New Jersey congressman cited for record in common sense policies
FOR OVER 20 years, Frank LoBiondo has forged a reputation as a solid moderate lawmaker who works both sides of the aisle on behalf of hard-working Americans. The U.S. Representative from New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district received the Abe Breehey Legislator of the Year award April 25 during the Boilermakers’ annual LEAP conference in Washington D.C.
International President Newton B. Jones introduced LoBiondo and presented him with the award, which is named for the union’s late legislative director who passed away unexpectedly in 2011.
Jones said LoBiondo has always looked for common ground on issues and crafted common sense policies. He cited LoBiondo’s support of emergency unemployment benefits in the aftermath of the 2008 recession and his opposition to weakening collective bargaining rights.
“He believes that he is elected to Congress to make things better for his constituents, not score political points for himself or his party,” said Jones. “Representative LoBiondo has consistently shown a commitment to the working men and women of our country. He has long has been willing to buck his party and side with labor.”
LoBiondo, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, “has been an invaluable ally on many key issues important to us,” said Jones.
Where the current administration has talked of doing away with project labor agreements, LoBiondo opposed legislation in that direction. He told LEAP delegates, “I’ve seen the importance of Davis-Bacon and project labor agreements up-close and personal.”
LoBiondo said besides attacking project labor agreements, the current administration may also challenge the Jones Act. During his 12 years chairing the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, LoBiondo came to a clear understanding of the act’s importance.
“I think it would be a tragedy of the highest magnitude if we were to damage or do away with the Jones Act,” he said. “This is critical to the United States of America.” He stressed that there is strong bipartisan support for the act. “We haven’t had to test it, but we’re going to be ready if that comes up.”
Concerning health care, LoBiondo said what is currently proposed to replace the Affordable Care Act “will not get my vote. That Cadillac tax has got to be repealed. It’s absolutely devastating. I will work with my colleagues, and we’ll try to do that.”
LoBiondo thanked the Boilermakers and said it was our union that deserved an award, noting that the Boilermakers, along with all of organized labor, “are the backbone of the country. You build and rebuild this country. And in every segment of our economy you’re needed — and often not respected enough.”