Rep. Andy Kim (D., N.J.) apologized for the recent 35-day-long government shutdown at his first town hall meeting on Sunday.
According to the Burlington County Times, Kim and those in the crowd brought up the shutdown repeatedly, before the congressman made a personal apology to his audience of several hundred people.
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"I just want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry on behalf our government to have put your through that," he said. "I’m sorry for those who didn’t get their paychecks. I’m sorry to the Americans who were impacted by the lack of services and the reduction of services. And I’m just sorry to everybody because you deserve government that works, you deserve government that functions and that’s open and is there when you need it."
Kim went on to apologize for voting for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) as Speaker of the House, the paper reported. Kim had expressed in his campaign that he wanted to see new, younger leadership among House Democrats.
"As I’m now working to help my community here in New Jersey, it’s time we have new leadership on both sides of the aisle in Washington to get the job done," Kim announced in June, according to the New Jersey Globe.
Kim's first vote in the House was to support Pelosi. A resident at the town hall questioned the congressman for this decision.
"I did vote for you. And I know a lot of registered Republicans who did," the resident said, according to the Times. "I was really on the fence, but the thing that changed my mind in your favor was your promise not to vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker. I understand there is a lot of politics behind it. I understand it affects committee assignments and all those important things that help you do your job effective, but that really on day one left a bad taste in my mouth."
Kim replied that he was sorry that his audience did not understand his decisions, but that he hoped his constituency would forgive him.
"I understand your concerns and I’m not saying my explanation right now is going to alleviate your issues. But I do ask for you to give me a chance to continue on this," he said. "I hope you understand what I was trying to do."