Ridgewood, NJ — Roy Cho, Democrat for Congress in the 5th District, today called for an end to the Tea Party “Garrett Gridlock” that is stalling progress for Northern New Jersey and preventing Congress from getting its job done.
Cho noted that incumbent Scott Garrett’s consistent record of adherence to the Tea Party’s extreme agenda is out of touch with the values of Fifth District constituents and a reason why Congress now has a record low 7 percent confidence rating, according to a recent poll.
“It’s an old joke that the opposite of ‘progress’ is ‘Congress,’ but Scott Garrett’s record makes that line ring all too true,” said Cho, a moderate who comes from the private sector. “He has continually put a rigid and brash ideology before the best interests of his constituents. It’s time for us to break the Garrett Gridlock that is hurting the people in our region. Northern New Jersey needs a congressman who will be a champion for our communities, not a roadblock to getting things done.”
Cho said that bipartisan cooperation and consensus building are currently missing in Congress. Cho added that his goal is to break the stranglehold that the fringes currently have on the political process in order to find solutions that work for the district and the nation.
“We have a great tradition in this nation of the left and right coming together to get the important things done,” said Cho. “In the 1990’s President Clinton and a Republican-controlled Congress compromised to bring about the first, and only, balanced budgets in our lifetimes. We must be willing to embrace that tradition once again to make Congress work for all Americans.”
Cho highlighted Garrett’s vote last year against ending the government shutdown which shuttered offices and halted or delayed vital services. Garrett was the only member of the New Jersey delegation to oppose resuming them.
Cho also cited Garrett’s opposition to common sense campaign finance reform to take big money out of politics and end the appearance of members being bought by special interests. He pointed to a 2010 speech Garrett made in committee in which he downplayed the Supreme Court’s widely panned decision in Citizens United that opened the floodgates of special interest money as “a fairly minor change.” Cho noted that Garrett — as the head of a panel tasked with overseeing the financial industry — has accepted more than $2.5 million in campaign contributions from the financial services industry since 2010.
Garrett has often been part of an extreme minority bent on derailing even essential and non-controversial issues, such as being the only New Jersey representative to balk at delivering aid to the state in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, opposing an extension of emergency unemployment insurance, and being one of only 9 members in the entire House to vote to derail the Violence Against Women Act, among others.
“Scott Garrett has continually put a narrow world view before the broader interests of Northern New Jersey’s communities,” said Cho. “People no longer identify with Washington because they don’t believe Washington identifies with them, and Scott Garrett’s extremism is part of that problem. We need to change the tone in the Capital to move forward, and that requires changing congressmen.”
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