Two Democratic congressmen from New Jersey, Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) and Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) have emerged as the most powerful Democratic in the New Jersey delegation following the passage of Health Care reform legislation last night. Pallone is chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, and Andrews was a key lieutenant for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Pallone and Andrews were two of the ten House members who joined Pelosi for a post-vote news conference last night.
Pallone and Andrews make the current New Jersey delegation that most powerful since 1988, when the state had three full committee chairmen: Peter Rodino (D-Newark) at Judiciary, James Howard (D-Wall) at Public Works and Transportation, and Robert Roe (D-Wayne) at Science, Space and Technology. At the same time, Jim Florio (D-Runnemede) chaired the Energy and Commerce subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Superfund and William Hughes (D-Ocean City) was chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime.