Caitlyn Kim was the General Assignment Editor. She joined the WNYC staff in August 2011. Previously, Caitlyn was a reporter/producer at WAMC and KQED. She also covered Connecticut state politics for WNPR, WFCR and WAMC ...
If partisan gridlock was the defining characteristic of the 112th congress, one new congressman is hoping that will change in the 113th Congress that started Thursday. Democratic Representative Sean Patrick Maloney took the oath of office with his two daughters by his side and he says he’s hoping to build a record of results for them.
“I’m not here to be somebody. I’m here to do something. And so I hope that what I’m able to look back on is that today is the first day I started solving problems for people and started acting across the aisle in a nonpartisan way, in ways that really solved problems and put people first,” he said.
He says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that members of Congress have gotten the message from voters that people are tired of the partisan bickering, noting that “we’ve got real problems and we’ve got to work on them.”
First up, he adds, will be the $60 billion Sandy aid bill that did not get passed by the last Congress, much to his chagrin.
“We as New Yorkers have always been there. We are the first ones to step up and help other parts of the country. I just think it’s outrageous that it has taken now 67 days to help people who need it,” he said. “And they should not have to wait one second more.”
A vote on $9 billion on Sandy aid is expected as early as Friday. House leaders have promised a vote on the remaining aid by January 15.
Maloney says his other goals this term include a focus on creating jobs, a farm bill that makes sense and helping the bio-tech industry in Westchester.
The Hudson Valley representative is the first openly gay congressman in the state’s delegation and will be serving on the Transportation and Infrastructure committee, his first choice assignment. He’s also hoping to bring infrastructure projects to the Hudson Valley that are in the public-private partnership mode.