Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., was the second most senior Democrat on the committee before the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md..

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., was the second most senior Democrat on the committee before the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP file photo

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Democratic Steering Committee Favors Maloney for Oversight Committee Chair

Full Democratic caucus will vote on Wednesday.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., will most likely take over for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., as leader of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. 

On Tuesday, the House Democratic Steering Committee recommended Maloney to the full Democratic caucus, which will vote on Wednesday. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., were also in the running. 

“No one secured a majority on the first ballot,” sources in the room told The Hill. “The first ballot was 26 for Maloney, 15 for Connolly, 10 for Lynch, 1 for Rep. Jackie Speier [D-Calif.]— who withdrew her candidacy for the post—and one spoiled ballot.” On the second ballot, the committee voted 35-17 in favor of Maloney over Connolly. 

Maloney was the No. 2 Democrat on the committee while Cummings was chairman and has been on it since getting elected to Congress in 1993. She has been serving as the acting chairwoman since Cummings died last month. Politico reported that Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., the No. 3 House Democrat, endorsed Maloney in the final leadup to the vote.

On Oct. 30 Maloney wrote to her colleagues touting her record and explaining why she believes she should carry on Cummings’ legacy. “As permanent chairwoman, I would support our caucus’ efforts to advance economic opportunities for all Americans, expand equality, strengthen the federal workforce, protect our census, combat climate change, champion women’s rights, improve government operations and services and more,” she wrote. “I have been dedicated to these causes my entire career.” 

This is a critical time for the oversight committee as impeachment proceedings are underway. If chosen to be oversight chair, Maloney will join Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Elliot Engel, D-N.Y., who are leading the inquiry. Maloney said she has supported President Trump's impeachment since June, but also noted her “record of rooting out corruption and improving the efficiency of government started long before the Trump administration.” 

If Maloney wins, she will be the first woman to lead the committee.