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WAYNE, NJ — Wayne Township could get close to $960,000 in federal appropriations to help protect residents from flooding , officials said. 

At the most recent Township Council meeting, Mayor Chris Vergano said the $959,752 would support improvements to help the Mountain View pump station manage stormwater.

Vergano said this the amount that the township applied for last year, and thanked Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill for including it in her Community Project Funding (CPF) requests. 

Democratic Rep. Sherrill – who represents part of Wayne and other North Jersey towns in the state’s 11th District – submitted 15 total projects to the House Appropriations Committee for Fiscal Year 2024. The appropriations bill has passed the U.S. House, and now heads to the Senate. 

Funding would include replacement of three sewer pumps and related infrastructure improvements at the facility, which will better protect residents in case of flooding, said officials.

The facility treats 13.5 million gallons of wastewater per day, according to the township. 

The recently-redrawn 11th district includes part of Wayne and the Passaic County communities of Little Falls, Totowa, and Woodland Park as well as communities in Essex and Morris counties.

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Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, has received a 100 percent environmental scorecard rating from the The New Jersey League of Conservation Voters (LCV) on its 2023 National Environmental Scorecard, while the area’s other member of Congress Rep. Tom Kean Jr., R-7, received a 22 percent score on the same scorecard.

This year, many in New Jersey’s delegation like Sen. Cory Booker and Congress members Bonnie Watson Coleman, Josh Gottheimer, Andy Kim, Donald Norcross, Rob Menendez, Frank Pallone, Donald Payne Jr., and Mikie Sherrill, all have LCV scores of 100 percent.

All New Jerseyans should be proud to have leaders who stand up against big polluters and attacks on our environment.

“Despite the gridlock and chaos in Congress today, we know that the majority of our Congressional delegation is working every day to protect our air and water, build an equitable clean energy future, and preserve our democracy,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director of New Jersey LCV.

“Unfortunately, those like Representative Jeff Van Drew, with a score of 3 percent, continue to use their votes to cater to big Polluters and right-wing extremists.

“Here at home, we must hold our elected officials accountable for putting polluters over our communities while still thanking our environmental champions for holding the line for us in Congress,” Potosnak said.

“The devastating wildfires, extreme storms and temperatures, and catastrophic floods that continue to affect our communities required an all-of-government approach that many in Congress helped deliver, despite relentless attempts by the fossil fuel industry and other entrenched interests to put their profits over New Jersey,” the statement said.

The 2023 Scorecard includes 36 votes in the House several of which were messaging amendments offered on major funding bills. The Senate in contrast approved 69 lifetime federal judges with exceptional environmental records, Potosnak said.

Since 1970, LCV’s Scorecard has been the primary yardstick for evaluating the environmental records of members of Congress. It is available for download in English and Spanish and online in both languages at

The New Jersey 11th Congressional District includes Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Florham Park, Hanover, Harding, Madison, a portion of Mendham Township, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown, Mountain Lakes, Randolph Township, Rockaway and Rockaway Township in Morris County; Fairfield, North Caldwell and West Caldwell in Essex County; and portions of Passaic County.

The 7th Congressional District includes all of Hunterdon and Warren Counties; Chester Borough, Chester Township, Long Hill Township, Mendham Borough, a portion of Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Mount Arlington, Mount Olive Township, Roxbury and Washington Township in Morris County; Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone, Warren Township and Watchung in Somerset County; as well as parts of Sussex and Union counties.

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) wrote directly to House Ways and Means Committee leadership urging them to make life more affordable for New Jersey’s first responders. Her advocacy follows a roundtable discussion she hosted with firefighters and law enforcement officers from around New Jersey on the need to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset, policies that unfairly cut hard-earned Social Security benefits for retired first responders.

“In December 2023, I convened a roundtable with firefighters, police officers, and other first responders from across my district whose members are greatly affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision. They told me how their retired members wanted to live in the communities that they had served, but were often unable to afford to stay in New Jersey because of the reduced Social Security benefits they received due to the Windfall Elimination Provision. Given these significant negative impacts to our first responders, it is crucial that the Ways & Means Committee move quickly to bring the Social Security Fairness Act, or other legislation that would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset, to the House floor for a vote,” wrote Rep. Sherrill.

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) affects about 1.9 million workers, mostly state and local government employees including police officers, firefighters, and teachers, and results in them receiving about $75/month less in Social Security benefits than their share of earnings should require. Rep. Sherrill is co-sponsoring two bills to eliminate the WEP and ensure that state and local government employees receive their full Social Security benefits – the Social Security Fairness Actand the Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act.

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NEWARK – The Clinton Hill Early Learning Center occupies an impressive building on Demarest Street and serves 198 children up to the age of five.

The center, which has been around since 1992, describes itself thusly:

“Our commitment to quality extends to our families as well. We provide multiple pathways for families to be engaged, empowered, and included in our programs.”

After touring the center Friday morning, Rep. Mikie Sherrill observed:

“A place like this has to be replicated.”

The congresswoman from nearby CD-11 joined two local state reps – Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz and Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin – to tour the center and to highlight the importance of child care.

This, in fact, has been a major issue for Sherrill, a mother of four.

Of late, there has been bad news and good news about childcare.

The pandemic-era American Rescue Act expanded child tax credits up to $3,000 per child over the age of six for a two-parent family earning a maximum of $150,000 a year. Most eligible families received the credit in monthly installments of $250.

Democrats say the program paid immediate dividends.

Sherrill pointed to statistics saying that the credit helped slash child poverty in the nation to a low of 5.2 percent – lifting as many as 3 million children out of poverty in a single month.

It was Pintor Marin who noted that Congress, as well as business leaders, finally realized the importance of providing working women with financial help to pay for child care or to meet other needs. She said it was “unfortunate” that it took a pandemic for this realization to set in.

Well, sort of. The added benefit was only for 2021.

Now, the pandemic is over.

Combine that with the polarization of an almost evenly-divided Congress and the tax credit was not extended for 2022 and beyond. Child poverty for 2022 increased to 12.4 percent as a result.

But just last month, Congress passed what is called – quite grandly – the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024, which will last for three years.

This legislation does not bring back the monthly payments under the old plan.

But Sherrill stressed that it does do something – aid low-income families with more than one child. It does this partly by indexing benefits to inflation. It would also raise the maximum credit per child from $1,800 in 2023 to $2,000 in 2025.

That’s a step forward, but childcare as an issue going forward is not going away.

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New Jersey Democratic Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (11th District) visited Clinton Hill Early Learning Center in Newark Friday, continuing to push the bill which recently passed in the Republican-led House of Representatives in a solid bipartisan fashion.

“The majority agree that we really need to do more for families and for children, especially,” said Sherrill.

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“Public works employees are the unsung heroes in townships and boroughs throughout NJ-11,” the congresswoman said.

LIVINGSTON, NJ — It’s time to show your local DPW employees some love this Valentine’s Day, according to Rep. Mikie Sherrill.

The congresswoman recently announced the launch of her Valentines for Public Works Departments” campaign.

As part of the program, Sherrill and her staff are inviting residents in the state’s 11th Congressional District to mail or drop off Valentine’s Day cards for Public Works Department employees at her office at 357 South Livingston Avenue, Suite 201, in Livingston. Cards submitted in envelopes should not be sealed or closed unless mailed to Sherrill’s office.

Sherrill will be collecting cards until Friday, Feb. 9. At that point, they’ll be forwarded to Departments of Public Works throughout the district for the Valentine’s Day holiday.

The entire district owes their local DPW crews some big thanks, Sherrill said:

“What do Departments of Public Works do? They help maintain our local infrastructure, such as roads, storm drains, and parks. When a storm comes through our area, they are working alongside our first responders to clear hazards and address any damages. During big snow storms, they are out salting and plowing the roads to keep us safe – in Madison alone they estimate that their DPW plows 350 miles during an average snowstorm!”

This program is part of a series of community appreciation initiatives by Sherrill and her team, such as “Thanksgiving Thank-Yous for Veterans” which resulted in over 6,800 thank you notes delivered to veterans from the community last year as well as 6,000 cards for her “Valentines for Seniors” program. 

“Over the past few years, my office and I have encouraged NJ-11 residents to take the time to show appreciation for members of our community, such as veterans, health care providers and seniors, with Valentine’s Day cards,” Sherrill said.

“This year we are dedicating our Valentine’s program to the public servants within Departments of Public Works, who work tirelessly all year, especially to help our communities recover from recent flooding events,” Sherrill continued.

“Public works employees are the unsung heroes in townships and boroughs throughout NJ-11 and we ask residents, especially students, to participate in this program,” she said.

For more information, contact (973) 526-5668.

The 11th District includes the following municipalities:

  • Essex – Belleville, Bloomfield, Cedar Grove, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Maplewood, Millburn, Montclair (part), North Caldwell, Nutley, Roseland, South Orange, West Caldwell 
  • Morris – Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham, Chatham Township, Denville, Dover, East Hanover, Florham Park, Hanover, Harding, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Madison, Mendham Twp (part), Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown Town, Mountain Lakes, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Pequannock, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway, Rockaway Township, Victory Gardens 
  • Passaic – Little Falls, Totowa, Wayne (part), Woodland Park

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Next month, Temple Ner Tamid, where I serve as rabbi, will be welcoming Rep. Mikie Sherrill to our congregation to speak about the state of antisemitism and what our elected officials are doing to combat it. Knowing that Sherrill has always been a friend to the Jewish community and a tireless advocate and ally, we are honored to hear her perspective and learn from her time in Washington.  

It is for this reason that I’ve been surprised by the recent attacks on Sherrill and the intimation by some that she is anything but supportive toward our community.  

We should ask these two questions about Sherrill’s record

The main critique against her surrounds her decision to vote “present” on House Resolution 894, “Strongly condemning and denouncing the drastic rise of antisemitism in the United States and around the world.”

Rather than jump to conclusions and see her decision as the sole referendum on her willingness to stand with the Jewish community, we should take a step back and reflect on two questions: 

  1. Does Sherrill have a record of standing alongside the Jewish community in the face of antisemitism? 
  2. Are there circumstances surrounding this particular vote that would explain why she chose to vote as she did, apart from an assumption that she does not care about antisemitism?  

The first question has an easy answer. Sherrill has a deep history of standing alongside the Jewish community. When my congregation was attacked last winter with a Molotov cocktail, Sherrill was one of the first elected officials to call me. She offered wholehearted support and a sensitive ear. In the time that followed, Sherrill spoke passionately at our communal rally against hate. She, alongside Rep. Bill Pascrell, championed our request for funding from the Department of Homeland Security to harden our building against future attacks.  

Mikie Sherrill makes a speech after winning the 11th Congressional District during a party at 18 Label Studios in Montclair on Tuesday November 8, 2022.

This willingness to show up and listen is echoed time and again during calm and crisis alike. In the days after Oct. 7, Sherrill showed up at a communal vigil organized by the Federation of Greater MetroWest and spoke with love and support about her time in Israel and how those visits helped her better understand why we were hurting so much. Since long before this latest crisis, I’ve spoken with her at length on Israel-related issues and watched her wrestle, in the same way many of us do, to reconcile actions that the Israeli government might take with an unwavering commitment to Israel’s right to exist and a particular sensitivity to its security needs. 

Sherrill’s record speaks for itself. There is virtually no issue around antisemitism that she hasn’t affected positively, from her work to expand Holocaust education to her deepening connection with the ADL, from serving on the House Bipartisan Task Force on Combating Antisemitism to convening a roundtable discussion with Jewish leaders on antisemitism in 2020.  

The same goes with Israel. She has worked to ensure military aid to Israel, supported tough action against Iran and its proxies, championed the Abraham Accords, and worked to withhold funds from Hamas.  

All of this should allow us to weigh her decision to vote “present” on HR 894 with a “kaf zechut,” an ancient idea that one needs to give people the benefit of the doubt, tipping the scales of judgment toward merit.  

There are some rare cases when antizionism is not antisemitic

In the days before HR 894 came for a vote, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Rep. Daniel Goldman, D-N.Y., and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., wrote to their colleagues asking them to vote “present” on the resolution. The reasons they gave were varied. They included the fact that a similar resolution had been passed only days earlier. But the crux of their critique surrounded the fact that the resolution said all forms of antizionism are by nature antisemitic. 

Nadler, Goldman and Raskin rejected that oversimplification. And I do, too. Nearly all forms of antizionism are by nature antisemitic, but there are rare exceptions, including, as they say, certain sects of Hasidic Jews. Likewise, those who oppose Israel on the basis of its nationalist origins are antisemitic, if they are in favor of other nation states existing. But the rare person who is against nationalism of any kind, including Jewish nationalism, is not.  

Seeing the language as too inflexible, they put forward their own resolution, HR 907 — which Sherrill co-sponsored — that similarly to HR 894 took a stand against antisemitism, but in a different way. They understood that words and nuance matter. They made the difficult decision to take the heat for voting “present” on the resolution, not because they don’t care about the issue of antisemitism, but because they care enough to make sure they say only what they mean around it.  

Knowing this background, I’m not surprised that Sherrill followed suit. Time and again, she has shown herself to be a leader of principle who carefully weighs the issues before her. In an era of soundbites, Sherrill doesn’t get caught up in the bluster.  

Since the bill was flawed, and considering her history of activism around antisemitism, I’m not concerned that her voting “present” means she cares any less about fighting hate against the Jewish community.  

There are times when I disagree with Sherrill. In this case, even with the problems of HR 894, I still likely would have voted for it because of the message that a unified bill would send. But that decision is not cut and dried, and I respect her decision to vote “present” because I trust that she came to it with the same integrity, knowledge, and deep respect and love for the Jewish people that she has brought with her through the duration of her public service. 

Rabbi Marc Katz leads Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield.

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I know that the Jewish community in New Jersey — and across the world — is suffering unfathomable pain, sorrow, and fear after the horrific atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7. I’ve heard the anguish when I mourned the innocent lives we lost and prayed for the hostages at Temple B’nai Jeshurun the day after the attack, I’ve heard it from parents whose hearts ache with worry for their children on college campuses, and I’ve heard it directly from rabbis who have shared their concerns about keeping congregations safe from violent acts of antisemitic hate.

I’ve worked for years to increase the security of Israel. It has been my committee, the House Armed Services Committee, that year after year has initiated the legislation to fully fund the security assistance in the Memorandum of Understanding and has replenished the Iron Dome after the terror attacks of May 2021. I’ve been a member of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Combating Antisemitism, where we’ve worked across party lines to address the spread of antisemitism at home and abroad.

Following Hamas’s attack on October 7, I voted for a resolution to stand with Israel in defending itself against Hamas, voted for a resolution to condemn antisemitism on college campuses, voted for a resolution calling for the release of all hostages held by Hamas, and most recently voted for a resolution reaffirming Israel’s right to exist. I’ve consistently spoken out against antisemitism, including on college campuses. After hearing the disturbing and woefully inadequate congressional testimony of some university presidents, I reached out to all of the presidents of colleges and universities here in New Jersey urging them to take concrete action to protect students — and asking for their specific plans.

My efforts to combat antisemitism in this country date back before the attacks of October 7. During my first term in office, I led bipartisan legislation to establish a study abroad program for American high school students to learn the lessons of WWII and the Holocaust by visiting educational sites of historic importance during the Operation Overlord campaign. I held a roundtable with rabbis, community members, and college students to hear direct feedback on how Congress can better address rising antisemitism. I’ve worked with the ADL in the aftermath of terrible hate crimes such as the attack on a rabbi in Jersey City. Whether it’s a violent act, hateful rhetoric, or sickening graffiti, I’ve spoken out against the antisemitism we’ve seen in towns across our state. My record as a supporter of Israel, our key democratic ally in the Middle East, is strong and clear. I hold dear my deep relationships in the New Jersey Jewish community, have built lasting friendships, and I have found immense value and wisdom in my engagements there, especially in the wake of October 7.

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FLORHAM PARK – Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, D-11, joined academic leaders, statewide advocates and organizations, and elected officials at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) to introduce two bills which she said will help veterans find professional and education opportunities Thursday, Jan. 25.

The first bill, the “Service Members Apprenticeship Act,” would expand the number of high-quality registered apprenticeship programs available to service members as they transition out of the armed forces, Sherrill said.

The bill would also require the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Labor to work together to identify employers who can expand their already existing apprenticeship program into the DOD’s SkillBridge Program which provides civilian internships to service members in their last 108 days of service, Sherrill said.

The second bill, the “College Opportunities for Service Members Act,” will encourage colleges and universities to follow FDU’s lead in creating Centers for Military and Veterans Education, Sherrill said.

This, she said, would help colleges and universities engage with service members and support their workforce training in the SkillBridge Program.

Sherrill said she hears from business owners across the state about workforce shortages they are facing. She also said she hears from labor union members about the need for expanded, quality apprenticeship programs that help match employers to skilled workers.

“As anyone who served knows, you have to get a lot of qualifications in the military,” said Sherrill, a Navy veteran. “You go through an incredible amount of training in our military. And then when you get out, all of that is not always easily transferable to a civilian understanding of this skill set. So this can, this skills bridge can really help bridge that gap.”

Sherrill also said many veterans and service members know that when they get the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Training to transition to civilian life, they’re paying almost no attention because they’re thinking about how to pack up, where they are going to live and how they are going to get a job.

“Again, everyone who is a veteran knows of the predatory groups out there that try to take advantage of the G.I. Bills,” Sherrill said.

“This really helps veterans make good choices in education so that they can begin a career where they’re earning benefits and earning a good paycheck. I know the transition from active duty to civilian life isn’t an easy one. But high-quality education and job training opportunities can help make that switch easier while also building the workforce that will carry the Garden State through the 21st Century.”

Read more here

Environmental advocates join congresswoman for roundtable.

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill say that native plants are key to making sure New Jersey’s ecosystems are healthy. Sherrill (D-11th) is pushing legislation that focuses on habitat rehabilitation and flood prevention, for which native plants are critical.

“They offer such a benefit and there is currently no U.S. government-wide statute requiring federal entities to incorporate native plants in their building and landscaping projects. And this bill will change that,” Sherrill said.

Environmental advocates joined Sherrill on Thursday for a roundtable on the importance of native plants — those that are indigenous to a region.

“Native plants are the crux of how we rehabilitate and reclaim ecosystems. Without that you will not succeed. You have to get rid of the invasive first,” said Jenny Gaus-Myers, who runs environmental education at the Morris County Park Commission. “But once you do that, the wildlife is going to take over and it’s going to do it for you.”

Anjuli Ramos-Busot, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club chapter, said, “Having native plants, especially with a state like New Jersey where most of our land has been human-altered, bringing back our native species is actually one of the best solutions that we have in order to have resilience against climate change. … Native plants have the best adaptability to changing temperatures, changing weather, changing climate.”

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The feds are sending a windfall of $1.4 million to aid vocational-technical students in Essex County, Rep. Mikie Sherrill says.

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — A windfall of $1.4 million in federal funding is headed to the Essex County Vocational Technical School system, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill announced Friday.

According to Sherrill – who represents the state’s 11th Congressional District – the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) grant will “help high schools to develop and support high-quality, career connected programs for students, including dual enrollment programs, work-based learning, and opportunities for students to earn industry-recognized credentials.”

The grant is part of the DOE’s “Raise the Bar: Unlocking Career Success” campaign.

The county’s school system has been growing by leaps and bounds, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. said.

“Over the last six years, we have opened three new schools – Donald Payne School of Technology, West Caldwell School of Technology and Newark Tech – that provide modern accommodations and dynamic learning environments where our students receive an educational foundation that prepares them for college or university, the workforce or whatever future path they follow,” DiVincenzo said.

Rep. Sherrill said that New Jersey is “home to the best public education system in the nation” – and it’s important to build on that success.

“I look forward to seeing how the Essex County Technical Vocational School District uses this funding to continue developing innovative programs that will improve student engagement, connect our schools with New Jersey’s world-class businesses, and build a highly skilled workforce that will power the Garden State,” Sherrill said.

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CHATHAM TOWNSHIP – Mikie Sherrill told a story Thursday about plans to commemorate the nation’s 250th anniversary in two years.

The CD-11 congresswoman spoke of plans at Jockey Hollow, which is part of Morristown National Historical Park, to plant the same vegetation that was on the site during Washington’s encampment in 1779-80.

Times have changed since then.

Sherrill said it would be difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate an apple orchard of the Revolutionary War era because of climate change.

This was more than a nice story.

Sherrill and other officials held a press conference at the Great Swamp Outdoor Recreation Center to hype federal legislation to promote and prioritize, when possible, the development of native plants.

As of now, there are no federal statutes requiring the incorporation of native plants in federal building or landscaping projects.

Supporters of the bill say plans native to a region are crucial to the food supply and more importantly, retain stormwater that otherwise could flood nearby neighborhoods.

That’s crucial. Sherrill said that her district, which includes parts of Morris, Passaic and Essex counties, is the most flood prone in the state,

Moreover, the congresswoman said that native plants by definition are “native” to the region, and as such, regular watering and other landscaping and maintenance is not required.

“It’s so simple,” said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, the state director of the Sierra Club.

Also on hand was Shawn LaTourette, the state DEP commissioner. He said:

“When we engineer with nature, it’s more sustainable. It’s cheaper. It’s lasting.”

Polarization in Washington makes it difficult to get just about anything done. Sherrill, however, was hopeful, noting that this bill – the Building Native Habitats with Federal Projects Act – has Democratic and Republican sponsors in both the House and Senate.

Bipartisanship was on display at the event. Morris County commissioner John Krickus, a Republican, was in the audience.

DEP Commissioner LaTourette was optimistic:

“It’s not red or blue, it’s all green if you do it right,” he said.

Before the native plant event, Sherrill was at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison to highlight two other bills to connect former service members with in-demand career opportunities. Sherrill is a Navy veteran.

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Sherrill Pushes for a Robust Child Tax Credit, Repeal of SALT Deduction Cap

Washington, DC — Today, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill released the following statement on proposed tax legislation to boost the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which was significantly expanded in 2021 by the American Rescue Plan. That expansion expired at the start of 2022.

“Child poverty in America was cut in half after Congressional Democrats significantly expanded the Child Tax Credit through the American Rescue Plan. Sadly, Washington Republicans let that increased funding expire last year – erasing important progress for families. I applaud the bipartisan negotiations that led to this new tax deal to bring back this extremely important lifeline for so many families – in addition to important research and development incentives for American job creators. Expanding and protecting a robust CTC is a top priority in my fight to lower costs for New Jerseyans,” said Rep. Sherrill. “As this legislation is finalized, I will also make clear that any tax bill should include a repeal of the SALT deduction cap that has had a devastating impact on New Jersey families.”

Under current law, many low-income families do not make enough money to qualify for the full CTC or claim a credit for each of their children. With this deal, these low-income families will now be able to receive the CTC for each of their children. The deal also indexes the CTC to inflation, allowing most families to see an increase in their credit. This expansion will lift 400,000 children above the poverty line and benefit around 16 million children in low-income families in its first year of enactment.

Preparing for her congressional re-election bid this year, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) raised a solid $464,000 during the fourth quarter of last year and has an impressive $1.3 million cash-on-hand.

That brings Sherrill’s total 2023 fundraising haul to over $1.975 million.

Since becoming a candidate for Congress in 2018, when she flipped New Jersey’s 11th district House seat after Republicans held for 34 years, Sherrill has raised a gigantic $23.4 million.

The three-term congresswoman from North Jersey also raised nearly $90,000 for her political action committee, Gateway to Leadership, during the last three months of 2023.  Sherrill provided assistance to 52 Democratic women running for the legislature and spent almost $270,000.

“Our campaign has been powered by grassroots support since Day One, and I’m proud of the enthusiasm I’ve seen in every corner of the Garden State,” Sherrill said.  “New Jerseyans are hungry for a different kind of politics – one that puts service and country first, and works tirelessly to make our state a better and more affordable place to live, work, and raise a family.”

So far, no Republicans have expressed an interest in challenging Sherrill in 2024.

A former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor, Sherrill’s $1.2 million fundraising haul by the end of 2107 caused the 12-term Republican incumbent, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, to unexpectedly announce his retirement.

Sherrill won her House race by 46,262 votes, 57%-42%, flipping a House seat held by Republicans for 34 years.  She defeated Republican Rosemary Becchi, a former U.S. Senate Finance Committee tax counsel, by 29,150 votes, 53%-47%, in 2020.

Redistricting in 2022 traded heavily Democratic towns in Sussex and Passaic counties for Democratic strongholds in Essex, including Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange.  Joe Biden would have carried the new lines by 17 points – almost as large as his margin in the less competitive 6th and 9th districts. In 2022, Gov. Phil Murphy, who struggled in the well-off suburbs where Biden did best, won the 11th district by four points.

She faced Paul DeGroot, a former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor, and defeated him by 51,484 votes, a 19-point victory.

ROXBURY TWP. – For their ongoing efforts to preserve, protect and promote the state’s largest natural water resource, Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, has honored Marty Kane and Gay Ann Bucci.

Both individuals, Kane of Mountain Lakes and Bucci of Rockaway, have earned the praise – and public recognition – by Rep. as part of her “2023 Heroes” program.

“I launched the 2023 Heroes program to recognize members of our community who have made a difference in NJ-11 over the past year,” Sherrill said.

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“This was an opportunity to remind our everyday heroes— teachers, healthcare providers, first responders, family members, volunteers or others who have impacted another person’s life in a positive way— that our community is incredibly grateful for all of their work,” she said.

“All of our 2023 Heroes live or work in NJ-11. We had an outpouring of submissions from the community and we selected our 25 Heroes based on the heartfelt testimonies provided to us by the individual that nominated them,” Sherrill said.

“While all of our selected Heroes received a congressional certificate recognizing their achievement, we also wanted to share the heartfelt submissions of their nominators, in their own words. We hope you find them as touching and inspiring as we do,” she said in a release issued at the end f last year.

Kane was Kane nominated by Alan Hunt, a colleague and Bucci was nominated by Marty Kane.

Hunt said of Kane:

“Marty is a retired employee at Picatinny Arsenal and a lifelong resident of Lake Hopatcong. He is board President of Lake Hopatcong Foundation and has tirelessly sought to improve the quality of life for lake residents. He is kind and brings people together from all perspectives, including downstream residents on the Musconetcong River. In his time as President, the foundation has grown in staff, successfully converted the old landing station into a working office and meeting space, launched the lake circuit trail, donated for water quality improvements, and partnered with the Musconetcong Watershed Association to get the federal designation for the Musconetcong Watershed National Water Trail. He’s also brought federal investments to restore a historic fountain at Hopatcong State Park, which receives over 400,000 visitors annually and advocated for funding for sewering Jefferson Township with support from the Army Corps of Engineers. He’s committed his life to promoting, protecting, and restoring Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey’s largest lake.”

Kane said of Bucci:

“Gay is a retired educator, who taught fifth grade and third grade for thirty-seven years with the Denville Township School District. She is a graduate of The College of Saint Elizabeth (now Saint Elizabeth University) and Seton Hall University with degrees in elementary education and educational leadership. Gay first became involved with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation in 2016 as a volunteer for the organization’s annual field trips and has since found a home on its Education Team. As a volunteer, she has continued to use her teaching skills to bring awareness of the importance of protecting the Musconetcong Watershed and Lake Hopatcong. Gay almost never misses acting as a volunteer for educational trips aboard the Floating Classroom for students in the spring or families in the summer. She has been a mainstay in the Lake Hopatcong Foundation’s efforts to educate the next generation of environmental stewards. Along with being a proud member of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, Gay serves on the Board of Trustees for Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, where she frequently volunteers as a docent. She also leads and plans events for the women’s group at her local church in Rockaway.”

According to the foundation, Gay Ann Bucci grew up surrounded by stories of her family’s experiences as concessioners at Bertrand Island Amusement Park in the 1940s and 1950s. When Gay was in high school and college, she would have the opportunity to make her own memories working alongside her aunt and cousins in the Creamy Whip stand. Her time at the Park included hard work, but so many good times with extended family and friends.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, discussed her efforts to grow the New Jersey economy while dealing with what she called a “dysfunctional” Congress during a telephone town hall Monday, Dec. 11.

Sherrill said at the beginning of the town hall that it was focused on her legislative effort, the “American Jobs and Competition Plan” that she says will boost economic growth in the state and strengthen America’s global competitiveness.

Morgan Dwyer, the chief strategy officer for the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) Program Office, spoke during the town hall about the CHIPS and Science Act passed by Congress in August 2022.

Dwyer said the act appropriated about $52 billion to the Department of Commerce to support both research and development and the return of manufacturing to the United States. The bill, Dwyer said, also appropriated about $11 billion to advance U.S. leadership in semiconductor research and development.

“CHIPS for America is truly a historic opportunity to solidify America’s leadership, bring manufacturing and supply chain back to our shores and protect our national security,” Dwyer said.

“It’s no small task, and it really is a historic responsibility for the Department of Commerce, which is where I work. Thankfully, we are ready to meet this moment, and we’re implementing the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act in a way that is going to meet our nation’s economic and national security needs while at the same time, creating good-paying jobs in communities across the country.”

Sherrill said this Congress has unfortunately been one of the more dysfunctional Congresses she’s been a part of, but through it all, she says she has stayed focused on the priorities that will improve affordability and expand opportunities for New Jerseyans.

“So there’s a lot we still need to get done for the American people,” Sherrill said. “But I know many of you are concerned about whether or not I can continue to deliver for New Jersey. I do want to stress that we can still get important work done when we’re willing to stay focused on the priorities of the American people.”

Sherrill said that in the past few weeks, she sat down with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to discuss efforts to support New Jersey businesses on the global stage, crack down on “unfair” trade practices by the Chinese Communist Party and deliver critical CHIPS and Science Act Funding to manufacturers in New Jersey.

The Congresswoman also said she has been working on the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Committee to strengthen the U.S.’s national security and support service members and military families.

Sherrill said she has continued to fight for the U.S.’s democratic allies across the globe including support of Ukraine’s defense against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “brutal” invasion, Taiwan’s security in the face of China’s aggression, Israel’s defense against Hamas and humanitarian aid to civilians across the world and in Gaza.

Sherrill talked about how she secured “critical” funding for most of the Gateway Tunnel and Lackawanna Cutoff rail projects through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Construction has now started on the first component of Gateway’s Hudson River tunnel. These projects, Sherrill said, are going to cut travel times and costs, reduce congestion and lower emissions throughout New Jersey.

Sherrill also said she has been fighting to bring down the costs of child care and extend critical funding to keep New Jersey child care centers open.

She said she’s also continuing to strongly advocate for the repeal of the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction cap in any tax package that comes up next year. The Republican majority in the House, she said, continues to block SALT legislation, but she’ll continue to work with partners on both sides of the aisle to get this done.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and David Joyce (OH-14), and Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Mike Braun (R-IN), introduced the Building Native Habitats at Federal Facilities Act. This legislation encourages federal agencies to incorporate native plants in local landscaping projects. 

Native plants are crucial to food supply chains and provide habitat for native fauna and mitigate, filter, and retain stormwater that otherwise floods neighborhoods and causes polluted rivers. Additionally, native plants do not need to be routinely watered once established and come back year after year. This reduces landscaping maintenance, including fertilization and pest control, therefore cutting down on long-term costs and seasonal efforts to maintain federal landscapes. 

“I am excited to expand on New Jersey’s storied history as the ‘Garden State’ with the Building Native Habitats at Federal Facilities Act. Native plants offer a wide range of benefits, including providing natural habitats for animals, offering flood protection by filtering and retaining stormwater, and requiring less maintenance – which will save money for New Jersey families, businesses, and municipalities,” said Rep. Sherrill. “I am grateful to the environmental advocates across New Jersey who brought this issue to my attention and I look forward to our continued partnership as I work to address flooding, protect our planet, and lower costs for New Jerseyans.”

“As co-chair of the International Conservation Caucus, I recognize the importance of helping to restore natural habitats and protect endangered wildlife,” said Congressman Joyce. “This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will promote the use of native plants, restore natural habitats, and cultivate more native plants in local communities across Ohio and the country. I urge my colleagues in both chambers to work swiftly to pass this legislation.” 

“Federal facilities are ideal proving grounds for scaling best practices in managing our landscapes, prioritizing healthy and resilient native plants,” said Senator Heinrich. “Native plants provide key benefits for pollinators and our environment. And the savings from their lower maintenance needs also make them a responsible and cost-effective use of taxpayer dollars.” 

“Indiana is home to a great variety of native plants that provide a significant purpose to our ecosystems, such as shelter for local species or retaining stormwater that would otherwise flood communities. This legislation would promote the use of native plants across the country which helps fulfill our responsibility as stewards of the environment and saves taxpayer dollars,” said Sen. Braun

“We applaud Representatives Sherrill and Joyce and Senators Heinrich and Braun on this legislation,” said Dr. Barbara Brummer, New Jersey State Director at The Nature Conservancy. “Embracing native plants in landscapes isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a vital commitment to the survival of pollinators and wildlife. Native plantings support species diversity, creating vibrant habitats that sustain and nurture our natural world.”

“New Jersey may be nicknamed “The Garden State” but not enough of those gardens feature our very own native plants, like pasture rose or butterfly weed. Some of our native plants may have even disappeared altogether, including three of our seven species of gentians. Every time a native plant goes extinct, we lose a little wonder, but our pollinators and other wildlife may lose much more: their home, their food, their environment. We can and should use more native plants in our landscaping and the federal government can lead by example if Congress passes Rep. Sherrill’s Building Native Habitats Act,” said Doug O’Malley, Director, Environment New Jersey.

“For decades in America, we’ve paved over our prairies, replaced our native wild plants for ornamentals, and sprayed pesticides over nearly every field, meadow and forest. Now, our nearly 5,000 species of bees and butterflies are paying the price for our progress. Restoring native plants to the landscape will not only make America more beautiful, but expand the habitat that pollinators need to thrive again. That’s why Environment America supports the bipartisan Building Native Habitats Act,” said Lisa Frank, Executive Director, Environment America’s Washington Legislative Office.

“The Native Plant Society of New Jersey (NPSNJ) strongly supports the passage of the ‘Building Native Habitats with Federal Projects Act’ which encourages the federal government to help safeguard and promote one of our nation’s greatest natural treasures, its native plants. Federal agencies and their partners have long used native plants, which provide critical ecological services, for habitat restoration projects. However, many other federally funded projects, that could provide connecting corridors for many species of wildlife, have not. This legislation would provide many benefits that would augment efforts by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey’s conservation organizations, and similar agencies and organizations across the country. NPSNJ and its members strongly promote the use of native plants on private lands, as well as local, state, and federal projects,” said Randi V. Wilfert Eckel, PhD, President, Native Plant Society of New Jersey.

““Native plants are critical to help birds, pollinators, and other wildlife find food and shelter in a changing climate,” said Marlene Pantin, Plants for Birds partnership manager at the National Audubon Society. “As one of the nation’s largest landowners, the federal government undertakes a significant number of projects each year in our communities. This bill would deliver benefits for people and wildlife by prioritizing the use of native plants in landscape projects.” 

The Building Native Habitats at Federal Facilities Act mandates that federal agencies prioritize native plants when engaging in landscaping work and update their agency facility design standards. Additionally, the legislation encourages the creation of a new public report that will share best practices on how to promote native habitats across federal facilities.

Rep. Sherrill’s legislation has earned the endorsement of national and statewide environmental organizations, including the National Audubon Society, American Public Gardens Association, Center for Plant Conservation, Environment America, National Native Plant Month, Native Plant Conservation Campaign, The Nature Conservancy, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Sierra Club, Pollinator Friendly Alliance, Homegrown National Park, the Audubon Society of New Jersey, Environment America – New Jersey, Native Plant Society of New Jersey, Nature Conservancy of New Jersey, and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

Rep. Sherrill is a leader in the fight against climate change and efforts to curb flooding in New Jersey. She championed two pieces of legislation– the PRECIP and FLOODS Acts– to improve rainfall forecasting and increase communication prior to major flood events. She helped secure millions of dollars in Community Project funding as well as through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to protect New Jersey’s open spaces, invest in clean energy, and improve flood mitigation corridors in New Jersey’s 11th District.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) has stood firmly with the people of Israel and the Jewish community in New Jersey. Yesterday, as the House of Representatives came back into session, Sherrill cosponsored two bipartisan resolutions condemning the terrorist attack by Hamas and reaffirming U.S. support for Israel. 

On Sunday, Sherrill joined Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey to mourn the lives lost in this horrific attack, to pray for the hostages, and to stand in solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors.

On Monday morning, Sherrill appeared on CNN This Morning and reiterated her support for Israel and committed to working with both parties and the Biden Administration to ensure Israel has the resources it needs to defend itself from the horrific attacks. 


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Following the terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (D-11) said she stands firmly with the people of Israel and the Jewish community in New Jersey. Yesterday, as the House of Representatives came back into session, Sherrill cosponsored two bipartisan resolutions condemning the terrorist attack by Hamas and reaffirming U.S. support for Israel.

On Sunday, Sherrill joined Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey to mourn the lives lost in this horrific attack, to pray for the hostages, and to stand in solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors.

On Monday morning, Sherrill appeared on CNN This Morning and reiterated her support for Israel and committed to working with both parties and the Biden Administration to ensure Israel has the resources it needs to defend itself from the horrific attacks.

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Inside a Millburn synagogue Sunday night, politicians and leaders spoke and consoled those gathered in solidarity as Israel reels from a surprise attack by Hamas that put the nation at war.

Among those who spoke at Temple B’nai Jeshurun were New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11th Dist., U.S. Rep. Tom Kean, Jr., R-7th Dist., and Yuval Donio-Gideon, Consul for Public Diplomacy at the Consulate General of Israel.

And late Sunday, at Drumthwacket, the governor’s residence in Princeton was illuminated in blue and white for Israel, First Lady Tammy Murphy tweeted.

The Garden State has deep, varied connections to Israel, from people who vacation and visit family, to those who have second homes there, said Dov Ben-Shimon, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest.

Before the event at Temple B’nai Jeshurun, he said New Jersey and Israel, share “partnership and love and connections that run through everything we define as Jewish in New Jersey.”

“There are so many of us that partly live in Israel, that are from Israel, that have family and friends in Israel. And the values that we share here as American Jews are very much articulated and expressed in how we relate to Israel,” Ben-Shimon said.

The federation has deep ties in the country, too, with many professional relationships and seven Israeli employees who work on the federation’s mission of rescue, relief and renewal of Jewish life.

“We actually have several partnerships, several of which were very badly hit with hostages and people killed,” Ben-Shimon said.

“We’re still trying to ascertain the exact number of our friends and partners and employees who were directly involved in the fighting. We know of at least one Jewish Federation employee whose husband was shot and wounded. And we know of many people in our partnership communities who were killed or taken hostage.”

“We have many New Jersey residents with homes in Israel, who have moved to Israel. We are trying to locate New Jersey residents.” It’s unclear how many of them may have been affected by Saturday attacks, launched from Gaza, Ben-Shimon said.

The Greater MetroWest federation — which represents 100 synagogues and dozens of New Jersey organizations across Union, Essex, Sussex, Morris and Somerset counties — works toward a united Jewish community to support Israel and here at home, he said. (The group also works in some 80 other countries, as well.)

“On a more tragic level, it was very clear yesterday that the enemy that Israel faces is the same enemy that the United States faces. We are opposed by people who hate us, who hate Jews, who hate Americans who hate Israelis. They despise our freedoms and they want to kill us,” Ben-Shimon said.

Several New Jersey elected leaders have issued statements in support of Israel and rebuking Hamas’ terror, including Gov. Phil Murphy, who said he was “sickened” by the events, Sherrill, who was appalled by the “murders, kidnappings, and rockets raining down on Israeli communities,” and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, who was in Israel at the time of the attack Saturday and safely left the country.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following the terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) has stood firmly with the people of Israel and the Jewish community in New Jersey. Yesterday, as the House of Representatives came back into session, Sherrill cosponsored two bipartisan resolutions condemning the terrorist attack by Hamas and reaffirming U.S. support for Israel. 

On Sunday, Sherrill joined Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey to mourn the lives lost in this horrific attack, to pray for the hostages, and to stand in solidarity with our Jewish friends and neighbors.

On Monday morning, Sherrill appeared on CNN This Morning and reiterated her support for Israel and committed to working with both parties and the Biden Administration to ensure Israel has the resources it needs to defend itself from the horrific attacks. 


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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) cosponsored two pieces of bipartisan legislation reaffirming the United States’s support for Israel following devastating terrorist attacks by Hamas. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Sherrill has long advocated for and secured U.S. resources to help ensure Israel’s safety and security, such as the replenishment of the Iron Dome.

“Now is time to show the world that the House of Representatives stands with Israel in the face of these brutal terrorist attacks by Hamas. It is crucial that support for Israel be among the first orders of business after the House majority confirms a new Speaker,” said Rep. Sherrill.

Sherrill cosponsored a bipartisan resolution led by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and Ranking Member Gregory Meeks affirming that the United States stands with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists and condemning Hamas’s horrific crimes against humanity.

Alongside Democratic and Republican military veterans in Congress, Sherrill helped introduce a resolution that condemns the acts of terrorism committed by Hamas against Israel and directs the Administration to provide support, stating that Congress:

  1. Declares its unwavering support for the State of Israel and stands ready to consider urgent requests for additional assistance Israel may require to defend its people and safeguard its sovereignty;
  2. Affirms that Israel, as a sovereign state, is entitled to act in self-defense against Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and associated forces, and their state sponsors;
  3. Finds the that cross-border attacks, murders, and kidnappings constitute acts of international terrorism and aggression;
  4. Calls on the President to provide intelligence, military, and diplomatic support to the Government of Israel in response to this terrorist attack; and
  5. Calls on all governments harboring Hamas personnel to immediately expel those individuals from their territory.

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DOVER – With Mikie Sherrill watching, the students sang “Itsy Bitsy Spider” – in English and then in Spanish.

The singers were less than 5-years-old.

Welcome to Head Start, a federal preschool program for low income students that is a lasting and favorable legacy of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

The congresswoman from CD-11 spent Tuesday morning touring the facility and visiting two classes – one for those under 3 and the other for “older students,” some of whom were 4. At one point, Sherrill was impressed that one of the students voluntarily cleaned up his plate and glass after eating lunch.

But this was not just a social visit.

The federal budget year ends on Sept. 30 and that can mean trouble on a number of fronts.

One problem is that pandemic relief funds that supported preschool are expiring.

Sherrill is trying to counter that with a bill called “The Child Care for Every Community Act.” Among other things it would limit a family’s expense for child care to 7 percent of family income. It would also strive to create more preschool options using the Head Start model.

Sherrill, a mother of four, has talked often about expanding child care opportunities since her election to Congress in 2018. In fact, one of her first visits after winning election was to a Head Start center.

The congresswoman related a story dating back to her work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding prisoner reentry into society.

She said she wanted to know at what age the education system should try to reach children before they take a wrong turn.  She said she was thinking this would be in middle school.

Not so.

Sherrill realized that working with and educating children before they even get to kindergarten is vitally important.

That is the mission of Head Start, and one that is badly-needed, officials said, even in a county as affluent as Morris. Its affluence does not cover all.

Dover is a largely Latino community and most of the youngsters arrive with little or scant knowledge of English.

That’s not a problem. It’s an opportunity.

Besides learning such social skills as getting along with – and communicating with – each other, students learn both English and how to keep proficiency in Spanish.

“By the time they graduate, they will be speaking English,” Sherrill said.

In this case, “graduation,” means off to kindergarten, where Head Start youngsters should be at least on par with their peers, some of whom may have attended private preschool.

Today’s congressional visit was a festive occasion that brought together the local superintendent of schools, the president of County College of Morris and Robert Grant, a long-time volunteer with the Head Start Board.

But it all wasn’t fun and games.

Besides the pandemic related cut and Sherrill’s bill, Congress needs to pass a resolution to continue funding the government.

At the moment, Republicans, who control the House, albeit narrowly, are divided about how to do that.

Sherrill spoke of coming chaos and then, referring to her Navy background, said she sees “rough shoals” ahead.

By Rep. Mikie Sherrill

The United States stands dangerously close to a child care funding cliff, with the health of the economy and families’ financial stability hanging in the balance. Without action, thousands of child care centers across America could close their doors, costing families and the economy billions of dollars — both in lost earnings for parents and in economic activity for businesses.

It’s alarming, right? 

Too often, the pressing issue of affordable child care doesn’t get the attention it deserves because it’s sidelined as simply a women’s issue. But we know that’s not the case — child care is an issue that touches everyone and, if unaddressed, the impending funding cliff will have ripple effects through almost every aspect of our economy. 

Child care is personal to me. As a mother of four kids under the age of 18, there were times when I was handing over almost my entire paycheck to cover child care expenses. In fact, after I left the Navy and went to law school, I took a semester off because I wasn’t comfortable with my child care options. And like so many parents, I found myself on the brink of a difficult choice: Do I continue working, or take five years off until my kids get to kindergarten? 

Earlier this year, I spoke with a police sergeant from Chatham about his family’s experience finding child care. He and his wife, at that time a teacher, have two kids born 20 months apart. They knew child care would be expensive, but didn’t have family to pitch in and they both had professional goals for their work in public service. While they were able to find a quality spot for their children, they were often the first to drop their kids off and the last to pick them up because of work commitments. Adding to the stress, their monthly child care expenses were more than their monthly home mortgage. He doesn’t know how his family managed to pull it off, but they did so making a lot of sacrifices along the way — all while continuing their careers in law enforcement and public schools. 

These are the gut-wrenching challenges that parents face every single day.  

Then the pandemic hit, making a tough child care climate even worse. In total, nearly 2 million women dropped out of the workforce during the pandemic, and the lack of child care options was one of the main factors. That’s why I fought to pass the American Rescue Plan — which, in New Jersey, provided about $400 million in federal funding to help child care centers keep their doors open during the pandemic and continue providing for the families who needed them. I’ve heard from experts and advocates like Meghan Tavormina, President of New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children, and it’s clear that many providers would not have been able to survive if not for this funding. This support is crucial because the overhead costs for child care are high and, despite the critical care they provide, child care centers have not been able to raise wages to retain early educators without raising tuition prices. 

Now, these federal funds are set to expire at the end of September, and that’s why I’m sounding the alarm. 

In New Jersey alone, the cliff could result in more than 1,000 child care centers closing their doors, and more than 100,000 children could lose their care entirely. That also means millions more in added costs for New Jersey families and countless child care professionals out of work. 

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) recently toured the YMCA of Montclair’s Early Learning Center to discuss critical childcare and community services provided to families in the greater Montclair area. Pictured left to right: YMCA Board Member Bob Davison, YMCA Executive Director Justine Perillo, Parent Tricia Mack, Parent Christina Vassallo, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Parents Sophia Kenny and Chris Kenny,  Parent Yingsha Liao, and YMCA President and CEO Buddy Evans.

That’s why last week, I introduced legislation to extend this critical federal funding for child care centers for another five years. This funding would be a lifeline for the parents and children that rely on child care centers, and for the providers who need the federal assistance to keep their doors open. This isn’t a partisan issue — and I hope that Congressional leadership, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, will treat this with the urgency it demands.

Even before the cliff, I introduced the Child Care for Every Community Act, modeled after Head Start and the military’s child care program. This bill would ensure that no family has to pay more than seven percent of their income toward child care expenses. Right now, the average cost of care for New Jersey families with an infant and a two-year old is a whopping $2,635 per month. But under my bill, many of these New Jersey families would pay no more than $200 per month. The legislation also invests in child care workers to help attract and retain quality early educators to support children during their most critical period of development.

It is imperative that Congress takes action both for the short term and the long term — passing legislation to address the child care cliff, finally bringing down the cost of child care for families, and ensuring the fantastic workforce in New Jersey can continue to thrive. 

This is about economic security and peace of mind for parents, and part of my work to make New Jersey a better and more affordable place to live. Giving parents access to quality, affordable child care will unlock even more economic opportunity. As a mother and as a Member of Congress, it’s personal — so I’ll fight like hell to make progress on this issue for the Garden State.

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During a Monday press conference at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11th District, announced the American Jobs and Competition Plan — a legislative package aimed at strengthening economic and national security amid increased competition and aggression from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

This marks the next phase of Sherill’s work on the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and CCP, which was created at the beginning of the 118th Congress and reported on by NJBIZ back in May. As part of that work, Sherrill introduced the first pillar of this plan Sept. 18, the Leading Global Innovation Resolution: A call to action to the public, private and nonprofit sectors on the CCP’s “Made in China 2025” plan.

Sherill says she plans to introduce more legislation as part of the plan in the coming months to:

  • Address security challenges posed by CCP-affiliated technology;
  • Combat the CCP’s unfair trade practices
  • Boost the role of the Department of Commerce, and
  • Strengthen America’s partnerships and alliances.

“For too long, policymakers haven’t given the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘Made in China 2025’ plan the attention or urgency it deserves – and that ends today. We must act swiftly to counter the CCP’s escalating economic aggression and attempts to dominate the technology of the future that is so critical to our economic and national security,” said Sherrill. “I’ve heard from too many New Jersey businesses that have been targets of the CCP’s unfair and illegal trade practices – hurting their ability to grow and create jobs here at home.

“Building on my efforts to pass the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, this resolution is a bipartisan call to action for the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to work together to ensure that the U.S. is competitive for the future, and to win this era of strategic competition with the CCP,” Sherrill said.

The resolution, which calls for addressing the issue with a whole of government and private sector approach, details China’s plan and its intentions to dominate future technologies, like semiconductors, AI, and quantum computing, while also outlining examples of the CCP’s unfair trade practices, economic espionage and other malign activities against American businesses.

“I think a key piece of what we are doing is ensuring that – as we reshore American manufacturing, we’re really investing in American workers,” said Sherrill. “It’s fitting to be here at Thomas Edison State University – named after America’s most prolific inventor, who spent much of his life and career, of course, in New Jersey. Since our country’s founding, New Jersey has been a manufacturing and innovation powerhouse.”

Sherrill said the goal of these efforts is pretty simple, especially in this era of global competition.

“We can’t stand idly by as New Jersey makes and the CCP takes,” said Sherrill. “I’m introducing this resolution as part of my new assignment on the House Sub Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. A very long title for a very clear goal. We want to make sure that we have a fair playing field. American companies, American innovation, American workers can compete with anyone – if it is fair competition.”

“I’m proud to support this bipartisan resolution to call out the CCP’s track record of malign economic practices that undermine U.S. national security, destroy American jobs, and weaken our industrial base,” said Select Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher, R-WI-8th District, and resolution cosponsor.

The press conference featured a number of notable business and industry leaders, lawmakers, and other stakeholders, who applauded the efforts to push back against the CCP aggression.

“The U.S. – and New Jersey has been the leader in global innovation for decades and this is now in serious jeopardy due to foreign entities that seek to surpass and supplant us by using unfair and dubious business practices. Now is the time for our leaders to come together in a bi-partisan approach to ensure that our companies, industries, and intellectual properties are protected as best they can – and that millions of American jobs are not threatened due to the actions of those that do not seek to compete on a level and fair playing field,” said Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. “Failure is not an option because the future of our long-term standing as the preeminent global economic power is at stake. We applaud Rep. Mikie Sherrill for realizing the seriousness and immediacy of this situation by introducing the Leading Global Innovation Resolution.”

“As the voice for manufacturing in New Jersey and as National Association of Manufacturers board member, I know that manufacturers have long called upon Congress to take a new approach to U.S.-China relations, holding China accountable for the commitments it has made to the U.S. and the world,” said Michele Siekerka, New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) president and CEO. “The Global Innovation Resolution spearheaded by Congresswoman Sherrill will bring much needed protection from and oversight of China’s continuing efforts to dominate innovation in the global market. While global competition can always be expected within science and technological advancements, we must also guard against intellectual property theft, cyber espionage and the discriminatory treatment of foreign investments to protect U.S. innovation and to advance it forward.”

The resolution also received support from organizations such as the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, IBEW Local 102, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, New Jersey Veterans Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Council of County Colleges, and the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program.

NJMEP Chief Executive Officer Peter Connolly said that the resolution is exactly what the industry nationwide – and especially here in New Jersey – needs.

“We’ve been working for decades to ensure manufacturing has a voice, and that New Jersey is poised to support its ‘MADE in NJ’ Manufacturers so they can compete with China,” said Connolly. “This focused effort of explaining to Members of Congress the critical importance of domestic manufacturing and allowing them to rediscover the industrial strength we have in the country gives us so much hope for a vibrant future for the United States.”

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The search for affordable child care is an issue for families in New Jersey and nationwide. And with American Rescue Plan funds, which supplemented the child care industry, petering out, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th) warns that solutions are needed to avoid a “funding cliff.“

“Even before COVID, too many parents did not have access to quality and affordable child care,” Sherrill said in an interview with NJ Spotlight News. “But certainly, COVID broke the system in too many places.”

Sherrill has been advocating for the Child Care for Every Community Act, which would establish a network of federally supported, locally administered child care options. It would ensure that “nobody pays more than 7% of their income in child care costs,” Sherrill said, “making sure we are supporting the workforce, the infrastructure … as well as making sure families can afford that child care.”

Sherrill and more than 100 other members of Congress have called for a $16 billion investment in child care.

Click to read the article here

Congress passed the “CHIPS Act” just about a year ago and many Democrats want to make sure people don’t forget about it.

President Joe Biden is on the road this week, touting both the CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act; he signed both last August.

Back in New Jersey, CD-11 Rep. Mikie Sherrill had the CHIPS Act in mind Tuesday afternoon while visiting Onkos Surgical, a specialty MedTech company focused on developing solutions for surgeons who specialize in musculoskeletal oncology and complex orthopedic conditions.

As the congresswoman and others, including Morris County Commissioner John Krickus and local and state economic development officials toured company offices, they observed workers using advanced technology to create various devices.

A latest creation is a Juvenile Tumour System, which enables limb stabilization and growth in children with bone cancer and other malignant diseases.

Afterwards, Sherrill addressed and took a few questions from about 70 employees.

The centerpiece of the CHIPS Act is federal funding to spur the manufacture of semiconductors, many of which are now made in China. Today’s polarization in Washington, notwithstanding, the bill passed last year with some Republican support in both houses. However, New Jersey’s two GOP congressmen at the time, Chris Smith and Jeff Van Drew, opposed it.

In a release, Sherrill said the act is already working, noting that, “We’ve already seen $231 billion of private investment into chips manufacturing. And we’ve seen an 80 percent rise overall in manufacturing construction, year after year, which is really shocking.”

Talking to employees, she said some hoped that trade and increased cooperation with China would lead to more democracy. But that is not happening.

Sherrill said the Chinese are still pilfering U.S. technology and abusing their own people through forced labor and other restrictions.

That makes it imperative for the United States to manufacture its own microchips.

“We are fencing off an area that we regard as such a national security priority,” she said,

Sherrill said she doesn’t think the goal should be complete protectionism, but limited action to protect U.S. investment and industry.

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly talks with Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., about controversy surrounding some conservative lawmakers pushing to amend policies from the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.


Every year for the past six decades, Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act – the NDAA. Normally, it passes with overwhelming bipartisan support. This year, the proposed $886-billion bill to fund the U.S. military is stuck. Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is facing roadblocks from members of his own party, lawmakers pushing to amend the act – specifically, policies on transgender health care, diversity and abortion – while other members of Congress are pushing back – among them, New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill. She’s a former Navy helicopter pilot and a member of the Armed Services Committee, and she is on the line now from Capitol Hill.

Congresswoman, welcome to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

MIKIE SHERRILL: Thanks so much for having me.

KELLY: Is there any movement at all, or is everyone as dug in as ever today?

SHERRILL: Well, I actually just got off the floor. I was controlling time for the debate on the travel ban by Rep. Jackson. This is a ban that would take away the Department of Defense’s ability to pay for women to travel and give them time off if they need to seek reproductive health care outside of the state they’re stationed in.

KELLY: This is also just, by the way, what is at stake in this hold that Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama is – he’s blocking hundreds of military promotions to protest this same Pentagon abortion policy.


KELLY: Yeah.

SHERRILL: He’s actually blocking all flag officer promotions right now. We now have no commandant of the Marine Corps because of that. And he’s really doing so to impose his sort of far-right extremist view on servicewomen and service members’ families. And that’s why I think, you know, somebody like myself – I have Picatinny Arsenal in my district. I’ve worked incredibly hard to support the men and women who work there. I’m also a veteran myself. And so this is the first time I’m considering voting against the Defense Act.

KELLY: If it gets amended in the way that some House Republicans would like to see it amended. OK. So just to be clear, there’s a couple of things going on here. We have a senator who’s got a hold on hundreds of military promotions, as we said. Meanwhile, in the House, the defense bill is not getting passed. I want to step back from the politics and just ask, for the military, if this continues to be held up, what are the consequences?

SHERRILL: Oh, gosh. I mean, this is really worst-case scenario. As we’re continuing to try to support Ukraine, as we’re looking to make sure that we deter aggression from China in places like Taiwan, as we want to make sure that our defense base is ready for any threats we have, these things are all at stake right now. And to take the far-right extremist social agenda that the Freedom Caucus and the GOP has and to allow them to run roughshod, it really tries to impose this agenda on the men and women who serve.

KELLY: You know, I mentioned, Congresswoman, this bill has passed every year for six decades – so something like 60 years – usually with overwhelming bipartisan support. What has changed this year?

SHERRILL: Well, I think what we’re seeing is an attempt by far-right Republicans to enact a nationwide abortion ban. The attack on choice does not end with the overturning of Roe.

KELLY: Before I let you go, it occurs to me to ask you – if you were back in your old job as a Navy pilot, watching from a war zone as this debate plays out on Capitol Hill, what would be going through your mind?

SHERRILL: Well, that’s what’s really breaking my heart right now. Here we have men and women who are depending on us – depending on me – to make sure that they get paid, that their families are taken care of. So to be at this point where, you know, we’re on the brink of this and trying to decide between making sure that we don’t have a bill that is very punitive against servicewomen and service members’ families and banning their travel for reproductive health care and making sure we’re paying our troops and taking care of them and getting them the best possible equipment – that’s a horrible place to be.

KELLY: That is Democratic Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey. Thank you very much.

SHERRILL: Thanks for having me.

Posted On: July 18th, 2023

Washington, DC— Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) brought the concerns of New Jersey businesses to the halls of Congress as she questioned witnesses at a hearing last night held by the Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

At the hearing, entitled “Leveling the Playing Field: How to Counter the CCP’s Economic Aggression,” Sherrill focused on how the United States can leverage our economic might and partner with our allies in the Indo-Pacific and Europe to deter rampant illegal dumping and intellectual property theft by the CCP, win the competition for advanced AI technology, and combat the CCP’s “Made In China 2025” industrial policy that seeks to dominate tomorrow’s advanced sectors.

“The long-term anti-competitive actions of China, including forced IP transfers, dumping, illegal subsidies, corporate espionage, and currency manipulation, has made the work of this Committee to ensure American economic competitiveness incredibly timely,” said Rep. Sherrill. “This hearing made clear why we need an overarching economic strategy to counter the CCP by raising the level of official U.S. Commerce Department engagements abroad in order to support business and industry here at home.”

To watch a recording of her remarks and questions, click here.

POSTED ON: May 31, 2023

MORRISTOWN — Instead of traditional Mother’s Day gifts like jewelry and flowers, those who gathered in front of Town Hall in Morristown this weekend had only one item on their wish list: a reinstatement of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.

Saturday’s “Mother’s Day of Action” was part of a nationwide movement organized by Moms Demand Action, an offshoot of the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety, to promote stricter gun control measures in the United States.

“We have a right to live free and happy, to take our families out to public gatherings and not fear if our community is the next to make headlines,” said Nichole Howard, a volunteer with the Moms Demand Action Sussex County chapter. “Congress must know that we demand freedom and safety, or they will find another job.”

The Morristown gun control rally was one of eight that took place in New Jersey on Saturday, according to the Moms Demand Action website. Jersey City and Paterson also hosted demonstrations, along with Pennington, Princeton, Metuchen, Mount Laurel and Camden.

Speakers urged attendees to pressure elected officials to reinstate the assault weapons ban, part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The ban was lifted when the act expired in 2004, and multiple attempts to renew it in the ensuing years have fallen short.

Morristown, NJ - May 13, 2023 —  Moms Demand Action, part of the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety, hosted a "Mother's Day of Action" rally for gun control outside the Morristown Town Hall.

Tiffany Starr credits the ban with saving the lives of two family members shortly after the act went into effect.

On Dec. 30, 1994, Starr’s father was shot and killed by her sister’s ex-boyfriend, who had broken into the family house. Starr, her mother and her sister were able to escape the home during the struggle.

“What if my dad’s killer had access to that kind of [assault] weapon? Would I be alive today?” Starr said in Morristown on Saturday. “I feel very confident that my mom and my sister would both be dead, because we know he wasn’t done. He was ready to kill again, but he couldn’t because he had to stop and reload his gun.”

Morristown, NJ - May 13, 2023 —  Tiffany Starr, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action and Everytown Survivor Fellow, and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill at the rally. Moms Demand Action, part of the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety, hosted a "Mother's Day of Action" rally for gun control outside the Morristown Town Hall.

While the United States continues to experience mass shootings, including one at a Texas mall last weekend that killed eight people, speakers in Morristown touted New Jersey as a relatively safe state due to its strong gun laws.

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill noted that New Jersey was one of only two states, along with California, to receive an A rating for gun safety from the Giffords Law Center this year. It is also among the 10 states that prohibit the purchase and possession of assault weapons, said Theresa Piliero, a leader of the Morris County chapter of Moms Demand Action.

Sherrill grew up in a house with guns — her father was a hunter — but never saw an assault weapon until she enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Morristown, NJ - May 13, 2023 —  Moms Demand Action, part of the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety, hosted a "Mother's Day of Action" rally for gun control outside the Morristown Town Hall.

“These are weapons of war, designed to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible,” she said. “There is simply no reason they should ever be on the streets in civilian hands.”

If Congress gets enough bipartisan support to put the ban back in place, it would be the most important Mother’s Day gift for everyone at the Morristown rally, participants said.

“Our government has done it before, and they can do it again,” Howard said. “We can’t accept no for an answer; the stakes are far too high.”

POSTED ON: May 31, 2023

CNN- A Democratic lawmaker is putting forward the latest effort to tackle so-called judge-shopping – a tactic recently used by foes of the Biden administration to obtain nationwide injunctions on federal policies by filing legal challenges in single-judge courthouses, essentially allowing them to pick who hears their case. 

House Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey on Tuesday rolled out a bill that would require any civil lawsuit seeking a court order that would apply nationwide be filed in a judicial district where there are two or more active judges assigned to hear cases. It’s the second Democratic legislative proposal in recent weeks to address the trend.

The “forum-shopping” strategy used by litigants – on both the left and the right – to file lawsuits in courtrooms where the case is likely to be assigned to a sympathetic judge is not a new strategy. 

But the practice has escalated in the legal battles over President Joe Biden’s agenda as conservatives have focused on judicial divisions – several of them in Texas – where just one judge hears all or most of the cases filed there. 

The lawsuit brought by anti-abortion doctors to challenge the federal government’s approval of medication abortion drugs is perhaps the most prominent recent example. 

One of the groups behind the case, weeks before their lawsuit was filed, incorporated in Amarillo, Texas, where US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk hears all of the lawsuits filed in that federal court. Kacsmaryk agreed with the plaintiffs and sought to cut off nationwide access to the abortion drug, only to have his order paused by the Supreme Court.

The challengers’ lawyer has denied to CNN that they engaged in judge-shopping. Still, the case prompted Sherrill to draft the judge-shopping legislation. 

“You read his opinion and, and it’s not a very well informed one,” Sherrill told CNN. “So to think that conservatives could drive cases to this one judge, and this one extremist court, doesn’t feel like justice.” 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has also apparently embraced the tactic. His office – sometimes joined by Republican attorneys general from other states – has filed at least a half dozen lawsuits in the Amarillo division, which is in a far-flung area of northern Texas far from the state’s capital. Paxton’s office also has funneled much of its litigation against the Biden administration through the Victoria, Texas, division, where Judge Drew Tipton is all but guaranteed to hear the civil cases brought there.

A plan proposed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and cut spending by roughly 14% received the backing of all three Republicans in the New Jersey congressional delegation, including freshman Rep. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), but Democrats slammed the plan as a dangerous stint.

“I don’t think half the Republicans even know what’s in it,” said Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair).  “They just passed this piece of legislation that most of them are probably praying it doesn’t pass.  They’re thinking, ‘Thank God the Democrats will probably save us again and not let this pass because this is a really bad piece of legislation’.  I really don’t believe if they thought this was going to pass the Senate, I don’t think many of them would have voted for it.”

The Annapolis graduate and former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot was especially angered by cuts to veterans’ services, including an estimated 219,000 fewer outpatients in New Jersey.

“Their plan is to fund the debt until March of 2024.  That’s a political trick if I ever heard on —  to do it right as we get into the presidential campaign cycle,” Sherrill said.  That is a recipe for chaos and disaster for our economy.”

Sherrill also estimated that 3,900 New Jersey children would lose access to the Head Start program and impact job creation by reducing research and development funding at New Jersey universities.

“What is so frustrating to me is there’s no vision of how we move this country forward.  I am happy to have a discussion about how we lower the debt, but I want to have a real discussion,” she said.  “I want to talk about real things and how we continue to really invest in the things that matter, like research and development, and honestly, they want to cut funding.

McCarthy’s proposal passed 217 to 215, with four Republicans voting yes.  New Jersey’s eight Democrats voted against the bill, while Kean and Reps. Christopher Smith (R-Manchester) and Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis) voted in support.  Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing), who opposed the bill, did not vote.

“I’ve never seen 217 people work so hard around the clock to screw over veterans, people struggling with hunger, and people just trying to live with dignity and decency,” said Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown).

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) said the passage of the debt ceiling bill would increase air and water pollution, deny food assistance, and limit childcare for working parents.

“Speaker McCarthy has introduced a terrible plan to address the deficit, and I was proud to vote against it,” Payne said. “Once again, Republicans reveal their anti-American agenda with a budget plan that pads the pockets of their corporate and wealthy friends at the expense of the American taxpayer.”

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez said the bill “has no path forward in the Senate.”

“This plan would set our country back and is a non-starter,” stated Menendez.  “Senate Democrats stand united in rejecting this bill, and it is my hope that sensible heads will prevail so we can prevent the first-ever debt default in our nation’s history that would be catastrophic for working families and our standing in the world.”

Today’s bill seeks to force President Joe Biden to negotiate spending cuts or risk debt default.

“Congress must pass an increase in the debt ceiling to avoid a catastrophic default that would destroy millions of jobs and wipe out trillions in families’ savings. Deficit reduction should be handled through the normal budget process,” said Sherrill.  “Threatening the American economy shouldn’t be a political football to be thrown around. There are real-life consequences.”

On a press call early this evening, Sherrill had harsh words for McCarthy.

“I think it shows a leader who’s bereft of vision,” she stated.

CHATHAM — Advocates of increased child care say access to more affordable programs would be good for the entire population, but that hasn’t produced a solution to a shortage that costs billions in lost productivity.

On Monday, a panel of legislators and early childhood education workers highlighted the factors contributing to what U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill called the “child care crisis” and discussed ways to reverse the trend.

The hourlong discussion at the Learning Path Preschool in Chatham was organized by Sherrill and New Jersey state Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, both Democrats. Speakers cited the exorbitant cost for parents and a labor shortage in day care as the two main reasons families struggle to find adequate help with young children.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, right, talks about the ongoing child care crisis as Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz looks on during a panel discussion at the Learning Path Preschool in Chatham Monday, April 3, 2023.

Monday’s panel coincided with the annual Week of the Young Child, held this year from April 1 to 7. The week, organized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, aims to direct public attention to the needs of children and families while highlighting services that meet those needs.

“We cannot forget how essential this industry is,” said Cynthia Rice, senior policy analyst of the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New Jersey. She added that securing funding and enacting legislation “will finally help us steer child care into a direction that treats it, really, as the public good it is.”

To work or stay at home?

Sherrill, who represents New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, found herself “on the brink” of leaving her career 17 years ago to raise her children rather than continue to pay for child care. Had she done so, she said Monday, “I don’t think I would be in Congress right now.”

Many working parents, especially women, find themselves facing the same difficult decision today, she said. More than 1.8 million women left their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sherrill said. Many cited the lack of child care as their reason for returning to the workforce slowly or not at all.

Monday's panel discussion included, from left: Anthony LoPorto, Chatham parent; Cynthia Rise, ACNJ senior policy analyst; Teresa Ruiz, New Jersey Senate Majority Leader; Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill; Meghan Tavormina, Learning Path executive director and president of the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children; and Michele Siekerka, NJBIA President and CEO.

$122 billion in lost revenue

Child care providers, meanwhile, are often unable to pay adequate wages, panelists said. This causes teachers to leave the profession and results in empty classrooms despite long waitlists at centers like The Learning Path, Rice said.

Michele Siekerka, CEO of the New Jersey Business and Industry Associationcited a study that found 85% of primary caregivers feel that concerns about child care have affected their productivity at work. In total, the cost of the crisis nationally has more than doubled to $122 billion in lost parental incomes, business output and tax revenue since 2018.

Sherill, Murphy take steps

Sherrill and Ruiz are among the lawmakers looking to enact legislation to improve the situation. The Child Care for Every Community Act, introduced in the House by Sherrill, would fully subsidize child care costs for most families and ensure that wealthier households pay no more than 7% of their income.

Under the bill, a New Jersey family making $130,000 a year with an infant and a 2-year-old would pay no more than $10 a day or $200 per month, well below the current average cost of $2,635 per month.

Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, right, speaks about the ongoing child care crisis during a panel discussion at the Learning Path Preschool in Chatham Monday, April 3, 2023. Looking on are Congresswoman Mike Sherrill, far left, and Meghan Tavormina, Learning Path executive director and president of the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children.

The bill’s fate remains uncertain, however, with the House now controlled by Republicans who have pushed for spending cuts, not the addition of a new subsidy program.

Another bill, introduced in the state Legislature last week, would make all child care workers eligible for subsidies, Rice said. And last year, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law establishing the Thriving by Three grant program expanding services for infants and toddlers up to 2½ years old.

Looking for more resources

Meghan Tavormina, The Learning Path’s executive director and president of the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children, knows the difficulties of running an understaffed child care center for parents who struggle to afford it. She is optimistic that discussions like Monday’s panel will improve the situation for both groups, and for the community as a whole.

“It’s my hope that with collaboration between our local, our state and our federal resources and dollars, we can very quickly change the way that we pay this critical workforce so that we all can reap the benefits of a thriving child care system,” Tavormina said.

Kyle Morel is a local reporter covering Morris and Sussex counties.

Center for Effective Lawmaking measures bill sponsorships, substantiveness

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) is the most effective House member from New Jersey, at least according to the Center for Effective Lawmaking, an organization that measures effectiveness in the U.S. House and Senate.

The Center – which is affiliated with the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University, and two democracy-focused groups – accounts for a number of different indicators in its methodology: how many bills a lawmaker sponsored, how many of those bills advanced or became law, and how substantive those bills are, among other things.

By those metrics, Sherrill emerges as New Jersey’s most effective House member during the 2021-2022 session, and the 18th-most effective House Democrat overall.

“NJ-11 residents sent Representative Sherrill to Washington to get things done, and her number one priority is to better our community and improve the lives of those she serves,” a Sherrill spokesperson said in a statement. “From funding the Gateway Tunnel, fighting for veteran mental health care, or shoring up our supply chains, Congresswoman Sherrill will remain focused on the things that matter – helping New Jersey families.”

Also ranking highly from the New Jersey delegation was Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester). Though Smith’s effectiveness score was much lower than Sherrill’s, that’s to be expected given that he was in the minority party at the time, and he ranked as the 21st-most effective House Republican.

And in the Center’s separate Senate rankings, Senator Bob Mendendez was rated as the fifth-most effective Democratic senator, while Senator Cory Booker was 29th.

Renewed fight to bring back major tax break for residents

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to lift the $10,000 cap on state and local taxes from federal tax returns. The so-called SALT cap was signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2017. It has mainly affected residents in New Jersey, which has the highest property taxes in the nation, but also other higher-income property owners in New York and California. Sherrill’s bill is being called the “Middle Class Tax Relief Act.” It would eliminate the cap for most residents in her district —which spans suburban Morris, Essex and Passaic counties — by raising the cap from $10,000 per household to $100,000 for a single filer and $200,000 for a married couple. Restoring SALT relief became a key point in last year’s midterm election as some proponents are looking to make it permanent.

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill of the state’s 11th District hosted a panel with Planned Parenthood at the Montclair Health Center on North Fullerton Avenue. (U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill)

MONTCLAIR, NJ — Advocates for women’s rights in Essex County continue to discuss the next steps that the nation needs to take in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision on abortion.

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill of the state’s 11th District hosted a panel with Planned Parenthood at the Montclair Health Center on North Fullerton Avenue, gathering alongside several medical, legal and governmental experts. Watch the video below.

The topic? To discuss the current landscape in New Jersey for “protecting women’s rights and abortion.”

After the Supreme Court voted to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in June, their ruling set off a firestorm of controversy across the nation. Now that the court has overturned the decisions, it will be up to states to decide the future of abortion within their own borders. 

In New Jersey, abortion access is protected by state law via the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed earlier this year. 

But advocates for abortion rights in New Jersey have continued to push for better protections in other states. And they say that the Garden State can be a model for how to do that.

“In January, New Jersey codified the right to freedom of reproductive choice,” said senior deputy chief counsel to Gov. Phil Murphy Kate McDonnell, who was one of the panelists who spoke Monday.

McDonnell continued:

“Following the devastating ruling in Dobbs, New Jersey, led by Governor Murphy and many passionate lawmakers and advocates, acted quickly to enact two important pieces of legislation aimed at protecting patients and health care professionals who receive and provide care here. As we see this fundamental right under attack across our nation, New Jersey has emerged as a national model for states seeking to implement strong protections of abortion rights, and the Murphy Administration will continue to work to ensure that the right to reproductive choice is meaningful and accessible to everyone. It is an honor to sit alongside leaders who are fiercely dedicated to ensuring a woman’s right to bodily autonomy and unwavering in the fight for equal treatment under the law.”

Rhonda Nichols, medical director at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey (PPMNJ), said that as an obstetrician/gynecologist, she has firsthand experience of the reason why strong abortion rights laws are needed.

“I know firsthand the decision to have an abortion is one of the most difficult decisions a women can make in her lifetime,” Nichols said. “Each woman who makes this decision has gone through countless scenarios of how this happened and has entertained multiple options to no avail. It all culminates to the necessity of having either a medical or surgical abortion. To have this difficult decision politized; to have the procedure limited, banned, and criminalized is to deny a woman her rights to take care of herself and those who depend on her.”

“This decision should be made between the woman, her provider, and anyone she deems appropriate to enter in this discussion,” Nichols added. “This is the right of confidentiality and privacy which are basic tenets to anyone seeking a medical or surgical service. This is codified in the HIPAA laws.”

Other speakers included:

Roslyn Rogers Collins, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Metropolitan New Jersey – “PPMNJ is committed to providing reproductive health care including access to abortion to all seeking our services-as we have done for more than 90 years. Specialized support will be provided for those who may be traveling into New Jersey from states with bans and restrictions.”

Magda Schaler-Haynes, professor of health policy and management at Columbia University – “The Supreme Court’s revocation of the constitutional right to abortion undermines our basic right to bodily autonomy and creates a public health emergency. Without access to timely, affordable abortion care we will see dramatic, preventable exacerbation of health disparities across the United States. We cannot allow this to happen.”

Rep. Sherrill pointed out that she voted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to defend women’s reproductive rights and the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act to extend legal protections to Americans who utilize their constitutional freedom to travel to another state to seek an abortion. The congresswoman also voted for the Right to Contraception Act, which makes clear in federal law that individuals and married couples have the right to access contraception.

“Every woman deserves access to reproductive health services and the ability to make her own decisions about her health care,” Sherrill said. “In the face of unending attacks on reproductive freedom from extremist Republicans, including the dangerous national ban they proposed today, I will not give up the fight to protect safe abortion access, regardless of where you live.”

Rep. Mikie Sherrill is the best candidate by far. (Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media)

Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy pilot, says her military service taught her to put our country — not politics — first.

That applies whether the centrist Democrat is focusing relentlessly on the issues that matter to her district, like funding the Gateway tunnel under the Hudson River, or living up to her oath to defend our Constitution, even if it means impeaching a president when he is steamrolling our democratic norms.

For her, it’s about patriotism and duty, not her career path. That’s a sharp contrast to her Republican challenger, Paul DeGroot, who has questioned the integrity of the 2020 election by sharing the posts of election-deniers on his Facebook page, and is trying to trick voters into thinking he’s a defender of abortion rights.

Last weekend, his operatives were handing out T-shirts and fliers at a rally in Montclair declaring him “pro-choice,” even though DeGroot, a former prosecutor, would allow abortion bans in any state, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

He believes this is “a states’ rights issue and that’s it,” which leaves millions of American women denied this basic right. Sorry, but you can’t call that pro-choice.

Sherrill would fight to restore this right to all women. On this, and other issues, she brings sincerity and substance. Her website is rife with detail on the issues; his is sparse and vague. And DeGroot has mostly refused to answer questions from reporters. What he offers, ultimately, is empty spin. He’s just willing to say whatever he thinks will win him this election.

* * *

Sherrill is running on actual accomplishments. Start with her role on the House Armed Services Committee, and the bacon she’s brought home.

As a veteran, Picatinny Arsenal, one of the biggest employers in the area, is especially close to her heart. She helped secure about $200 million for the garrison in President Biden’s budget proposal, and has been pushing hard to include an additional $100 million for research and development of new weapons like the powerful M777 howitzer that’s helping turn the tide in Ukraine.

She also made two trips to the war-torn nation this year as part of a congressional delegation, to assure President Volodymyr Zelensky that we’ve got his back in his country’s fight for freedom in the face of Russia’s atrocities. In discussions with our allies, there was an “almost giddy sense of relief” that the U.S. had returned to the table, she reports. We can only imagine.

Recall that the previous administration turned away from our allies in NATO, cozied up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and infamously withheld military aid to Ukraine in an effort to strong-arm Zelensky into digging up dirt against President Trump’s political rival.

Sherrill, who’d been elected in a swing district and was determined to work closely with Republicans, was reluctant to vote for an impeachment inquiry. But like her fellow vets, she was genuinely offended that her president would compromise national security in a scheme to gain an advantage in an election at home.

So Sherrill, banding together with other veterans in Congress she often works with, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for Trump’s impeachment, a bold move that tipped the tide and caused party leaders to open impeachment hearings. It was a seminal act of political courage.

* * *

DeGroot is following a different playbook entirely: Just say whatever is convenient. What else could explain all of his inconsistencies?

He rails about inflation, a serious issue, yet has no coherent response. He mainly blames the Federal Reserve for failing to raise interest rates until it was too late. Yet he also opposes the Fed’s recent hikes, saying they will harm the elderly. How do you square that?

On tax policy, he grumbles that we’ve not yet restored the full deduction for state and local taxes, now capped at $10,000 thanks to Trump’s ruinous 2017 tax overhaul. But he’s also said that he doesn’t fundamentally believe this deduction should exist.

“In 2018, the policies of Trump and the Republicans, they capped SALT at $10,000, and you know, I’m not in favor of the federal government paying New Jersey’s tax bills,” DeGroot maintained.

And of course, he says he’s pro-choice, but he would permit abortion bans in other states, should they choose that path.

Consider, too, his charge that Sherrill has done nothing to make this a more affordable place to live, and that “the infrastructure bill, the build back better bill, and all the other things that Joe Biden is asking for, led us to this point in time.”

The infrastructure bill that sent $12 billion to New Jersey to repair roads and bridges, remove lead pipes, and support NJ Transit; that will also fund the Gateway tunnel and allow Amtrak to double its capacity in the years ahead — is this what he considers government waste?

What about the reform that Biden just signed into law to contain costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate discounts from Big Pharma, to limit out-of-pocket expenses for seniors at $2,000 a year, and to cap the cost of insulin?

These are things that Sherrill supported, with real benefits for people in New Jersey.

On crime, DeGroot’s attacks are just as weak. He says taking guns off our streets doesn’t matter, but in New Jersey, a state with strict gun laws, the rate of gun deaths decreased 10% from 2011 to 2020, compared to a 33% increase nationwide.

And why didn’t DeGroot, a former prosecutor, make a peepabout the tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo? That’s not leadership. People are shaken in the aftermath of violence like that, especially when children are the victims.

“Moms my age, who had kids the exact same age as the kids in Sandy Hook, can tell you exactly where they were when they heard that news,” Sherrill notes.

It’s also rich that he’s accused her of being soft on criminals. Sherrill is a former federal prosecutor who’s voted to increase funding for police. Her crew in Congress is made up of former military vets and intelligence agents.

And who does DeGroot keep as company? Last month, he held a fundraiser at the home of Elizabeth Nader, who helped organize a “Stop the Steal MAGA Bus Trip” to Washington on Jan. 6th and marched to the Capitol building with the mob, according to a since-deleted photo that the Sherrill campaign captured from her Facebook page.

The choice is obvious. Vote for the veteran who will defend our democracy, here and abroad: Mikie Sherrill.

Defense bill provides major funding for Picatinny Arsenal and combating climate change, and includes the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act

Washington, DC– Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) voted to secure final passage of the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023. Congress is required to pass the NDAA each year to establish defense priorities, make organizational shifts to military posture, and provide guidance on how military funding can be spent.

“Today, I joined my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to pass the NDAA, a bill that will deliver a stronger national defense and support our men and women in uniform,” said Rep. Sherrill. “This defense legislation brings our hard-earned tax dollars back to the district to provide robust investments in Picatinny Arsenal, which will not only make our military more effective and innovative, but will also bring more highly paid jobs into North Jersey. The 2023 NDAA also includes several provisions I introduced to mitigate the impact of climate change on national security, reduce the Department of Defense’s emissions, and enhance our energy independence. While our nation’s military confronts numerous national security threats, including Putin’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, this legislation has never been more important.

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I also have the ability to secure important New Jersey priorities in this annual must-pass legislation,” Rep. Sherrill added. “I am proud to have secured the inclusion of the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act in the NDAA, which will provide long overdue protections for federal judges and their immediate families. I urge the Senate to swiftly vote on this bipartisan NDAA and bring these wins to the President’s desk for his signature.”

Representative Sherrill helped secure inclusion of three bipartisan bills into the final NDAA with Republican support:

Strengthening Picatinny Arsenal

Picatinny Arsenal, located in the 11th District of New Jersey, is a premier center of the military’s innovation and modernization of armaments and ammunition and a critical player in the development of next-generation technology for the Department of Defense. It is the 11th District’s largest employer and contributes more than $1 billion to New Jersey’s economy.

Thanks to the leadership of Congresswoman Sherrill, the FY23 NDAA includes more than $152 million above the President’s budget request for Picatinny programs. The additional funding for the following programs include:

  • An increase of $25 million for Collaborative Networked Armament Lethality and Fire Control, which will better enable our warfighters to coordinate the fight;
  • An increase of $21.4 million for ERCA autoloader development, which will enable Picatinny to continue to refine one of its signature platforms;
  • An increase of $5 million for Additive Manufacturing in Ship Concept Advanced Design, which will allow the Navy to develop standards for additive manufacturing;
  • An increase of $5 million for Turret Gunner Survivability and Simulation, which will allow the Army to better protect soldiers manning gun turrets;
  • An increase of $24 million for Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasure Systems, which allow the military to better defend rotary-wing aircraft from missile attacks;
  • An increase of $5 million for improvements to weapons and munitions design and manufacturing;
  • An increase of $5 million for the Extended Range Artillery munitions suite;
  • An increase of $282 million for ammunition procurement and modernization of ammunition production facilities, a process overseen by Picatinny.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Rep. Sherrill was also able to secure key funding for Picatinny Arsenal priorities, including:

  • $134.68 million for 155MM Self-Propelled Howitzer Improvements
  • $79.78 million for Long Range Precision Fires Technology, $34 million above the President’s request
  • $166.2 million for Long Range Precision Fires Advanced Technology, $66 million above the President’s request
  • $202.8 million for the Next Generation Squad Weapon
  • $26.6 million for the Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapon
  • $117.7 million for research into applied lethality technologies, a key part of Picatinny’s research enterprise, $30 million above the President’s request
  • $240 million for research into advanced lethality technologies, a key part of Picatinny’s research enterprise.

Combating Climate Change and Protecting the Environment and Community Health

Climate change poses strategic risks to our national security, having broad and costly impacts on the U.S. military and its missions. Rep. Sherrill ensured inclusion of key priorities to combat the effects of climate change and strengthen environmental protections, including:

  • Provisions to establish microgrid technical standards and urge the use of microgrids on every Navy and Air Force installation by 2035;
  • Building code amendments for DOD to consider use of integrated solar roofing, a product manufactured by an NJ-11 company that increases zero-emission electricity;
  • A provision urging the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force to achieve 100% carbon pollution-free power generation;
  • Plans to stop use of energy from foreign sources of concern, including of Russian energy on U.S. bases in Europe;
  • A provision requiring the Department of Defense to develop a plan to increase its use of local plants, localized water management, and sustainable ground cover to lower emissions and energy costs;
  • Provisions to invest in the removal and remediation of toxic PFAS forever chemicals;
  • A provision creating a pilot program to investigate how to develop renewable and sustainable aviation fuel;
  • A pilot program to transition certain Defense Department vehicles to electric vehicles and government-wide strategy to manage and recycle EV batteries across the federal fleet; and
  • Requirements for DOD to improve the conditions of military family housing, especially with respect to contaminants such as mold and lead.

Mitigating climate change and achieving energy security here at home go hand-in-hand. Rep. Sherrill was proud to support significant reforms to reduce our reliance on foreign energy – including a provision that would direct the Defense Department to eliminate any reliance on Russian-produced energy.

Rep. Sherrill offered and successfully secured inclusion of 5 amendments to the NDAA, including:

  • Urging the Army, Air Force, and Navy to install microgrids on 100% of military bases by 2035;
  • Directing the Air Force to explore current practices for mental health assessments and crew fatigue prevention for pilots of remotely piloted aircraft;
  • Requiring the DOD to direct the Commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command to conduct training exercises with covered defense partners of the United States to deter China from attacking Taiwan;
  • Studying how best to maximize the benefits military parents have earned – especially when it comes to affordable, reliable childcare for their children;
  • Urging the Army, Air Force, and Navy to transition to 100% carbon pollution-free power generation by 2040;

The NDAA supports servicemembers and their families, by:

  • Authorizing funding to support a 4.6 percent pay raise for both military servicemembers and the DOD civilian workforce;
  • Authorizing additional funding to address the effects of inflation on compensation;
  • Broadening the reach and impact of the Basic Needs Allowance by increasing the eligibility threshold and allowance size from 130% of the Federal poverty line to 150% of the Federal poverty line as a baseline, and authorizes the Secretary of Defense to increase this benefit to 200% of the poverty line when appropriate;
  • Creating an open season during calendar year 2023 for eligible retired or former members to opt in or out of the Survivor Benefit Plan;
  • Establishing a pilot program to reimburse military families for certain childcare costs related to a permanent change of station;
  • Ensuring servicemembers have access to quality housing, including by: extending the authority to adjust the basic allowance for housing (BAH) in high-cost areas; encouraging DOD to coordinate efforts to address housing shortages; and codifying that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment should serve as the Chief Housing Officer.

Rep. Sherrill is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Navy for almost 10 years as a helicopter pilot and Russian policy officer. As a Russian policy officer, she worked on the implementation of our nuclear treaty obligations and oversaw the relationship between the U.S. Navy and Russian Federation Navy. She now serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she serves on the Tactical Air and Land Forces and Intelligence and Special Operations Subcommittees.

Washington, DC– Today, Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) helped deliver over $292 million in Department of Transportation grants for Amtrak to complete critical construction needed to develop the new Hudson River Tunnel between New Jersey and New York. This funding is part of the Mega Program, which was championed by Rep. Sherrill as a way to fund large, complex infrastructure projects that are difficult to fund through existing programs. The Mega Program was created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021. The awarding of these grants is a crucial step towards completing the Gateway Project as a whole and reducing travel costs and times for millions of New Jersey families.

“The Gateway Project is the nation’s most critical infrastructure project, and this announcement is a long-awaited step in ensuring its completion and subsequent revitalization of New Jersey’s transportation system,” said Rep. Sherrill. “By completing the new Hudson Tunnel, we are investing in a stronger economy, more efficient travel throughout the Northeast Region, and improved safety and reduced congestion on our roads for New Jersey families.”

Gateway is crucial not just to New Jersey and New York, but to the economy of the entire nation. A failure of the century-old Hudson River Tunnel could cost American businesses and families $16 billion over four years, and a partial closure could reduce property values in New Jersey alone by $22 billion.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act created the Mega Program (also called the National Infrastructure Project Assistance Program) in 2021 and authorized $5 billion in funding to help develop and complete large projects that are likely to generate national economic, mobility, and safety benefits. Rep. Sherrill and the New Jersey Congressional delegation championed this program as an innovative way to secure the final funding needed to complete the Gateway Project, which will create significant national benefits from faster travel times, lower travel costs, improved safety and public health, reduced congestion and air pollution, and thousands of new jobs. Amtrak has estimated that Gateway will result in a benefit-to-cost ratio of over 4-to-1.

A bipartisan House delegation met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv on Saturday as the country’s war with Russia approaches the five-month mark.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said in a statement along with the four other members of the delegation that they saw firsthand during their visit how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war has failed to achieve its goals. The other members of the delegation are Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.). 

Facing stiff Ukrainian resistance to its invasion, Russia failed to take control of Kyiv in the early weeks of the conflict and has lost roughly 15,000 soldiers in nearly 5 months of fighting, the director of the CIA estimated this week. Moscow has also drawn condemnation from international bodies and leaders around the world over its actions in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Finland and Sweden have moved to join NATO in response to the war, with the military alliance officially inviting both countries to join late last month.

“Putin’s aggression has brought Ukraine and the other democracies of Europe closer together, not driven them apart,” the lawmakers said. “His contempt for the rules-based international order has resulted in devastating isolation for the Russian economy and renewed purpose for the NATO alliance.” 

The delegation members said the war has “violently disrupted” the lives of Ukrainian civilians and that they saw evidence of Russian atrocities in Irpin and Bucha, two cities in the province surrounding Kyiv. 

Throughout the war, Russia has been accused of committing war crimes as soldiers have been documented targeting civilians and civilian buildings, kidnapping Ukrainians and raping women. Ukraine has pushed to hold Russia accountable for its actions in the war in the International Court of Justice for violating international law. 

“Four months since Vladimir Putin’s unlawful further invasion began, President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine continue to inspire the world with their courageous fight for their freedom, sovereignty, and democracy,” the delegation said. 

The lawmakers said they will continue to seek ways to help Zelensky and the Ukrainian people as effectively as they can as they “continue their brave stand.”

Zelensky said in a Telegram message about the meeting that he is grateful for the $270 million security assistance package that President Biden announced for Ukraine on Friday. 

The package includes four additional high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) and hundreds of tactical drones. About a third of the funding will go toward contracting up to 580 Phoenix Ghost unmanned aerial systems. 

Zelensky said Ukrainian forces especially need the HIMARS, shells and unmanned aerial vehicles. 

“We appreciate the help of the United States in defending our territory, our land and the Ukrainian people,” he said. 

The Ukrainian president’s office said in a statement that Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is leading the delegation. 

The office said that Zelensky briefed the members of the delegation on the missile strikes that Russia launched against Ukraine in the past day, specifically targeting the port of Odessa. The city announced that four missiles were launched toward the port, but two were shot down before impact. 

Zelensky noted that this happened just one day after Russia and Ukraine agreed to allow Ukraine to export grain internationally through its ports to address global food shortages. 

“This proves only one thing: no matter what Russia says and promises, it will find ways not to implement it,” he said. “Geopolitically, with weapons, bloodily or not, but it has several vectors, as it always acts.” 

Zelensky also told the delegation about the planned reconstruction of Ukraine after the war ends, according to the statement. He said the first step is implementing the Fast Recovery Plan, which would focus on quickly restoring destroyed residential, educational and medical infrastructure. 

“We appeal to our partners, in particular the United States, with a proposal to take an active part in the implementation of this ambitious but extremely important project,” he said.

Citing America’s “unwavering commitment to Ukraine and its fight for democracy and freedom, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) has completed her second trip to the war-torn nation this year, meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky and other government officials as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation visit.

“This trip reaffirmed what we all know to be true – the Ukrainian people have shown bravery and resolve second to none, despite atrocities committed by the Russian military and a looming food crisis,” Sherrill said.

The two-term Democratic congresswoman had visited Ukraine in late January, one month before the Russian invasion.

Sherill noted that despite promising news on Frida that Ukraine had reached a deal to ship grain without Russian interference, Russia “inexplicably bombed the Ukrainian port city of Odessa — directly contrary to the deal they had just reached.”

“Putin’s war is contributing to surging global prices that Americans are feeling at the grocery store and the gas pump,” said Sherrill.  “Around the world, people are facing uncertainty about their crops and, in some places, uncertainty about their next meal. Here at home, the conflict is driving up costs at the grocery store.”

In addition to Zelensky, Sherrill met with Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, mayors from Irpin and Bucha, and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Bridget Brink. She also met with members of the 101st Airborne division.

“I am committed to taking every step possible, including working to ship Ukrainian grain, strengthening our supply chains, and diversifying agricultural imports, in order to bring the costs down in NJ-11 and fend off the looming humanitarian crisis around the world,” stated Sherrill.

In addition to Sherrill, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Washington) and Reps. Mike Waltz (R-Florida), Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) and Mike Quigley (D-Illinois) took part in the CODEL.

Kyiv, Ukraine–The Biden administration should allow the Pentagon to deploy U.S. military advisers to Ukraine to help coordinate the billions of dollars of arms flowing into the country and to keep better tabs on the weapons, members of a bipartisan congressional delegation visiting Kyiv said Saturday.  

“I think we should do more,” Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., the first Green Beret elected to Congress, told Fox News after meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.   

“That said,” Waltz continued, “it should come with appropriate safeguards, with appropriate oversight and the only way we can get that oversight is to actually have some advisors in Ukraine helping their military with the planning and logistics.”

Asked if that includes sending U.S. military personnel to Ukraine, Waltz said it might.   

“It could be contracted, it could be civilian, but it could be military as well,” Waltz said.   Those advisers running logistics and weapons transfers are currently deployed to Germany and Poland. 

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., also traveled to Ukraine Saturday as part of the delegation.  She signaled her support for a larger American presence on the ground as well.

“It would be good to have a logistics officer here to make sure that we understand and track the weaponry that we’re sending,” Sherrill told Fox News.

Both lawmakers said the advisers would help beef up the presence at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and assist in other areas. 

“I don’t think anybody is advocating for any [American] military on the front line, but helping with logistics, planning those operations, integrating the intelligence is incredibly important right now,” said Waltz.  

“The Ukrainians are doing a very good job,”  Sherrill said,  “But they even said they would like to pass on the information about how they’re tracking [weapons] but they need someone to pass that on to.”

Waltz also called for Europe to “step up” and contribute more weapons and aid to help Ukraine.   The United States has committed three times more money for Ukraine than the entire 27-nation European Union combined, according to the New York Times. 

Waltz noted Britain’s contributions to the war effort by sending billions in weapons.  The British government has been one of the few in NATO nations calling on Russia to be routed completely in Ukraine, including calling for its occupied territory in Crimea and eastern Ukraine to be recaptured.

The Biden administration should “not just help Ukraine play for a time, but help them go for a win,” Waltz said. “At a minimum, what we talked about today was getting them back to that 2014 line.” 

Asked if current rules of engagement restrictions should be lifted barring U.S.-supplied weapons for striking targets inside Russian territory, Waltz said there were plenty of targets inside Ukraine to destroy first. 

Saturday, Russia launched a missile strike on Odesa, Ukraine’s largest port, less than 24 hours after both countries separately signed a U.N.-brokered agreement in Turkey Friday allowing both countries to export grain. 

“This is critical for world food supplies and the fact that just a day after this negotiation, Russia in bad faith would then do exactly what they had just agreed not to do,” Sherrill said.  “The day after is really shocking and quite frankly, quite depressing.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also condemned the strike in a statement Saturday, “Russia breached its commitments by attacking the historic port from which grain and agricultural exports would again be transported under this arrangement.”

Russian forces have expanded its missile strikes in recent days to cities across Ukraine killing dozens, including children. 

The Biden administration announced late Friday it would send four more satellite-guided rocket launchers, known as HIMARS, to Ukraine –bringing the total to 16.  Experts say Ukraine needs at least 60. Ukraine’s defense minister says he needs 100.

In the latest weapons package to Ukraine hundreds of drones and 36,000 artillery rounds were also included.  An American fighter on the front lines in eastern Ukraine, who asked not to be named, told Fox News Ukrainian drones are shot down by the Russians every “four or five” missions.

Ukraine has enough weapons to keep them from losing, but not enough to defeat Russia who continues making incremental gains in the eastern Donbas region, some American officials admit. 

Asked this week if Ukraine’s Donbas region was lost, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters it was not lost “yet.”

RANDOLPH TWP. – Taking a victory lap – and thanking many for making it happen- Randolph VFW Post 733 mostly wanted to just express sincere gratitude.

“The Moving Wall Tribute Lunch” was held at the Randolph Diner at noon on Saturday, July 16.

After everyone arrived, Bill Menzel, vice commander of Randolph VFW 7333, gave a quick speech thanking everyone who helped bring ”The Moving Wall” to Morris County.

“The Moving Wall,” a miniature but exact replica of The Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., visited the campus of County College of Morris from Thursday, July 7 to Monday, July 11. Morris County estimated that 5,000 visited the wall, which is inscribed with the names of 58,000 who perished during the Vietnam War from November 1, 1955 – April 30, 1975.

The VFW, however, puts the number of visitors at closer to 6,000.

“Thanks to the over 6,000 visitors and to the 138 volunteers that helped bring “The Moving Wall” to Randolph. The event was the highlight of the Randolph Township Vietnam Veterans Tribute Days during July 7 to 11,” the VFW states on its website dedicated to the wall’s visit.

The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial that has been touring the country for more than 30 years.

“The goal is to honor our dead and to help heal the wounds of this divisive conflict,” the post states.

“We had wonderful support from (CCM President) Dr. Anthony Iacono and the team at County College of Morris, our host venue. State Sen. Anthony Bucco, State Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, County Commissioner John Krickus, Randolph Mayor Marie Potter and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill made moving speeches and 32 organizations participated in our wreath laying ceremony,” the post says.

“We also want to recognize the outstanding contribution made by Home Depot and its employees and the many organizations, sponsors and donors,” the post states.

The Dover Home Depot provided staff, tools, and materials to build the wooden walkway which led to the 250-foot log wall and proceeded from end to end.

After lunch, Bill Fosina, president of the Shooting Star Air Force Chapter 195 of Bernardsville, spoke about the aviation art of Keith Ferris whose work is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution National Air Force & Space Museum. Fosina said Ferris he has been cited as the “Dean of American Aviation Art”. He has also published many books including “The Aviation Art of Keith Ferris”.

The book was presented to Iacono along with a certificate of Appreciation. Iacono said he was honored to receive it for the school.

There were about 22 Certificates of Appreciation handed out by Menzel for their assistance in bringing “The Moving Wall” to Randolph. Recipients included: the American Red Cross, Warriors Watch Riders, Home Depot, CCM, Kiwanis Club of Randolph, Red Cross, Randolph Diner, Provident Bank, Rotary Club of Randolph, Secaucus Vets Center, just to name a few of them.

Menzel also spoke at the “closing ceremonies” held on Monday, July 11.

“We have been very blessed to have CCM host us, and they have done a truly wonderful job,” he said.

“This is an important moment for us,” Menzel said.

“This is a moment of reverence. When you look at this wall, I want you to think about that. This is hallowed ground, for a few more minutes, until we take the wall down and it goes somewhere else,” he said.

“And, I want you to think about those souls, including Jack Sassaman, our past commander, who passed away recently and was a Vietnam veteran,” Menzel said.

He also thanked VFW member Emerson Crooks, who was a key player in bringing the wall to Randolph.

“We have to have an understanding that we are not to be pitied. We fought a war bravely and with honor. Vietnam veterans are not to be pitied,” Menzel said.

“We won the ground war, and the diplomats pissed it away. But we won militarily,” he said.

“These men and women were heroes,” he said, pointing to the wall behind him, and to a round of applause.

“They accomplished their mission.”

“Congress did not comply with the treaty that had been signed to support the South Vietnamese,” Menzel said, his voice rife with emotion.

“They got invaded. They got hit hard. And within two years, they were wiped out. And that’s when we had those images of helicopters leaving, and flying away,” he said.

“It is an injustice. An injustice to their memory to think that we lost that war,” he said.

“We did not, and I want you to understand that always,” he said, pointing his finger to mark the point.

“So here we are to say God bless you,” he said, looking directly at the wall behind him. “We love you. We will never forget you.”

Iacono also spoke.

“It has truly been our honor. And by comparison of what you did for our nation and for this world, it is a very tiny gesture by comparison, and the gratitude is truly ours,” he told gathered VFW members.

He said the wall was coming down, and was on its way to Iowa, but he said the impact of its visit, and the memories, will live on for many years.

“The memories of this day, and the impact of these days, will live on for many, many, many years,” he said.

He also said plans are underway to expand veteran’s services at the college, and said he looks forward to meeting with VFW members again in the future.

“It has been a powerful, powerful experience being out here at this wall, with a lot of people coming out daily,” he said.

He said he came early morning, afternoon and evening, and said there were always people there, visiting the wall, and paying their tributes to those lost.

He said the effort, which took more than a year to organize, really brought the community together.

“We had so much support,” Menzel said. “It’s just a wonderful thing.”

The Rev. Timothy Clarkson, of the Union Hill Presbyterian Church, also spoke at the closing ceremony.

He said he was 19 when he visited the memorial in Washington D.C. Just like 8,283 of those names on the wall.

“Think about that. If you are yet to reach the age of 19. If you see age 19 somewhere in your rear view mirror, pause and think about that. Read those names on the wall to see the stories and the lives of those who we remember this morning,” he said.

“Think about what it means,” Senior Vice Commander Emerson Crooks said.

“I say this all the time. It’s just not inscribed names on a wall. It’s a monument for memorial purposes so we remember the sacrifices. When you look at all these names, and you think about 18, 19 and 16 years old kids. Kids who never had the chance to have a life, who never had the chance to have grandchildren. And when you think about the impact on our society, all those lives are lost. Those are kids who could have had children and grandchildren. The freedom we enjoy? That’s the price of it right there,” he said.

The New Jersey Laborers, New Jersey’s 20,000-member affiliate of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), endorsed Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) this morning for re-election in the 11th congressional district.

“Mikie went down to Washington to cut through the partisan politics and deliver for working families of New Jersey, and the bipartisan infrastructure law is just the latest example of her getting the job done,” LiUNA Vice President and Eastern Regional Manager Raymond Pocino said in a statement. “From building construction to heavy and highway construction, every Union Laborer in New Jersey can be assured they have a leader in Mikie fighting for their needs in Congress.”

Though the endorsement is not unexpected, the Laborers are a politically influential union, and their backing means Sherrill may have access to a significant fundraising pool and volunteer network.

Sherrill previously got the Laborers’ endorsement in 2018, when she was a first-time candidate running to flip the congressional seat long held by retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Harding), and received it again in 2020. This year, she is considered the clear favorite for re-election against former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot.

Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy pilot, says her military service taught her to put our country — not politics — first.

That applies whether the centrist Democrat is focusing relentlessly on the issues that matter to her district, like funding the Gateway tunnel under the Hudson River, or living up to her oath to defend our Constitution, even if it means impeaching a president when he is steamrolling our democratic norms.

For her, it’s about patriotism and duty, not her career path. That’s a sharp contrast to her Republican challenger, Paul DeGroot, who has questioned the integrity of the 2020 election by sharing the posts of election-deniers on his Facebook page, and is trying to trick voters into thinking he’s a defender of abortion rights.

Last weekend, his operatives were handing out T-shirts and fliers at a rally in Montclair declaring him “pro-choice,” even though DeGroot, a former prosecutor, would allow abortion bans in any state, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

He believes this is “a states’ rights issue and that’s it,” which leaves millions of American women denied this basic right. Sorry, but you can’t call that pro-choice.

Sherrill would fight to restore this right to all women. On this, and other issues, she brings sincerity and substance. Her website is rife with detail on the issues; his is sparse and vague. And DeGroot has mostly refused to answer questions from reporters. What he offers, ultimately, is empty spin. He’s just willing to say whatever he thinks will win him this election.

* * *

Sherrill is running on actual accomplishments. Start with her role on the House Armed Services Committee, and the bacon she’s brought home.

As a veteran, Picatinny Arsenal, one of the biggest employers in the area, is especially close to her heart. She helped secure about $200 million for the garrison in President Biden’s budget proposal, and has been pushing hard to include an additional $100 million for research and development of new weapons like the powerful M777 howitzer that’s helping turn the tide in Ukraine.

She also made two trips to the war-torn nation this year as part of a congressional delegation, to assure President Volodymyr Zelensky that we’ve got his back in his country’s fight for freedom in the face of Russia’s atrocities. In discussions with our allies, there was an “almost giddy sense of relief” that the U.S. had returned to the table, she reports. We can only imagine.

Recall that the previous administration turned away from our allies in NATO, cozied up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and infamously withheld military aid to Ukraine in an effort to strong-arm Zelensky into digging up dirt against President Trump’s political rival.

Sherrill, who’d been elected in a swing district and was determined to work closely with Republicans, was reluctant to vote for an impeachment inquiry. But like her fellow vets, she was genuinely offended that her president would compromise national security in a scheme to gain an advantage in an election at home.

So Sherrill, banding together with other veterans in Congress she often works with, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for Trump’s impeachment, a bold move that tipped the tide and caused party leaders to open impeachment hearings. It was a seminal act of political courage.

* * *

DeGroot is following a different playbook entirely: Just say whatever is convenient. What else could explain all of his inconsistencies?

He rails about inflation, a serious issue, yet has no coherent response. He mainly blames the Federal Reserve for failing to raise interest rates until it was too late. Yet he also opposes the Fed’s recent hikes, saying they will harm the elderly. How do you square that?

On tax policy, he grumbles that we’ve not yet restored the full deduction for state and local taxes, now capped at $10,000 thanks to Trump’s ruinous 2017 tax overhaul. But he’s also said that he doesn’t fundamentally believe this deduction should exist.

“In 2018, the policies of Trump and the Republicans, they capped SALT at $10,000, and you know, I’m not in favor of the federal government paying New Jersey’s tax bills,” DeGroot maintained.

And of course, he says he’s pro-choice, but he would permit abortion bans in other states, should they choose that path.

Consider, too, his charge that Sherrill has done nothing to make this a more affordable place to live, and that “the infrastructure bill, the build back better bill, and all the other things that Joe Biden is asking for, led us to this point in time.”

The infrastructure bill that sent $12 billion to New Jersey to repair roads and bridges, remove lead pipes, and support NJ Transit; that will also fund the Gateway tunnel and allow Amtrak to double its capacity in the years ahead — is this what he considers government waste?

What about the reform that Biden just signed into law to contain costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate discounts from Big Pharma, to limit out-of-pocket expenses for seniors at $2,000 a year, and to cap the cost of insulin?

These are things that Sherrill supported, with real benefits for people in New Jersey.

On crime, DeGroot’s attacks are just as weak. He says taking guns off our streets doesn’t matter, but in New Jersey, a state with strict gun laws, the rate of gun deaths decreased 10% from 2011 to 2020, compared to a 33% increase nationwide.

And why didn’t DeGroot, a former prosecutor, make a peep about the tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo? That’s not leadership. People are shaken in the aftermath of violence like that, especially when children are the victims.

“Moms my age, who had kids the exact same age as the kids in Sandy Hook, can tell you exactly where they were when they heard that news,” Sherrill notes.

It’s also rich that he’s accused her of being soft on criminals. Sherrill is a former federal prosecutor who’s voted to increase funding for police. Her crew in Congress is made up of former military vets and intelligence agents.

And who does DeGroot keep as company? Last month, he held a fundraiser at the home of Elizabeth Nader, who helped organize a “Stop the Steal MAGA Bus Trip” to Washington on Jan. 6th and marched to the Capitol building with the mob, according to a since-deleted photo that the Sherrill campaign captured from her Facebook page.

The choice is obvious. Vote for the veteran who will defend our democracy, here and abroad: Mikie Sherrill.

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 68 announced today their endorsement of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill for reelection in NJ-11. “When it comes to fighting for the economic opportunity and security working families need and deserve, Mikie Sherrill has been leading the charge, and we proudly stand by her,” said Assemblyman Thomas Giblin, Business Manager of IUOE Local 68. “Mikie’s work to create jobs and grow the economy, address pension reform, and secure critical infrastructure funding for New Jersey tells you exactly the kind of ally our workers have down in Washington.” READ MORE >>

Belleville resident John Ukson knows the ravages of the Vietnam War only too well. He served as a medic there in 1967. “I took care of the wounded,” he said, after viewing “The Moving Wall” on the County College of Morris (CCM) campus Thursday afternoon. Although he and his wife, Linda, have been to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., this was the first time the couple visited “The Moving Wall,” a miniature exact replica of its D.C. counterpart. READ MORE >>

The Department of Energy (DOE) received a nudge last week from two members of Congress — Reps. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., and Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y. — to remember microgrids when allocating infrastructure funds. In addition to Panetta and Garbarino, the letter was signed by Rep. Mikie Sherrill and other members of Congress committed to improving energy infrastructure. READ MORE >>

The annual reading of the Declaration of Independence returned to Washington’s Headquarters Monday, July 4 after virtual readings the previous two years. Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, D-11, said in a speech at the event that 246 years after the founding of the United States, this “unprecedented nation” is the greatest nation in the world, but the signing of the Declaration is only a start. READ MORE >>

For the first time since the pandemic began, Morristown’s July Fourth celebration returned to Washington’s Headquarters, where an enthusiastic crowd in patriotic colors on Monday heard re-enactors give a spirited reading of the Declaration of Independence. They are words to live by in these contentious times, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th Dist.) suggested to the gathering behind the Ford Mansion, wartime headquarters of Gen. George Washington. READ MORE >>

NEW JERSEY — Water quality. Affordable housing. Infrastructure needs. Scholarships. Hiking access. Traffic improvements. These are some of the projects that could see a windfall of federal bucks if they’re chosen in New Jersey’s 11th District, a congresswoman says. In March, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill put out a call for local proposals to submit for community project funding to the House Appropriations Committee in fiscal year 2023. Last year, Sherrill nailed down funding for all 10 community projects she submitted to the federal government. READ MORE >>

BOONTON – Increased security around the Boonton Reservoir, which provides drinking water for Jersey City, will likely become a federally funded project. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, said in a release issued Tuesday, June 28, that 14 Community Projects she submitted to the House Appropriations Committee were included as part of the FY2023 Appropriations bill that was passed by the Committee and will be voted on later this year by the House of Representatives. READ MORE >>

Washington, DC–– Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) released the following statement condemning the ring-wing activist Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization: “This decision is not conservative, it is radical. I had hoped against hope that the decision wouldn’t be as extreme as the leaked draft. The court is rolling back a constitutional right, out of step with the majority of our country and almost 50 years of legal precedent. READ MORE >>

Today, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO gathered with over 300 delegates and guests from affiliated unions at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for the labor organization’s 2022 Legislative/COPE Endorsement Conference. National AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Governor Phil Murphy amped up the crowd, while renowned political analyst Charlie Cook provided his insight on the national political environment. In a democratic process, delegates voted on accepting congressional candidate endorsement recommendations from local union leadership, known as Central Labor Councils, as well as endorsements for union members who are running for local offices throughout the state. READ MORE >>

A claim from Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-Montclair, that members of Congress helped Jan. 6 rioters find their way through the Capitol was given new credence by the House select committee on Wednesday, when the bipartisan panel released a video that appears to show Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk offering a tour on Jan. 5, 2021, and alleged that one of the men in the group followed the mob to the building the next day. READ MORE >>

When the House passed a bill extending security protections to Supreme Court justices’ immediate family members with overwhelming bipartisan support on Tuesday, it did so over the objections of seven Democratic members from New Jersey, who took issue with the measure’s scope. The seven New Jersey Democrats wanted protections to include federal judges, after US District Judge Esther Salas’ son was killed in a shooting at her home in the state in 2020. Though the final measure does not include that language, it does allow the marshal of the Supreme Court to provide security to “any officer” of the bench if the marshal deems it necessary. READ MORE >>

After several years of begging to but never sealing the dealing, New Jersey is finally getting a break when it comes to infrastructure dollars. That the Garden State was awarded $3.4 billion for that support was symbolized last week by the visit of U.S Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Along with visits to Port Newark, where he met with U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-7, and to Monmouth County, where he met with U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-3 and others, Buttigieg also took a tour of County College of Morris on Thursday, May 26. There, he was hosted by Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, D-11 and College President Anthony Ianoco, toured the college’s new $11 million Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center (AMEC) and met with a cadre of students and local and county officials. READ MORE >>

West Caldwell, NJ — Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill released the following statement after securing the Democratic nomination for a third term to represent New Jersey’s 11th District in the U.S. House of Representatives: “Serving in the Navy taught me the importance of working together to accomplish a mission — of teamwork, cooperation, and putting my country’s needs ahead of my own. That’s what guides my work in Congress. I’m grateful to all the voters in New Jersey’s 11th District who share this same sense of purpose and urgency when it comes to the issues facing our communities. Thank you to everyone who took part in our democratic process and made their voices heard by casting their ballot — and to our incredible volunteers who power this team. READ MORE >>

MORRISTOWN – After 99 days of war in Ukraine, hundreds of people from the area came together on the Green to show and donate their support for the Ukrainian people and raise money for the Ukrainian American Culturan Center of New Jersey in Whippany Thursday night, June 2. Many other politicians spoke on stage at the Green, including state Senator Anthony Bucco, R-Morris, County Commissioners Tayfun Selen and John Krickus, and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, D-11. READ MORE >>

MORRIS COUNTY — Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) announced that 29 students from New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. These students will begin their education and service careers this year at the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Rep. Sherrill hosted an event to recognize the students this week in Denville. READ MORE >>

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of Congress Friday sent a letter urging the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help save middle class families on their taxes by reinstating the ability for taxpayers to make charitable donations to their towns and receive a tax credit on their local tax bills. The letter is led by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), joined by Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Congressman Tom Suozzi (NY-3). READ MORE >>

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg came to the County College of Morris last week — and he liked what he saw. Buttigieg, joined by U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th Dist.), toured CCM’s state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center as part of a visit intended to highlight what the recent infrastructure bill can do — and to see how community colleges are implementing practices that encourage workforce development. READ MORE >>

RANDOLPH – The crowning achievement so far of the Biden Administration has been the passage and signing of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. The bill, which passed with some Republican support, will bring about $14 billion to New Jersey for roads, bridges, public transit, airport improvements and to improve Internet service in rural areas. And this week, it brought Pete Buttigieg, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, to New Jersey for meetings with local members of Congress and to hype the bill. READ MORE >>

MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – The Morris County Board of County Commissioners presented their Distinguished Military Service Medals to ten veterans Tuesday at the Morris County Annual Memorial Day Observance ceremony outside the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown, where honors also were delivered by state legislators and Congressional representatives. U.S. Reps. Mikie Sherrill and Thomas Malinowski, along with Sen. Anthony Bucco, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn and Assemblyman Christian Barranco also presented honors to the veterans, whose service ranged from the Korean War to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. READ MORE >>

The news that the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team finally won its decades-long battle to receive equal pay as their male counterparts reached the halls of Congress this week. Mikie Sherrill saw that breakthrough from her office and wondered, if women competing on the highest levels of international soccer can have equality, why not their counterparts in college athletics? READ MORE >>

Despite roadblocks, five House Democrats are still fighting for relief on the $10,000 limit on the federal deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., sent a letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, urging colleagues to deny the IRS funds to block state-level SALT cap workarounds. READ MORE >>

Washington, DC –– Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) led an appropriations request letter with Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Tom Malinowski (NJ-7), Katie Porter (CA-45), and Tom Suozzi (NY-3) urging the House Appropriations Committee to provide state and local tax (SALT) relief for hard-working, middle class families in the Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Services and General Government funding bill. READ MORE >>

The members of SEIU 32BJ, the largest property services union in the country, today announced all their endorsements for the upcoming 2022 congressional primary election. “SEIU 32BJ gives building service workers in New Jersey a political voice. Elections are opportunities for us to support candidates that will fight for and protect working families and their communities,” explained SEIU 32BJ Executive Vice President and NJ State Director Kevin Brown. “We do not take anything for granted and we make sure that every voter is touched through door-knocking, phone banking, and texting – no stone goes unturned. Through hard work and policies that center on working-class people – Democrats can and will continue to win.” READ MORE >>

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — On May 9, residents from across Essex County joined elected officials at Norman Samuels Plaza in Newark for a rally in support of the codification of protection for abortion rights. In addition to concerned community members, the rally was attended by New Jersey Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, New Jersey Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz and Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake. Holding aloft signs at the rally were students from Rutgers University, representatives from Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey, the American Civil Liberties of New Jersey and Garden State Equality. READ MORE >>

West Caldwell, NJ — The New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association (NJ FMBA) announced today their endorsement of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill for reelection in NJ-11.

“From day one, New Jersey’s career firefighters, EMTs, and dispatchers have been able to count on Mikie to listen to their concerns and fight for them here in NJ and down in Washington. Mikie time and again has delivered for the members of the NJ FMBA, from permanently funding the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to securing direct state and local funding to protect our first responders and make sure they have the resources they need to do their jobs. Having a leader like Mikie represent us in Congress is essential. That’s why we are proud to once again endorse her for the 11th District of New Jersey,” said Eddie Donnelly, President of the NJ FMBA.

“I can tell you with confidence that New Jersey has the best first responders in the country. Their bravery and level of professionalism are unmatched, and I’ve seen it continuously during my four years representing NJ-11, and especially working closely with them throughout the pandemic. That’s why I work so hard for them in Congress. We are all deeply grateful for their sacrifices and efforts throughout the pandemic to keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Mikie Sherrill. “I am proud to have the endorsement of the NJ FMBA and I remain committed to bringing back our tax dollars to support New Jersey first responders.”

The NJ FMBA was first established in 1897 by six local members. Today, there are 107 local chapters throughout New Jersey and an active membership of over 5,000 first responders.

Congresswoman Sherrill has advocated for first responders throughout her tenure in office. She fought for and succeeded in passing a permanent reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, to ensure first responders, survivors, and their families receive the support they need and deserve. She helped secure FEMA Assistance to Firefighter Grants for multiple towns in NJ-11. She voted to increase funding for the Firefighter Cancer Registry. Rep. Sherrill is also a leading fighter for the repeal of the cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction to bring additional tax relief for middle class families, first responders, and teachers.


Each generation has its own challenges, its own tests of strength. From the Great Depression to World Wars, the Civil Rights Movement, 9/11, and the Great Recession — young Americans have always faced adversities and uncertainties that influence their formative years. Yet, tragedy or conflict often creates resilience, caring, and an innovative spirit in young people driving them to rise to the occasion and move our nation forward in unprecedented ways. READ MORE >>

WASHINGTON, DC–– Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology’s Environment Subcommittee, secured passage of her legislation, the Providing Research and Estimates of Changes In Precipitation (PRECIP) Act, in the House. The PRECIP Act will update out-of-date precipitation data by providing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with consistent funding to collect data and conduct studies. READ MORE >>

The remnants of Hurricane Ida slammed into New Jersey last September, bringing torrents of rain, heavy winds, extensive flooding, and power outages. A tornado touched down in Mullica Hill. At least 30 people across the state died. Perhaps better data could have helped the state prepare for the devastating storm, and legislation that passed the U.S. House Wednesday would provide that information. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11th Dist., would provide new funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to conduct studies and collect data that take into account the impacts of climate change, and to help develop the best way to estimate precipitation. READ MORE >>

RANDOLPH, N.J. (PIX11) – For nearly four decades, Habitat for Humanity has been building homes for deserving families across the country. With the need for affordable housing bigger than ever, the organization is undertaking a massive project in Randolph, New Jersey.U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey was on hand hoping to shed light on the need for more affordable housing in Morris County. READ MORE >>

West Caldwell, NJ — Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Congressman Tom Malinowski (NJ-7) today endorsed Mendham Township Committeewoman Amalia Duarte for Morris County Democratic Committee (MCDC) Chair:

“We are thrilled to endorse Amalia Duarte to serve as the next Morris County Democratic Committee Chair, a proven leader who would make history as the first woman and first Latina to lead MCDC. Amalia knows the importance of focusing on local issues, is accessible to residents, and works to bring people together. She is already training the next generation of leaders and growing our bench in Morris County as the Chair of the MCDC Electeds Caucus. Her commitment to supporting a diverse slate of candidates for office at all levels, increasing fundraising, and her strategic vision make her the right candidate for this position.

“Amalia knows how to win tough races. We look forward to continuing our work with MCDC to turn Morris County blue.”

Parsippany, NJ–– Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade: “Like many Americans right now, I am shocked by the Supreme Court’s draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The majority of Americans stand behind the reproductive rights enshrined in the landmark 1973 case and reversing it goes against both settled law and the will of the people. READ MORE >>