Rep. Gabe Vasquez talks House drama, bringing NM to Capitol Hill

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It’s a new day and Congress still has not elected a House speaker. After six votes in two days, business can’t get started without a consensus, including the swearing-in of the newest members of Congress. 

KOB 4 caught up with New Mexico’s newest congressman, Gabe Vasquez, between the chaos to find out what he had to say about walking into the drama for his first term.

Vasquez says he’s full of mixed emotions right now.

“Unfortunately, I can’t get to the people’s work, I can’t get to our priorities and start talking with my fellow colleagues about what we can do to bring home results in New Mexico. Because Republicans, unfortunately, haven’t elected a speaker,” Vasquez said. 

Even with the roadblock of repeated votes, Vasquez is soaking in the moment. He beat out Republican incumbent Yvette Herrell. 

“You know, it still feels like a privilege. You know, my grandmother from Stroud who bought us from Mexico is here, she’s visiting the White House today, likely the only time she’ll ever be in Washington, D.C. and at the White House,” said Vasquez. 

He made good on his promise of bringing New Mexico to D.C. He posted a video of a mariachi band in his new office Tuesday on what would have been his swearing-in day.

“We had a line out the door of people wanting to come in, take photos, listen to the mariachi. It’s who we are, right? And that’s one of the things that’s really important to me is that when you get the privilege to be in a position like this, that you don’t forget who you are,” Vasquez said. 

But while talking between votes, Vasquez says feelings on the floor are tense right now. 

“I think folks are just eager to get to work. There’s a lot of other members-elect who have worked very hard to earn the trust and the support of the voters, and so we want to get to do our job,” he said. 

Vasquez says his number one priority is the economy right now. He wants to focus on creating good-paying jobs for people in his district.