New York's Powerful Congressional Delegation

Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel, Ranking Democrat, Ways and Means

There will no doubt be much to digest over the coming weeks as the full weight of the 2006 election results are felt, but one point that should be noted early is that with the Democrats taking the House of Representatives NYC's congressional delegation is suddenly much more powerful.

"We do very well in New York in terms of chairmanships and subcommittee chairmanships in the new Congress," said Rangel, who would head the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee in a Democratic-controlled House.

With many Democrats from NYC holding their safe seats for decades, they will hold significant sway over national policy direction as well as the ability to cut through Federal red tape to get Federal funds allocated for key transportation infrastructure projects. This will also allow local activists to have a more potent voice into the political process to which the House Democrats have been shut out for the past 12 years.

Rangel holds the best position as the new Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, but there are many other locals that have new responsibilities

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), who represents the lower East Side and parts of Brooklyn and Queens, is expected to lead the Small Business Committee, giving the state a third committee chairmanship.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) will take the helm at the Financial Services subcommittee, the panel with oversight of Wall Street and international and domestic monetary policy.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Westchester) will likely head an Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens) is in line to chair head the international relations subcommittee on the Middle East.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) most likely will lead the international relations subcommittee on Western Hemisphere.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) will chair head the judiciary's subcommittee on constitutionality.

The wild card is Rep. Jose Serrano (D-Bronx), who may have to wheel and deal his way into a subcommittee chairmanship on the Appropriations Committee.

I will have much more on the electoral fall out and it's prospects for NYC, reducing our dependence on oil and creating a new energy policy for the 21st Century over the next few weeks.