Freshman Congressman Andy Kim aims for bipartisanship
What surprised Congressman Andy Kim about his first 100 days in office was that the political divide began on Day One. At a gathering of South Jersey business leaders hosted by the Southern New Jersey Development Council on Monday in Mount Laurel, he said that there were separate orientations for freshmen Democrat and Republican congresspeople.
Kim says that he’s tried to bridge the divide in his first 100 days by meeting one-on-one with Republican colleagues. He also believes that the best way to combat the divide is to find the common good in legislation.
“I’ll be honest with you, you can print out a transcript of the House Armed Services Committee hearings, blackout the names, and really not be able to know who’s a Democrat or a Republican and who’s asking the questions to our armed servicemen and women. I think that’s the way it should be,” he said.
Members of the audience applauded Kim’s approach. Executive Vice President of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Mike Egenton said that too much is at stake to cling to party affiliation.
“An issue is an issue regardless of your party affiliation. You have to look at an issue to see what does it do. For our litmus test at the state Chamber, does it grow jobs and does it grow the economy?” Egenton said.
Kim said he’s trying to show that “there are adults in the room” and that collaboration can — and needs — to happen.