Tom Suozzi Returns to Congress With 2 Words for House: ‘Wake Up’

It took three frantic months for Tom Suozzi to fight his way back to Congress. On Wednesday, after taking the oath of office, Mr. Suozzi waited just moments to excoriate the place.

“Wake up!” Mr. Suozzi, an outspoken New York Democrat who just won a special election for a Long Island swing seat, bellowed at his new colleagues in a packed House chamber.

“The people are sick and tired of finger-pointing and petty partisan politics,” he said, chastizing Republicans and Democrats alike of “letting ourselves be bullied by our base” on issues like inflation and “the chaos at the border.”

He challenged the House, fresh off one of its least productive years in modern history, to get into “the solutions business,” starting with a vote on a bipartisan border bill Republicans demanded, then abruptly abandoned.

With a potential government shutdown looming, Mr. Suozzi immediately assumed an unusual amount of power in a closely divided House. After his swearing-in to replace George Santos, the disgraced ex-congressman, Republicans can now only afford to lose two votes on any partisan measure.

But as his combative re-entry speech showed, Mr. Suozzi, a centrist former congressman, is determined to seize a fleeting platform to turn his victory into a lesson about the electoral possibilities of bipartisanship.

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