New Jersey Democrats suddenly face 2022 from hell

People representative Mikie Sherrill will be a key for re-election next year. Considering she’s only in her second term, she’s delivered pretty well to her northern New Jersey county, on everything from COVID funding to conserving a local wildlife refuge. . She is an extraordinary fundraiser and a mother of four. Her concerns and positions are far-reaching and not ideological: Last week, shortly after Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor, visited the U.S. military in defense. Protecting Afghan refugees in Qatar, she was in Parsippany to celebrate the acquisition of nearly 9 miles of former railway that will be converted to green lines.

But the district of Sherrill stretched from Hopatcong Lake, the site of a large area Trump Boat Parade last August, part of Montclair’s People’s Republic, where parents are seething because of the pandemic closing schools. In other words, it’s a suburban area where an incumbent Democrat heading into the midterms of 2022 would be very nervous, especially after the state’s incumbent Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, was nearly knocked out by a Republican opponent in early November, Sherrill said: “I got some smart advice when I started running for Congress for the first time. “I was told that there are only two ways to run in New Jersey: You either get scared or you run uncomfortable.”

Sherrill said this with a laugh, but she wasn’t joking. After shifting the area from red to blue in 2018 – winning unequivocally, by 14 points, with the help of an anti-Trump wave – her return in 2020 is just six points , even Joe Biden New Jersey makes up nearly 16 years older than Trump, a nominal resident. November is a long way off, politically, and the bipartisan redistricting committee won’t set significant new boundaries until mid-January 2022. But Sherrill and her New Jersey colleagues she Josh Gottheimer, Andy Kim, and special Tom Malinowski are the incumbents who will determine whether a red wave pushes the House back into Republican control. Biden’s fortunes over the next 12 months could be a major drag or boost. But over the next few weeks, as Congress continues to debate the president’s Build Back Better plan, that will also make a big difference. “It is important for these Democrats to have the SALT deduction returned,” Julie Roginsky, a former senior strategist for Murphy. “So they can at least say they did something to make it more affordable for people living in their county.”

Is it of course a relative concept? Federal deductions for state and local taxes were capped in 2017 to partially offset Republican tax cuts for wealthy individuals. The change hit hardest in high-cost states like California, New York and New Jersey. Current effort to remove or increase cap — led by Sherrill, Gottheimer and Long Island’s Tom Suozzi—Have caused another split between Democratic moderates, like Sherrill, and progressives, like Senators Bernie Sanders, who ripped off the idea of ​​making gifts for the rich and suggested The family income ceiling is $400,000. In Sherrill County, however, the median household income is $120,000. “We had an argument with Senator Sanders, whose state is quite different from ours and requires a lot of federal aid,” Sherrill said. “After much caucus negotiation, I anticipate we will raise the deductible from the current $10,000 to $80,000, which will cover the majority of people in my area. But it’s a bit difficult to convey middle class or even lower middle class in a place like New Jersey compared to what it might look like in a place like Alabama. ”

Sherrill has much in common with the progressive wing of her party: a desire to see funding for childcare and preschool universals expand. However, even if that spending persists into the next round of debate, she and other moderators could pay a heavy price for all the months burned this year by internal squabbles. of the Democratic Party. The infrastructure bill that Biden signed on Monday isn’t much different from what the Senate passed in July. Whether progressives in the House of Commons will extract the votes needed to pass the social spending bill remains to be seen.

The delay has certainly blown a hole in any chance of the president building up political momentum beforehand. “I will confess to being extremely disappointed over the past few months,” Sherrill said. “But it’s always easy to blame. This is a democracy and we are doing exactly what we have to do. One of the worst slogans our military has ever had is ‘An army of one.’ There’s no such thing in the Army and there’s no such thing in Congress. We have different interests. But we have to get together and do what’s best for our country, and even during one of the most partisan times in our nation’s history, there are many people in Congress who are working really hard. just to deliver what this country needs to move forward. Whether Sherrill will continue to be one of those people is uncertain.

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