Jewish Link of New Jersey: Congressman Josh Gottheimer Marks 100 Days in Office
By: Andrea Nissel
Teaneck—Since his swearing in on January 3, New Jersey’s new fifth-district representative Congressman Josh Gottheimer has had little time to rest. Working tirelessly as a freshman congressman to assume leadership roles related to issues he strongly supports has taken both time and commitment, he said. His first visit to The Jewish Link offices since beginning his campaign last summer, Gottheimer noted he remains steadfastly connected to The Jewish Link readership, and told us he even sends his district staffer to grab a copy of the paper each Friday so he can stay up to date.
One such issue that is close to the hearts and minds of many local residents in the Bergen County area is Israel and the situation in the Middle East. Gottheimer noted that safety and protection of the State of Israel was at the forefront of his campaign and continues to be a focal point on his agenda. Gottheimer said he attempts to educate as many fellow Democrats about the situation in Israel, articulating that it is not a partisan issue but rather an American issue. Gottheimer is in favor of a two-state solution but not on a partisan level. “I do what is best for our community and for the country,” expressed Gottheimer. “Protecting America’s national security is my oath,” he added.
“The position on Israel and the region in which it exists is very central to world decisions. Therefore, protecting its democracy is an obligation as a representative of the United States, not as a Democrat or a Republican,” expressed Gottheimer. In order to accomplish great things, Gottheimer said he believes everyone must put aside partisan differences and work together.
In recent months it has become evident that Iran has been gaining strength. Gottheimer told us he believes “the spirit of the Iran agreement was violated.” As part of the Terrorist Financing Subcommittee, it is clear to Gottheimer that funding for terrorist activity is growing rapidly.
That said, it is vital that Israel has enough offensive measures to protect themselves from potential military strikes. To that end, Congressman Gottheimer told us he is introducing legislation (setting aside $100 million) for the funding of Arrow 3, which provides exo-atmospheric interception of ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads. The new administration has shown support for this platform, recognizing that certain agreements such as the Iran deal can pose serious threats to our nation and those of our closest allies.
On a more local level, Congressman Gottheimer has advocated for core issues such as tax reform, supporting veterans and first responders as well as supporting a more robust return on tax dollars for Bergen County children and families. As this story went to press, Gottheimer announced that New Jersey would be receiving a $2,649,983 federal grant for Greater Bergen Community Action Head Start, a program that promotes school readiness for young children from low-income families. Gottheimer believes “both parties can work together toward principle solutions on both local and national issues.”
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Gottheimer went on to work in the Clinton White House as one of the youngest presidential speechwriters in history, writing speeches on topics such as global economy and technology. He also helped draft two State of the Union addresses. Gottheimer worked at Microsoft as general manager for corporate strategy before deciding to run for Congress. Congressman Gottheimer now resides in Wyckoff, New Jersey, with his wife, Marla, a former federal prosecutor, and their two young children, Ellie and Ben.