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 ConnollyDemocrats to probe Trump's replacement of top Transportation Dept. watchdog The Postal Service collapse that isn't happening Postal Service to review package fee policy: report 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 SpeierAir Force documents acknowledged 'persistent' racial bias in justice system HHS watchdog says actions should be free from political interference Five factors influencing when the House returns 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 SchiffFlynn urged Russian diplomat to have 'reciprocal' response to Obama sanctions, new transcripts show The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers MORE (Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Democrats expand probe into State IG's firing | House schedules late June votes with defense bill on deck | New Navy secretary sworn in Democrats broaden probe into firing of State Department watchdog House chairman slams Pompeo for suggesting US could 'disconnect' from Australia over China deal MORE (N.Y.) and Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Democrats unveil measure to condemn police brutality House Democrats call on DOJ to investigate recent killings of unarmed black people  Gun control group rolls out House endorsements 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 Hill's 12:30 Report: Pence visits Orlando as all 50 states reopen The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin, Powell: Economy may need more boost; Trump defends malaria drug Democrats lobby Biden on VP choice MORE (D-Mo.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonDC delegate calls for closure of Lincoln and Jefferson memorials DC argues it is shortchanged by coronavirus relief bill An inclusive democracy Demands 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.