Biography of Chairman Frelinghuysen

Rodney P. Frelinghuysen is serving his twelfth term as the Representative for New Jersey's 11th Congressional District. In the 115th Congress, Rep. Frelinghuysen serves as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and New Jersey's only member.

Rep. Frelinghuysen graduated from Hobart College in 1969 and did graduate work in American History at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army as a member of the 93rd Engineering (Construction) Battalion.

He served three terms as a member and Director of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, prior to his election to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1983. 

In 1995, Rep. Frelinghuysen was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He was immediately selected to serve on the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees all aspects of the federal budget. During his tenure on the Committee, he has served on seven different subcommittees (Defense, Energy and Water Development, Commerce, Justice and Science, Homeland Security, VA-HUD, State-Foreign Operations and the District of Columbia). He has chaired three of these panels, most recently, the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee where he developed, drafted and passed the nearly $600 billion funding bill for the Pentagon and the 16 agencies of the Intelligence Community.   

Rep. Frelinghuysen is also well known for championing the important work being done at New Jersey’s vital military installations, especially Picatinny Arsenal. The VA health care facilities at Lyons and East Orange have been his focus. To make VA health care more accessible for local veterans, he secured federal funding to open a VA outpatient clinic in Morris County and worked to open another clinic in Sussex County. He supported establishment of a transitional Homeless Veterans Treatment program at the VA Lyons Medical Center, which has now been augmented by Valley Brook Village supportive housing for homeless veterans. Keeping the Port of New York and New Jersey open for business has also been a top priority.

His focus on keeping the tax burden low and encouraging economic growth and job creation has earned him the “Hero of the Taxpayer” Award from the Americans for Tax Reform, as well as praise from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Among his other honors, he was named Outstanding Federal Legislator by the New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars and Legislator of the Year by the National Mental Health Association. He was presented with the John Chaffee Leadership in Public Policy Award by the ARC of the United States and the Frances K. Hutchinson Medal by the Garden Club of America.  Recently, the Research and Development Council of New Jersey gave him the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Awards “Chairman’s Award.”

Frelinghuysen is a life member of American Legion Post 59 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3401. 

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