Rothman's district, because of changes in the 2000 census, has been reconfigured to include portions of Hudson, Bergen and Passaic Counties. In Hudson County, his district includes Secaucus, parts of Jersey City and North Bergen, as well as sections of western Hudson County.
In a speech following his swearing-in ceremony, Rothman pledged to work on legislation that would restore the economy and create jobs, increase national security, and improve the quality of life for residents of New Jersey and America.
"With the state of our economy, so many New Jerseyans are having a much more difficult time handling the huge financial burdens that come with rising property taxes, health care and prescription drug costs, severe loss of value in 401(k) retirement plans, and an uncertain job market. Many New Jerseyans are feeling overwhelmed," said Rothman, who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which allocates all of the discretionary spending in the federal budget.
Rothman supports the Democratic economic stimulus proposal, which he describes as a real, immediate, and fiscally responsible job-creating plan that would jump start the economy and provide relief to laid-off workers and states. The highlights of the plan include putting money in the hands of consumers who drive the economy by giving a $300 tax rebate to every working American ($600 for couples) and extending unemployment benefits for workers whose insurance has run out and who have still been unable to find jobs.
Additionally, the proposal would provide immediate tax relief for small businesses to generate investment and jobs. The plan also commits resources to states to help relieve the financial burden of their transportation, homeland security, and health care needs.
With the Republican party now in the majority in both the House and Senate, Rothman acknowledged that Democrats will have to be more active and vocal than ever in fighting against the Republicans' attempts to roll through legislation that benefits the country's most well-to-do citizens and corporations at the expense of the average American. However, Rothman said that the new majority would not keep him from continuing to look for ways to help New Jersey.
"I will continue to use my position as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to secure funds for the projects that create jobs in Northern New Jersey and improve the quality of life for all of us," Rothman said. "Whether it is relieving traffic congestion, protecting our last parcels of open space with a special focus on the Meadowlands, or fighting aircraft noise, I will explore every possible avenue, just as I have done during my previous three terms, to bring home the funds and pass the laws that will make a positive difference in our lives."
Rothman was first elected to Congress in 1996 after serving as the two-term Mayor of Englewood (1983-1989) and as the Bergen County Surrogate Court Judge (1993-1996). Born in October of 1952, Rothman graduated from Tenafly High School in 1970, Syracuse University in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in Political Philosophy, and the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law in 1977. From 1978 to 1993, he practiced as a private attorney and won awards for providing free legal service to the poor, disabled, and elderly.
Rothman a panelist for New Jersey AARP
With the costs of prescription drugs for seniors continuing to soar, Rothman went to Trenton recently to participate in a "town hall" meeting designed to address the importance of ensuring seniors' access to prescription drugs. Rothman, invited by the AARP to serve as a panelist, joined New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine, and other members of the Congressional delegation for the program, which was sponsored by the AARP of New Jersey at the War Memorial in Trenton.
"As we all know, the cost of today's, new life saving and life enhancing drugs continues to climb," Rothman said. "An estimated one-third of all seniors lack prescription drug coverage, while those lucky enough to have coverage face increasing expenses. I believe we must provide voluntary prescription drug coverage under Medicare to all seniors."
Rothman supports the establishment of a voluntary prescription drug benefit under Medicare for all seniors. Most recently, he supported a plan that would allow a senior to pay a lower monthly premium and a lower deductible than under an alternative plan that Republicans have offered. It would have guaranteed that seniors are not at the whim of the insurance industry raising their monthly premiums, or being passed from one insurance company to another, or dropped by the insurance companies altogether.