NEWARK – The announced bow-out from power today of powerful U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) had Democrats buzzing about a perceived GOP discomfort in the House of Representatives with actually occupying power during the era of controversial Republican President Donald J. Trump.
For his part, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr (D-10), sized up the Chaffetz move as possibly merely a consistent demonstration of the GOP creed: get out of a town that itself needs to go.
It’s a prime opportunity to govern with Republicans in full charge of the leevers of federal power, and Chaffetz apparently doesn’t want in fore the duration.
“Republicans are there to stifle,” Payne told InsiderNJ. “They don’t believe in the federal government. So a lot of members are coming there to stifle government, and that’s basically what they did during the Obama administration. They didn’t let anything move. The country was in peril – then they would act. They would take it to the brink to see how far they could push it. But their philosophy is to get rid of the federal government, so a lot of them believe in term limits. This might be him keeping his word about not being there draining the swamp. They don’t want to be part of the swamp. They would look at someone like Charlie Rangel being part of the swamp, or whoever has been there for a long time.
“We saw what they did with President Obama for eight years,” Payne added. “Guess what? Now they have the congress, both houses, and the president. Now you have to govern. There’s no more boogeyman. There’s no more excuse. It’s in your hands. And we saw they weren’t successful with their first attempt – to repeal Obamacare. So, it’s a lot different to govern than to sit on the sidelines and chat. Now you have to govern.”
Payne kindly took time to speak to InsiderNJ following his participation in a transportation press conference with Senator Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie. We will shortly post more of our conversation with the Newark congressman.