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 ConnollyTrump abandons plan to dissolve Office of Personnel Management: report Democrats debate scope of impeachment charges House Democrats rebuke State Department for 'reversal' on Israeli settlements 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 SpeierPelosi faces tough choices on impeachment managers Speier to call on IG investigation into Navy chief's firing Nunes faces potential ethics review over alleged meeting with Ukrainian official 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 SchiffSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial Supreme Court takes up fight over Trump financial records Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote MORE (Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelBombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday House approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump MORE (N.Y.) and Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerJudiciary members battle over whether GOP treated fairly in impeachment hearings Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay House passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers 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 NortonBicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers Overnight Energy: Mark Ruffalo pushes Congress on 'forever chemicals' | Lawmakers spar over actor's testimony | House Dems unveil renewable energy tax plan | Funding for conservation program passes Senate hurdle Maloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman 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.