The state GOP is taking aim at New Jersey’s 11 Democratic House members over a Thursday vote on leadership that ended with former House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House, a position she lost in 2011.
“Today is the first of our Congressional delegation’s new term. The eleven Democrats representing New Jersey are now woven into an ultra-liberal fabric that threatens our country’s recent progress and prosperity,” State Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt said. “As they have elected Nancy Pelosi Speaker, they have elected leadership that stands for diminished quality health care, more burdensome taxes and regulations, and a careless apathy to border security.”
Nine of the state’s 11 Democratic congresspeople voted for Pelosi. Freshman Reps. Tom Malinowski and Andy Kim number among those nine.
While Malinowski demurred on how he’d break on a leadership vote during and after the campaign, Kim had pledged not to vote Pelosi into a leadership role.
“When I worked in Afghanistan, no one asked me if I was a Democrat or Republican, we just focused on serving the American people,” Kim said in June. “As I’m now working to help my community here in New Jersey, it’s time we have new leadership on both sides of the aisle in Washington to get the job done.”
Kim was one of 32 Democrats to oppose Pelosi in a closed-door caucus meeting in November but broke in her favor when the vote was put to the floor on Thursday.
Fellow freshmen Reps. Jeff Van Drew and Mikie Sherrill followed through their campaign promises to not vote Pelosi into a leadership position. They were the only Democrats in New Jersey’s House delegation to vote against her Thursday.
“Candidate Andy Kim said he wanted ‘new leadership’ and that he wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi. Today, in his first act as Congressman, Andy Kim broke that promise and voted for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker,” Steinhardt said. “I have no doubt that he will have some ‘Washington DC’ explanation for this eventually, but today, in Burlington and Ocean Counties, we call that lying.”