House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) on Thursday announced she will retire at the end of this Congress and not seek reelection in 2020.
The 82-year-old New York Democrat was first elected to Congress in 1988 and rose to become the most senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee — and the first woman to hold the post. Before becoming a lawmaker, Lowey served as assistant secretary of state for the state of New York.
“After 31 years in the United States Congress, representing the people of Westchester, Rockland, Queens and the Bronx, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2020,” she said in a statement.
In addition to being the first woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee, Lowey also made history in 2001 when she became the first woman to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“I am honored that my colleagues in Congress elected me as the first Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee and will fight vigorously for House Democratic priorities as I negotiate spending bills for fiscal years 2020 and 2021,” she continued.
Should Democrats retain control of the lower chamber in 2020, Rep. Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturAcquiescing to Berlin, emboldening Moscow and squeezing Kyiv: Biden and Nordstream 2 OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats lay out vision for Civilian Climate Corps | Manchin to back controversial public lands nominee | White House details environmental justice plan Democrats lay out vision for Civilian Climate Corps MORE (D-Ohio), the longest-serving woman in the House, is likely to succeed Lowey as the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee.
Lowey’s accomplishments on Capitol Hill include securing federal funding to rebuild coastal areas hit by Hurricane Sandy, enactment of a bill strengthening the enforcement of drunk driving laws and her work on foreign aid and U.S.-Israel relations.
Lowey vowed to continue to fight for her district, a Democratic stronghold, and the party’s priorities through the end of her term, adding she plans to enjoy more time with her family upon her retirement.
“I look forward to more time with my husband Steve and our family, who have strongly supported my career in public service,” she said. “I will continue working as hard as ever – with the same optimism and energy – through the end of this term in Congress.”
--Updated at 1:10 p.m.