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 ConnollyHouse Democrats miss chance to help McAuliffe Progressives see infrastructure vote next week Dem hopes for infrastructure vote hit brick wall 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 SpeierGOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Texas Democrat Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson announces retirement at end of term Democratic Rep. Butterfield won't seek reelection: report 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 - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to omicron variant Schiff: Jan. 6 panel decision on charges for Meadows could come this week MORE (Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell NYC snafu the latest flub from a broken elections agency Cynthia Nixon backs primary challenger to Rep. Carolyn Maloney MORE (N.Y.) and Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerUnrequited rage: The demand for mob justice in the Rittenhouse trial Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Democrats prepare to grill oil execs Merkley, Warren and Markey sound alarm over 'dirty' hydrogen provision in climate deal 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 ClayThe FCC must act to promote minority-owned broadcasting Cori Bush hits her stride by drawing on activist past Lobbying world MORE (D-Mo.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonFAA levies 5K in fines against unruly passengers this year Democrats press DOJ to prosecute unruly air passengers Ilhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' 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.