Rep. Nita Lowey was picked to become the first woman and the first Jewish member of either party to hold the top post on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. The Democratic Steering Committee voted 36-10 on Tuesday to make her the party’s ranking member in the 113th Congress on the panel that must approve all federal spending legislation. She defeated Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio.
Lowey, 75, was just elected to her 13th term. She had another first in 2001-2 when she served as the first woman and the first New Yorker to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Lowey issued the following statement on her election:
“This important position comes with significant responsibility. In the coming weeks, Congress must extend expiring tax reductions for middle-class families and replace sequestration with budget reductions that jeopardize neither critical services nor investments for the future. Moving forward, the Appropriations Committee will play a central role in creating jobs; assisting those affected by natural disasters; rebuilding crumbling infrastructure; improving schools and health care; bolstering security at home and abroad; and reducing the deficit by eliminating wasteful and duplicative spending.
“I look forward to working with the Democratic Caucus, as well as Chairman Rogers and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to support middle-class families, invest for the future, and ensure all Americans have the opportunity to succeed.”
Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) chairs the full committee. If Democrats retake control of the House in the next election, she would be first in line to be chair.