According to a report from the Luger Center at Georgetown University, New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer votes with Republicans more than any other Democrat in Congress.
Only Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, the representative for Pennsylvania’s 1st congressional district including all of Bucks County and a sliver of Montgomery County, has shown less party loyalty as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, than Gottheimer.
The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, which jointly released their new Bipartisan Index (BPI) rankings for 2021 – the first year of the current 117th Congress.
The nonpartisan tool measures the degree to which Senators and Representatives work across partisan lines on legislation as opposed to supporting their own party’s positions.
The results showed a sharp drop in bipartisanship in both the House and the Senate — especially among Republicans—but Gottheimer remained the top Democrat on the list for the third year in a row.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was the lowest ranking member of the Democratic caucus at 87th.
The Bipartisan Index measures how often a member of Congress introduces bills that attract co-sponsors from the other party, and how often they in turn co-sponsor a bill introduced from across the aisle. The rankings and scores issued today cover legislative activity for 2021, the first year of the Biden presidency, and the first time since 2010 that Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.
“Many observers speculated how well members of Congress would work together in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol,” said Lugar Center Policy Director Dan Diller. “Regrettably, the new 2021 Bipartisan Index scores offer strong quantitative evidence that bipartisanship at the individual member level plummeted last year.”
The Huffington Post called Gottheimer “the most conservative Democrat in Congress,” noting that he has defended big banks, assailed immigrants and “persistently pursued Republican policy priorities.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called him the “Tea Party” of the Democratic caucus.
Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lashed out at Gottheimer saying to the moderate New Jerseyan, “We are either a team or we’re not,” during a closed-door meeting of the Democratic caucus.
Gottheimer—along with Rep Mikie Sherrill—is one of only two New Jersey members of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, a group in Washington known as supporting tax cuts for the wealthy and wasteful military spending, but when it comes to investing in programs for people they exhibit a rabid interest in fiscal austerity.
“I’m incredibly proud to be named the most bipartisan House Democrat,” said Gottheimer, who voted with President Donald Trump 76.7 percent of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly.
In the Senate, two corporate Democrats who thwarted President Joe Biden’s plans in the evenly-divided chamber continued their record of bipartisanship: Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia ranked almost as high as Gottheimer, but he outpaced them in the race for Republicanism.
Despite the Democratic lawmaker’s frequent support for Republican policies, he is not being challenged in the primary election.
To see current and previous Bipartisan Index rankings, click here.