New Jersey’s congressional delegation gained some clout Tuesday as the 115th Congress was seated. In one major step, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Morris) became chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Ben Dworkin, a professor of political science at Rider University, called the move a “huge deal” for the state because Frelinghuysen will have the power to steer federal spending New Jersey’s way.
While Republicans hold the majority in both the U.S. Senate and House, Democrats have a 7-5 advantage in New Jersey in the new Congress. Democrat Josh Gottheimer ousted Republican Scott Garrett, the most conservative member of the delegation, in November.
Frank Pallone, D-Monmouth, is the ranking Democrat on another powerful committee, Commerce and Energy, and in line to become chairman if his party regains the majority in the House. On the Senate side, Cory Booker (D-NJ) now has a seat on the Foreign Relations Committee, which could give him a boost if he seeks the presidential nomination in 2020.
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