Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, Nov. 6, giving two members of Congress representing Westchester County powerful leadership posts.
U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, who represents Westchester as well as Rockland County, and Rep. Eliot L. Engel, who represents southern Westchester and the Bronx, are expected to land a pair of the highest-ranking committee chairmanships based on their seniority and status.
New York state lawmakers would play a larger role in Washington, D.C., than they have in a generation.
Democrat Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck pulled a stunning upset over incumbent U.S. Rep. John Faso in the 19th Congressional District -- representing Dutchess and 10 other Upstate counties. After overcoming a nasty attack ad campaign, Delgado is expected to gain early clout as a freshman in the Democratic majority.
Yorktown High School graduate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx, who upset longtime Rep. Joseph Crowley in June's Democratic primary, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and will likely lead the political party on progressive issues.
U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of Cold Spring, who represents parts of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties, also is expected to land a key leadership post after his easy re-election.
Maloney issued this victory statement late Tuesday: "I want to thank the people of the Hudson Valley for putting their faith in me and renewing my contract for another two years. It's been the honor of my life to represent my neighbors in Congress and I look forward to fixing our broken health care system, supporting our veterans, and fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic."
"Now is the time to come together across all of our lines of difference to get things done for the Hudson Valley," Maloney said.
Lowey, a 15-term veteran lawmaker, is in line to become the first woman to chair the highly influential House Appropriations Committee. The position puts her at the head of a committee overseeing $1.3 trillion in annual discretionary spending.
Lowey, expected to be one of 35 Democratic women to lead committees and subcommittees in the next Congress, said she hopes to steer the chamber away from large omnibus bills and reinstate a system of passing various spending bills separately.
The 81-year-old from Harrison vowed to resist Republican Party efforts to cut social services' spending and restore money to prevent gun violence, women's health initiatives and reproductive rights.
Even President Donald Trump said last month that a House under Democratic control might not be all that bad.
“Can we get along?" Trump, a native New Yorker told reporters. “Maybe. There is a possibility they want infrastructure, I want infrastructure.”
However, U.S. Rep. Jerrold L. Nadler, another New York Democrat, would head the powerful House Judiciary Committee, which has the authority to investigate the Trump Administration.
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