Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman

Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman
© Greg Nash
The House Democratic Steering Committee, which makes recommendations for members' committee slots, voted 35-17 on a second ballot in favor of Maloney over Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward Connolly'Liberated' Pelosi bashes Trump — and woos Democratic base Trump's best week ever? Trump set to confront his impeachment foes MORE (D-Va.), according to sources in the room.
The full House Democratic Caucus will vote Wednesday to ratify the Steering Committee's recommendation. 
Assuming the Democratic caucus affirms the Steering Committee's recommendation, Maloney will be the first woman to chair the powerful committee.
The first ballot resulted in 26 votes for Maloney, 15 for Connolly, 10 for Lynch, one for Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierHouse passes bill paving way for ERA ratification Abortion wars flare up in Congress House Democrats question Secret Service on payments to Trump properties MORE (D-Calif.) – who withdrew her candidacy for the post – and one spoiled ballot.
Maloney previously tried to run for the top Democrat slot on the Oversight Committee in December 2010. But Cummings, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), defeated her for the post even though Maloney ranked higher in seniority.

But on Tuesday, Maloney's seniority carried the day over Connolly and Lynch as Democrats sought to avoid an ugly fight over a key committee post in the midst of the impeachment inquiry.

Before Cummings's death, Maloney had not been a central figure in Democrats' impeachment inquiry and was less of a presence on cable news. She was best known for her work on legislation ensuring health benefits for 9/11 first responders and for women's issues like the Equal Rights Amendment and pushing for a women's history museum on the National Mall. 

Maloney automatically assumed the role of acting chairwoman after Cummings's death due to House rules that the member ranking highest in seniority temporarily fills vacancies at the top of committees.

Since she became acting chair, Maloney has been signing off on joint statements and attending joint press conferences about the impeachment inquiry with the chairmen of other investigative committees.

Maloney taking the committee gavel would also mean that the House committee leaders at the forefront of the impeachment inquiry – Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders steamrolls to South Carolina primary, Super Tuesday Schiff blasts Trump for making 'false claims' about Russia intel: 'You've betrayed America. Again' Trump: Nevada a 'great win' for Sanders MORE (Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Army says it isn't investigating Vindman | White House outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike | Service member dies in Africa Trump administration outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike Pompeo to testify on Iran in February MORE (N.Y.) and Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerThis week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Congress set for clash over surveillance reforms Trump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify MORE (N.Y.) – are not all white men. She will, however, be yet another New Yorker among the ranks.

Two other CBC members on the Oversight Committee – Rep. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayLawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman MORE (D-Mo.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonHillicon Valley: US hits Huawei with new charges | Judge orders Pentagon to halt 'war cloud' work amid Amazon challenge | IRS removes guidance on Fortnite game currency Democrats criticize FCC for not taking action against DC station broadcasting Russian disinformation House panel approves bill to grant DC statehood MORE (D-D.C.) – had been floated as potential candidates for the chairmanship. But neither ultimately ran for the post, in line with the CBC's tendency to defer to the seniority system to reward its members' longevity.

Maloney, 73, has represented a Manhattan-area district since 1993.
Scott Wong contributed.