The new 118th Congress recently saw a number of New Jersey lawmakers appointed to key committee positions. The most notable was Rep. Tom Kean, Jr., appointed to three crucial committees, including being handed the gavel for a key foreign affairs subcommittee.
The 54-year-old lawmaker, representing New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, was selected to serve on the House Science, Space, & Technology Committee by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. Kean said the appointment is key as New Jersey is home to some of the best researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs in the world.
“Through these industries we are building high efficiency microgrids, discovering cures to disease, and expanding our telecommunications networks to connect people like never before,” he said. “I am looking forward to serving on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee to be a leader in supporting critical industry missions.”
Kean also secured a slot on the on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he will chair the subcommittee on Europe. The GOP lawmaker notes the appointment comes at a crucial time in history for the continent.
“The challenges in Europe require a high level of cooperation amongst our longstanding allies and partners,” the freshman lawmaker stated. “We will prioritize continuing to support Ukraine in its fight for freedom against Russia, as we work with our NATO allies to ensure the security of the transatlantic community. America and our European allies and partners can achieve great economic and diplomatic successes when we work together.”
Freshmen Share Committee
Kean and his fellow North Jersey freshmen, Rep. Rob Menendez, will both sit on the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Both stated they will focus on making sure Gateway Project continues to flow as well as funding for infrastructure projects in their districts.
“Securing a seat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure was one of my top priorities because the Eighth District is home to some of our nation’s most important infrastructure projects,” said Menendez. “On the committee, I will advocate for the district’s needs, whether it is advancing the Gateway Program, securing funding for mass transit infrastructure, or working to address the impacts of climate change in cities and towns.”
“Improving our nation’s infrastructure is vital to growing our economy, strengthening our supply chains, ensuring American energy dominance, improving commuters’ quality of life, and finding solutions to make the day-to-day lives of our constituents better,” added Kean, Jr. “Hardworking taxpayers need to know that their dollars spent on these objectives are done so responsibly and that they are seeing real results from the investments being made.”
Focus on Security
The North Jersey Dem delegation will be represented on important national security committees as well. Menendez will sit on the Homeland Security, Rep. Josh Gottheimer was selected to serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Mikie Sherrill was reappointed to the House Armed Services Committee.
Menendez said his focus on the Homeland committee is to ensure “our nation’s preparedness against terrorism, cybersecurity threats, severe weather-related events, and all other threats to our communities.”
With the Picatinny Arsenal in her district, Sherrill said her place on the Armed Services Committee “is a valuable means of fighting for our priorities…(allowing) me to continue my strong advocacy for the excellent work of Picatinny Arsenal, which is critical to our country’s national security and defense as well as the economic success of the state.”
Focus on China
Additionally, the Navy Vet was selected for the bipartisan House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Sherrill received support of both Speaker McCarthy and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for placement on the committee.
“The CCP is a threat to our democracy and way of life. They are currently reshaping the international order through economic, diplomatic, military, and cyber tactics, and we must respond with smart, thoughtful policies,” said Sherrill. “To tackle these challenges, America will need to modernize our military, strengthen our national supply chains, advocate for human rights across the globe, and support sovereign democracies.
“I am confident that this committee will work on a bipartisan basis to enact substantive, policy-based policies that differentiate between the Chinese people and the regime that is oppressing them.”
Gottheimer, a close ally of Jeffires, will move over from the Homeland Committee to serve on the prestigious House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and is looking forward to work with the intelligence community to protect the U.S.
“Today, the safety and security of the United States is at a critical juncture,” said the Bergen County lawmaker. “We’re facing rapidly evolving threats from foreign terrorists, and bad actors including China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other oppressive regimes. We must also stand by our key allies under threat, including Israel. We must remain vigilant to protect our country and our democracy.”
The 47-year-old congressman will continue serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where he remains the only Member from the New Jersey Congressional delegation. He serves on the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, the Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions; and the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion.
Pascrell Back to Oversight
Rep. Bill Pascrell will return to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. While now in the minority, the Paterson native will serve as subcommittee minority leader for oversight.
“I am humbled to be reappointed as the top Democrat on our critical Ways and Means Oversight panel and thank my colleagues for their trust,” said Pascrell. “On this committee, Democrats will continue to fight for a crackdown on wealthy tax cheats, a functional IRS, the closing of loopholes that favor big business and capitalist tycoons, and the end of our unfair two-tier tax system.”
“Where committee Republicans strive towards these goals, I will eagerly work beside them; where they don’t, I will keep them honest and hold them accountable. I can’t wait to get to work.”