Rep. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Maloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump MORE (D-N.Y.) formally won the gavel of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, becoming the first woman to chair the powerful panel that is at the forefront of investigations into the Trump administration.
House Democrats had hoped to avoid a messy fight over the chairmanship amid their impeachment inquiry and ultimately deferred to seniority to fill the critical post. She won 133-86, according to a source familiar.
“I am deeply humbled and grateful to my colleagues for entrusting me with the chairmanship. I’m honored by this opportunity to do more for the American people and will do my best to follow the honorable example that Chairman Cummings left for us all. There’s much work to be done, and I can’t wait to get started,” Maloney said in a statement.
Maloney beat out Stephen LynchStephen Francis LynchMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees Overnight Defense: Dems release first impeachment probe transcripts | White House officials refuse to testify Monday | US, Iran mark 40th anniversary of hostage crisis MORE (D-Mass.) for the chairmanship, although she won the recommendation of the leadership-backed Democratic Steering Committee the day before on a second ballot.
She has been serving as acting chairwoman since the late Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman House passes stopgap as spending talks stall Stopgap government funding measure includes census money, military pay raise MORE (D-Md.) died last month.
Maloney now officially takes over the committee’s investigations, including into President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was ‘feeling the pressure’ to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings ‘a great day for Republicans’ MORE’s financial records, the efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census and the treatment of migrants at the southern border. Upon taking the role as acting chairwoman last month, Maloney vowed that “we will keep shining a spotlight on this administration’s actions.”
She previously hadn’t been a central figure in Democrats’ impeachment efforts. Maloney was best known for her work on ensuring health benefits for 9/11 first responders and on women’s issues, such as legislation she’s pushed for years to establish a women’s history museum on the National Mall.
For months this year, Maloney made a point of wearing a firefighter’s jacket around the Capitol and even to the Met Gala to draw attention to her bill to ensure financial assistance for first responders who have health complications caused by their work at Ground Zero. Trump eventually signed Maloney’s bill into law in late July.
Maloney’s election to lead the Oversight panel ensures that the House committee chairs leading the impeachment inquiry are not all white men.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFive things to know about Tuesday’s impeachment hearings Nunes complains Democrats adding extra time for questioning witnesses Volker says he rejected Biden ‘conspiracy theory’ pushed by Giuliani MORE (D-Calif.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump’s NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official’s deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE (D-N.Y.) have been conducting the closed-door depositions and issuing subpoenas in coordination with the Oversight panel, while House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman House to hold markup Wednesday on marijuana decriminalization bill House to vote on bill to ensure citizenship for children of overseas service members MORE (D-N.Y.) would be responsible for the process of crafting articles of impeachment.
But Maloney will be yet another New York City–based lawmaker among the ranks, alongside Engel and Nadler.
Maloney previously ran for the top Democratic spot on the Oversight panel in December 2010. But Cummings won that race and leapfrogged Maloney even though she ranked higher in seniority at the time.
Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Democrat unveils bill requiring banks to identify suspicious activity related to guns Brindisi, Lamb recommended for Armed Services, Transportation Committees MORE (D-Va.), a frequent presence on cable news, chairs the Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, while Lynch leads the Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security.
Even though Democrats largely wanted to defer to seniority in the race for the Oversight gavel this time around, it took two rounds of voting for the Steering Committee to make a recommendation on Tuesday.
The Steering Committee, which acts as an arm of leadership and recommends members for committee slots, voted 35-17 on a second ballot for Maloney over Connolly. Maloney won 26 votes in the first round over Connolly’s 15 and Lynch’s 10 in the first round.