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Gabe Amo

Gabe Amo on his first week, Biden and ceasefire

Rep. Gabe Amo (D-R.I.) experienced quite the first week in office. The House passed a bipartisan continuing resolution, pro-Palestinian protesters shut down the DNC and there were numerous verbal and physical alterations between members.

We spoke with the newest House Democrat about his initial impressions of Congress, his thoughts on President Joe Biden’s dismal polling and whether there should be a ceasefire in Gaza.

Biden: Amo, a former White House staffer, centered his successful campaign around his close ties to Biden. Why does Amo think Biden’s poll numbers are currently well below where they need to be?

“Right now, people are not necessarily engaged with the alternative,” Amo said. The Rhode Island Democrat added that Biden’s policies poll well and it’s up to Democrats to “put forward the narrative of progress.”

“We have lots of time,” Amo said. “Remember President Biden has similar poll numbers to what President Obama had at the same point in his first term.”

Ceasefire: Amo’s first committee assignment is to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We wondered how Amo viewed the growing push from progressive Democrats to demand a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

“I personally don’t believe that there should be [a ceasefire],” Amo said. “I do think thoughtful, strategic humanitarian pauses to reduce the loss of innocent life is really important to put forward and we have to encourage Israel to be strategic in their engagement.”

A growing list of progressive lawmakers are calling for an end to hostilities, citing the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Amo said some have “gotten stuck in the ‘Instagramification’ of our foreign policy, which is not helpful.”

The majority of Hill Democrats support Israel’s campaign to root out Hamas terrorists following the group’s brutal Oct. 7 terrorist attack.

“My hope is we can work towards the reduction of human lives being lost while also dealing with the terror that Hamas performed on Oct. 7,” Amo said.

His first week: Amo said the chaos on the floor during his initial days as a member showed him “firsthand the challenges that we have driven by a House Republican majority that is really rudderless.”

Amo added he wants to focus on gun violence prevention measures, including banning assault weapons, while in Congress. Amo was realistic that “we might have to wait until we win the majority and get a Speaker Jeffries to make the more dramatic change that we’d like to see.”

The future: Amo is already seen as a rising star in Rhode Island politics. Would he consider running for Senate one day?

“I just got elected,” Amo replied. “I’m thinking about how I’m going to serve in the 1st District… These people put their trust in me so the most important thing I can do is pick up the shovel and get to work.”

— Max Cohen

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.