Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) lamented during a town hall Wednesday that the Senate filibuster is “detrimental” to the left’s agenda, including the For the People Act, which would radically transform America’s electoral system, according to tracking audio exclusively obtained by Breitbart News.
Kim, a two-term swing district Democrat, held a Wednesday telephone town hall with constituents. During the town hall, Kim complained that the Senate needs to “sort out” issues surrounding the legislative filibuster. He complained that a “minority” of the Senate could “have and wield this kind of control over the agenda of the body [Senate], that’s something that is going to hold up a lot of progress.”
He continued, saying that he believes the filibuster is “something that is going to be detrimental to our ability to get through the kind of things that we need to.”
Kim held his town hall right after the Senate blocked S.1, the For the People, the Democrats’ marquee legislation this congressional term. The Senate voted 50-50 to invoke cloture to advance the legislation, meaning that if Congress’s upper chamber nuked the filibuster, then it would have likely come up for a vote and would be passed on partisan lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.
One New Jersey constituent asked Kim about his thoughts about how to take action to enact the For the People Act and Sen. Joe Manchin’s request to include voter ID requirements in the For the People Act.
Kim said he has pushed the For the People Act and other election bills since he was elected during the 2018 midterm elections.
“Those of us who were elected in 2018, we felt we came to Congress with a very clear direction … that this systemic problem is something we have to move forward on,” he added. Kim noted that Texas and Georgia’s efforts to enact voter integrity reform also impact New Jerseyans.
Kim declined to take a stance on Manchin’s request for a voter ID provision in the For the People Act, saying he would have to take a “look” at the proposal.
A recent Monmouth poll found that 80 percent of Americans support voter ID requirements.
Kim’s fervent support for the For the People Act is controversial for a district that has historically been represented by Republicans.
Kim represents one of the 13 congressional districts former President Donald Trump won by more than six percent in the 2016 presidential election but that House Democrats managed to flip in the 2018 midterms.
New Jersey’s third district — which stretches from the suburbs of Philadephia, Pennsylvania, to Ocean County, New Jersey — has been represented by Republicans for eight years before Kim unseated former Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ). MacArthur led the charge on House Republicans’ revived Affordable Care Act (ACA) efforts after then-Speaker Paul Ryan failed to pass an ACA repeal bill. MacArthur, however, faced the brunt of anti-ACA repeal sentiments in his New Jersey district, leading to his loss in the 2018 midterms to Kim.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has listed New Jersey’s third district as one of its top potential pickups.
Despite Kim’s claim to serve the district as a moderate, conservatives have criticized the legislation as a power grab for the left over America’s elections. The legislation even received bipartisan opposition when the House voted on the bill.
Some Republicans, such as Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), said that the legislation would “perpetuate” a Democrat majority.
Among other things, the legislation would:
- Federalize control over congressional elections;
- Declare that standard state and local maintenance of elections systems, such as purging ineligible voters from voter rolls, limiting vote-by-mail, requiring voter ID, and establishing rules against felons voting, would erode the right to vote;
- Require all challenges to the law to be filed in the federal courts in Washington, DC, dominated by judges appointed by Democrat presidents;
- Establish online and automatic voter registration;
- Protect illegal immigrants from prosecution if they vote;
- Establish same-day voter registration;
- Register minors to vote;
- Mandate early voting;
- Establish nationwide vote-by-mail without a voter ID; and
- Allow ballots to be counted ten days after Election Day.
Kim’s priorities do not solely focus on passing the For the People Act. Kim said recently that he wants New Jersey counties and state governments to implement state “curriculum” relating to “diversity.”
He also suggested he might have “tools… at the federal level to address this.”
NRCC spokeswoman Samantha Bullock said in a statement in June, “Andy Kim is making the case to flip his seat by taking responsibility for Democrat policies that are hurting New Jersey residents.”
“Andy Kim needs to decide if he wants to continue being a henchman of Nancy Pelosi and the radical left or if he’d rather represent the Third Congressional District of New Jersey. He cannot have it both ways,” New Jersey Republican State Committee Communications Director Tyler Ladzinski said in a statement this week.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.