Robert Ernest "Rob" Andrews (born August 4, 1957) is the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 1st congressional district, serving since 1990. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes most of Camden County and parts of Burlington County and Gloucester County.
Before his election to Congress, Andrews was a member of the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 1986 to 1990, including two years as freeholder director (1988–1990). A native of Camden and graduate of Bucknell University and Cornell Law School, he was an attorney and an adjunct professor at the Rutgers School of Law–Camden. In the U.S.
House of Representatives, he serves on the Committee on Armed Services, Committee on the Budget, and Committee on Education and Labor, where he serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions.
Andrews was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 U.S. Senate election, being defeated by incumbent U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg. In November 2008, he received more votes than anyone ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey.
Early life, education and career
Andrews was born in Camden, New Jersey, the son of Josephine (née Amies) and Ernest Andrews. Cornell Law Review's board of editors; he also was an adjunct professor at Rutgers University-Camden Law School .
He grew up in Bellmawr, and currently lives in nearby Haddon Heights. He attended Triton Regional High School in Runnemede. Andrews graduated from Bucknell University in 1979 with a B.A. in political science. He later attended Cornell University Law School, earning his J.D. degree in 1982. For several years, Andrews was involved in legal education as a member of
Andrews is married to Camille Spinello Andrews, an Associate Dean of Enrollment and Projects at Rutgers School of Law - Camden. They have two daughters, Jackie and Josie.
From 1983 onward, Andrews had a private law practice. In 1987, he was elected as a member of the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
U.S. House of Representatives
Andrews is generally considered a moderate by Democratic standards. The New York Times has characterized Congressman Andrews as "fiscally conservative...and socially moderate." Rep. Andrews has a lifetime rating of 17.24 (and a 2007 rating of 0) from the American Conservative Union and a 2007 rating of 100 from Americans for Democratic Action. He has a liberal rating of 76.2 and a conservative rating of 23.8 from the National Journal.
Rep. Andrews has served for his entire Congressional career on the House Committee on Education and Labor. He was the Democratic leader and Ranking Member on the Education Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations, and is currently the Chairman of the Education Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions which has responsibility for the health insurance, pension and labor laws of the nation.
Rep. Andrews also serves on the House Armed Services Committee, which maintains jurisdiction over funding for the military forces.
Using Amtrak to commute from his Haddon Heights home while Congress is in session so that he can be closer to his family and constituents, Andrews does not maintain a residence in Washington, D.C.. Andrews is an ardent supporter of Amtrak subsidies.
Andrews voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, authorizing the erection of a 700-mile fence across the U.S.-Mexico border.
On October 10, 2002, Rob Andrews was among the 81 House Democrats who voted in favor of authorizing the invasion of Iraq (126 Democrats in the House were opposed) and was the only Democratic member of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to co-sponsor the Iraq Resolution. In 2005, he voted in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to prohibit desecration of the American flag. The proposed amendment was later defeated in the Senate. In the same year he voted for the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act which makes it more difficult for individuals to declare bankruptcy under Chapter 7 and encourages declaration of bankruptcy under Chapter 13.
Senators Frank Lautenberg, Bob Menendez, and Andrews were the only members of the New Jersey Democratic Congressional Delegation to vote for the Military Commissions Act of 2006. He was also involved in proposing a bill for sanctioning Iran in 2007. The Iran Sanctions Enhancement Act of 2007 targets any company or individual that provides Iran with refined petroleum products or engages in an activity that could contribute to the enhancement of Iran's ability to import refined products after December 31, 2007.
In 1990, after a 15-year incumbent James Florio resigned from the House of Representatives to take office as Governor of New Jersey, Andrews won a special election to succeed him. He won a full term later that year and has been re-elected seven times without serious opposition.
In 1997 and 2001, Andrews unsuccessfully campaigned for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New Jersey. In 1997, Andrews fell some 5,000 votes short of winner Jim McGreevey, out of 350,000 votes cast. Andrews was reportedly considering a primary challenge in 2005, before McGreevey's resignation.
While Andrews had been frequently mentioned as a possible replacement for Jon Corzine's United States Senate seat after Corzine's November 2005 gubernatorial victory, Bob Menendez was eventually chosen by Corzine to fill the vacancy. Andrews had informally announced his plan to run in the 2006 Democratic primary against Menendez, but in January 2006 announced that he would run for a ninth full term in the House and seek the Senate seat in 2008 if Senator Frank Lautenberg retired.
Congressman Andrews faced no Republican opponent in the 2002 and the 2006 Congressional race.
On April 2, 2008, Andrews announced he would challenge incumbent Senator Frank Lautenberg in the 2008 Democratic primary in New Jersey. Andrews also announced that he would not seek reelection to his U.S. House district in 2008. His wife, Camille Andrews stood as a candidate for his U.S. House seat instead, although she said she might withdraw in favor of another candidate chosen by the party.
Andrews was beaten by Lautenberg in the Senate primary, but Camille Andrews won the Democratic primary for his seat in the House. After losing to Lautenberg, Rob Andrews decided to run for re-election to his House seat; Camille withdrew her candidacy on September 3, and Rob Andrews announced that on September 4 that he would take her place as the Democratic candidate. Despite strong public opinion to the contrary, he maintained that his wife had not been merely a placeholder candidate and said that he had only decided to run for re-election a week before he announced it; according to Andrews, his change of heart was a result of personal reflection: "I just looked deep into what I believe in and decided that this is what I had to do."
Andrews is a superdelegate within the Democratic Party and prior to the New Jersey primary he endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Following the results from the Indiana and North Carolina primaries Andrews stated that he believed Senator Barack Obama would win the nomination and that the party should unite behind him. However he did not switch his vote as a superdelegate from Clinton to Obama stating that "such a move might 'retard' the process of unifying the party".
December 13th, 2011