The House Democratic Caucus elected Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney as the new permanent chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, making her the first woman ever to take the gavel of the powerful panel. Maloney took over as acting chair following the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings last month.
Maloney defeated Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly 133 to 86 following an endorsement from House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina. The Committee of Oversight and Reform is one of three panels that are currently investing President Donald Trump and his administration in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry.
“I am deeply humbled and grateful to my colleagues for entrusting me with the chairmanship,” Maloney said. “I’m honored by this opportunity to do more for the American people and I will do my best to follow the honorable example of Chairman Cummings left for us all.”
Cummings died on Oct. 17 at the age 68 from complications from an ongoing health issue. Maloney, 73, had been the second-ranked Democrat on the committee even though she had seniority over Cummings when he beat her in the Democratic Caucus vote for the leadership role.
Maloney has represented western Queens and parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn since 1993. She also serves as the vice chair of the Joint Economic Committee. Maloney is a recognized national leader with extensive accomplishments on financial services, national security, the economy, and women’s issues.
Maloney was also the lead author of the legislation to fully reauthorize the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund and wore an FDNY turnout coat to all public appearances for a month advocating for its passage. When Trump finally signed the bill into law last July, Maloney was snubbed by the White House and not invited to the Rose Garden signing ceremony.
According to The Hill, after she won the election, Maloney told her caucus colleagues, “When I came to Congress, I noticed there were no women on the walls. There were no women chairmen. I would always look, where were the women? So I never thought I’d have the great honor of chairing an important committee here in the United States Congress.”
The Committee on Oversight and Reform is the main investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. It has authority to investigate the subjects within the Committee’s legislative jurisdiction as well as “any matter” within the jurisdiction of the other standing House Committees.
“There’s much work to be done, and I can’t wait to get started,” Maloney said.