Home>Campaigns>Gottheimer remains defiant as congressional leaders push for reconciliation vote

Rep. Josh Gottheimer. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Gottheimer remains defiant as congressional leaders push for reconciliation vote

New Jersey labor unions fall in behind moderate Democrat

By Joey Fox, August 24 2021 10:37 am

At a press conference on Monday with the Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) reiterated his support for passing the Senate-approved bipartisan infrastructure bill without first voting on a more ambitious and expansive social policy bill.

Gottheimer is one of nine moderate House Democrats currently holding up President Joe Biden’s congressional agenda, which was intended to simultaneously include the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the larger spending package passed via reconciliation. While congressional leaders such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi want to pass the reconciliation bill first as leverage, the nine holdouts have insisted they will not vote for the bill until the infrastructure package is passed.

“This once-in-a-century bipartisan infrastructure bill can bring many of us together at a moment when our nation is deeply divided. It will add jobs, build the economy, fix our crumbling infrastructure, and help tackle climate change,” Gottheimer said in a statement. “As they say in Washington, time kills bills. We have this opportunity within our grasp – why would we blow it? For New Jersey’s sake, we need to get the infrastructure bill to the President’s desk. Now, not later.”

Gottheimer has made support from New Jersey’s construction unions a centerpiece of his message; both the Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council and the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA) have expressed their approval of Gottheimer’s strategy.

“Both Congressman Gottheimer and LiUNA also know that it is reckless to use [the infrastructure bill] as leverage in a game of political chicken,” said Raymond Pocino, LiUNA’s eastern regional manager. “The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act already has the support of enough people in Congress as well as the support of the American people.”

The longer that the moderate Democrats’ rebellion continues, however, the more incoming fire they are likely to receive from their own party. According to a Politico report from Friday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been calling the nine holdouts, urging them to support the reconciliation bill and, by some accounts, implying that their DCCC funding may be in jeopardy.

But for Gottheimer, the Human Fundraising Machine, that threat may be ineffective. As of the most recent campaign finance reports, Gottheimer is sitting on a gargantuan $10 million warchest.

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