First elected in 2016, Josh Gottheimer represents New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes 79 towns in Bergen, Passaic, Sussex and Warren Counties.
No matter the challenge, Josh believes that by working together our best days will always be ahead of us. It’s a lesson he learned from his parents growing up in North Caldwell, New Jersey. Josh’s mom was a nursery school teacher. His father started his own business in their basement, and later grew his company in northern New Jersey. At sixteen, Josh took his first job stocking shelves for his dad to start saving for a car. The family business didn’t have an official slogan, but it easily could have been “work hard and give back.” These were the words Josh heard most from his dad.
After graduating from West Essex High School, Josh went on to the University of Pennsylvania, became a Thouron Fellow at Oxford, and then paid his way through Harvard Law School. It was during Josh’s freshman year of high school that Senator Frank Lautenberg passed legislation banning smoking on all airplane flights, teaching him that one person could make a difference. Because of this, in high school, Josh applied to be a Senate page for Senator Lautenberg, his first step in a career in public service that included serving as one of the youngest speechwriters in White House history.
Josh went on to take a position as a Senior Advisor to the Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and later served as Senior Advisor to the Chairman at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where he was the first Director of Public-Private Initiatives. Josh built on his experience at the FCC to help create a not-for-profit organization that partners with wireless companies to bring affordable high-speed Internet access to low-income students in New Jersey. Prior to serving in Congress, Josh worked at Ford Motor Company and Microsoft, both companies that harness technology and innovation to create jobs and lead America forward.
In Congress, Josh has drawn from his private sector experience, and the lessons he learned growing up in Jersey and working in his father’s store, to reach across party lines to find common ground on our most pressing issues. By bringing people together, fighting for lower taxes and affordable health care, and standing up for Jersey Values, Josh is getting things done for our families and our country.
While in Congress, Josh has distinguished himself as a bipartisan leader who believes in working together across party lines to find common ground to get things done. Shortly after he was sworn in in 2017, Josh was elected Co-Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. Since then, the group has grown to include 28 Democrats and 28 Republicans who work together to find solutions for our nation’s toughest challenges. Recognizing his efforts, the nonpartisan Lugar Center named Josh the most bipartisan Democratic Member of Congress for the 116th Congress. Josh is making a difference by working across the aisle and delivering results for our families.
When he got to Congress, Josh quickly began working with local officials to claw back more of our hard earned money. After Congress passed a Tax Hike Bill that took a two-by-four to our state, Josh introduced a Tax Cut Plan and has helped lead the charge to reinstate SALT (the State and Local Tax deduction) to help lower the tax burden on New Jersey’s families.
There is no responsibility that Josh takes more seriously than protecting our families and communities. Josh always has and always will continue to stand up for the veterans and first responders who put their lives on the line for us. The first bill that Josh introduced and passed when he got to Congress was to help our veterans secure jobs after they return home. Josh has also made it easier for our nation’s heroes to get the health care they need here in the District. During the COVID-19 crisis, Josh helped secure millions of face masks, gloves and other protective gear for our first responders, ventilators from the national stockpile for our hospitals, and small business loans to help protect our jobs.
During his time in Congress, Josh has also introduced legislation to fight lone-wolf terrorism at home, stood up to ensure only women and their doctors make decisions about their health care, worked to strengthen our bond with Israel, and fought to protect Medicare and Social Security against attempts to privatize or cut these vital lifelines for our seniors.
Josh has consistently fought to protect access to affordable health care and lower out of pocket costs for prescription drugs, worked to tackle climate change through the introduction of his Five Point Green Action Plan, expand credit fairness and opportunity for all consumers with the passage of his bipartisan bill, the Protecting Your Credit Score Act, and fix our crumbling roads and bridges and move the Gateway Project forward. Josh has also helped pass legislation on equal and civil rights and racial justice, including Criminal Justice Reform.
Josh serves as the only Member of the NJ delegation on the Financial Services Committee as a member of two key subcommittees: National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy & Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets. In the 117th Congress, Josh was appointed to the House Homeland Security Committee as a member of two key subcommittees including Intelligence and Counterterrorism & Transportation and Maritime Security.
Josh lives in Wyckoff, NJ with his wife, Marla, and their two young children, Ellie and Ben. Just like their dad, the highlight of every summer are their family trips to the Jersey Shore and listening to Bruce Springsteen.