Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: If push comes to shove, I will ‘get Brooklyn’ on Rep. Paul Ryan

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When you’re the new guy trying to get respect in the big House, you go after the craziest person in there.

For freshman Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D–Fort Greene), that man is Rep. Paul Ryan (R–Wisconsin).

Brooklyn’s newly minted congressman says he will use his seat on the House Budget Committee to challenge the former vice-presidential candidate, who chairs the panel.

“I’ll be right across the negotiating table from Paul Ryan on the debt ceiling, and sequestration, and the future of important entitlement programs,” the legislator told his constituents at a community board meeting earlier this month. “So if he starts acting up, I may just have to get Brooklyn on him!”

Jeffries was a bit more diplomatic in a phone interview with this newspaper last week, assuring voters that when he gets Brooklyn on somebody, he does so with all due respect.

“We must continue to articulate a vision for America designed to create progress for the greatest number of people possible, as opposed to simply promoting prosperity for the few,” said Jeffries. “Under the leadership of Paul Ryan, a very different vision than that of the constituents that I represent has been put forth by the House Budget Committee.”

Jeffries has not yet introduced himself to Ryan — who has pushed to reduce taxes and privatize parts of Social Security and Medicare. But the Brooklyn politico thinks he might be able to find middle ground with the Wisconsin rep.

“Congressmen Ryan is clearly a good man who cares about this country — he did vote for the fiscal cliff deal that I supported and that was negotiated by the White House and Democrats in the Senate,” said Jeffries. “That’s a wonderful starting point.”

Jeffries said he is eager to bring to Washington the experience he gained in Albany during the past five years — and that he is looking forward to his first encounter with the world’s most powerful former Brooklynite: President Obama, an ex-Park Sloper.

“The first chance I get to visit the White House, I will raise the question of President Obama’s Park Slope residency,” Jeffries said.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at
Updated 5:38 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

kelly from park slope says:
how do you "get brooklyn" on someone in a respectful way?
Jan. 21, 2013, 8:58 am
Hugo Furst from BH says:
What a great country ANYBODY can become a congressman. ANYBODY!
Jan. 21, 2013, 9:42 am
Hugo Furst from BH says:
What a great country ANYBODY can become a congressman. ANYBODY!
Jan. 21, 2013, 9:42 am
benti/brooklyn from downtown says:
I think that Rep. Hakeem Jeffries could learn a thing or two from Rep. Paul Ryan about cutting spending, smaller government, balance budget amendment, flat tax & term limits. Happy New Year America, maybe one day you will be great once again.
Jan. 21, 2013, 9:46 am
manhatposeur from brokelynland says:
Hey benti America is a great country. We've reduced our deployments (survived one of them) & killed the man responsible for 9/11. Provide opportunity to get people health care.
Love it or leave it.
Jan. 21, 2013, 11:21 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
sure, be blustery...I doubt this guy will do much more than Ed Towns.
Jan. 21, 2013, 12:22 pm
Shamdonkwa Jones from Brownsville says:
So here's what the black community in this burough has come to - comic names and threatening others? HJ, you're an embarassment - first to yourself, second to blacks.
Jan. 22, 2013, 6:12 am
JAZ from hunting redbeards says:
Everyone needs to calm down. What he meant was that he is gonna Go 'North Brooklyn' on em, which means passively offering him a soy latte with a foam Penny Farthing and a gluten free cupcake.

The only problem is the total cost of $27 might exceed the congressional gift allowances.
Jan. 22, 2013, 8:22 am
6 days from sunday says:
Isn't "getting" people on someone what 9/11 people did to get money? or what the sandy people are trying to do now? Isn't "getting people on someone" what the good ole boy network in NYS did to David Patterson?
They formed gangs and went after people. So why is Jeffries viewed differently?- because he is black or because he revealed it?
Jan. 22, 2013, 6:15 pm
Joey Bots from B-Town says:
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries - you are coocoo boots!!
Jan. 23, 2013, 4:15 pm
Cocoa boots says:
He's violent, and always has been. No one mentions it because Of "diversity"
Jan. 24, 2013, 7:34 pm

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