Appropriations Committee Chair to Retire, Part I

The Story:

Nita Lowey (D – NY), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, has announced she will not be running for re-election to Congress in 2020. This puts in play the seat for her district, New York’s 17th Congressional, as well as the chair of that important committee, to be reassigned when the next Congress is organized. Today’s post will speak to Lowey’s role as a committee chair, tomorrow’s post to her role as representative for the 17th.


The 17th district is north of New York City. It straddles the Hudson River,  encompassing all of Rockland County to the west and parts of Westchester County to the east of the Hudson, including the city of White Plains.

Lowey has been in Congress for thirty years. Her seniority helped her receive the plum appointment of chairing the Appropriations Committee, which is one of the most powerful committees in the House, with a central role in the budgeting process.

If the Democratic Party remains in control of the House in January 2021, there is likely to be lively intraparty discussion about the next chair.  Likely candidates include Rosa DeLauro (D – CT), Marcy Kaptur (D – Ohio), Sanford Bishop (D – GA), and David Price (D – NC).

The Thing to Know:

Maneuvering for the post has already begun. In a statement, DeLauro has said explicitly, “I will be running for Chair … in the next Congress.” Price has been less definitive, but says he looks forward to “talking with colleagues” about how to fill the “major gaps” that Lowey’s retirement will create.


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