Congressional Profile: Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)

May 07, 2012

Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ) is currently ranked the most conservative Member of the New Jersey delegation. First elected in 2002 after the longtime moderate incumbent retired, Representative Garrett has held the seat and has maintained his conservatism for the past decade.

Born in Englewood, New Jersey in 1959, Representative Garrett received his Bachelor's degree from Montclair State University in 1981 and his Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law - Camden in 1984. In 1990, he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, representing the 24th legislative district. During his tenure, he became the Assistant Majority Leader and was the Chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee. He also served on the Education, Transportation, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committees, in addition to the Joint Committee on Public Schools.

In 2002, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 60% of the vote, and won reelection each time with at least 55% of the vote. In 2010, thanks to the enthusiasm of the tea party conservatives, he was re-elected with 65% of the vote.

Representative Garrett is the founder and chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, which educates Congress and the public on constitutional principles and the limitations of congressional action. In the 112th Congress, he chairs the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Market and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, which has jurisdiction over the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He is also the vice chairman of the House Budget Committee and a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Representative Garrett is also a member of the Republican Policy Committee and the Liberty Caucus.

Interestingly, he was the only member of the New Jersey delegation to vote to drill off the coast of New Jersey. A contentious issue in the state, Representative Garrett's votes in favor of drilling shows his commitment to doing what's best for the country, which will in turn help his constituents - good policy is good politics.

Representative Garrett has spent most of his life living in North Jersey, and has a great appreciation for the outdoors. He advocates the preserving of open space and protecting the Highlands, the Musconetcong River and the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge.

He and his wife, Mary Ellen, currently reside in Wantage Township and are members of Lafayette Federated Church in Lafayette, New Jersey