POLITICS

Engel’s looming defeat sets up fight

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But the brand new tide inside the caucus is forcing coverage discussions additional to the left, and that would have an effect on the race for open chairmanships.

Jaamal Bowman, who was difficult Engel, had already declared victory on Wednesday. Engel’s camp, nevertheless, has refused to concede the race regardless of Bowman’s enormous lead.

“With so many absentee ballots to be counted, we know that the full results of this primary won’t be known for some time,” Engel’s reelection marketing campaign mentioned in a press release late Tuesday night time.

On the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Brad Sherman of California is subsequent in line on the Democratic roster, though different lawmakers might search to problem him for the gavel, particularly Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.).

In an interview on Wednesday, Sherman wouldn’t talk about the way forward for the committee, saying repeatedly that Engel’s race has not been formally known as but.

“Eliot is a very good friend, and he’s been an outstanding chairman,” Sherman mentioned. “There are many ballots to be counted and every vote counts.”

Yet if Engel have been to lose, Sherman may make a robust argument to change into chairman.

The 65-year-old Sherman, who was first elected to workplace in 1996, has served on the Foreign Affairs panel for many years. For 17 years, Sherman has been a md or rating member of a subcommittee. And he has served on each one of many six subcommittees beneath HFAC.

Sherman has a low profile inside the caucus, and he misplaced a earlier bid for the highest Democratic spot on Foreign Affairs again in 2012. In that contest, Engel truly jumped over then-Del. Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa), who was then essentially the most senior Democrat on the panel, and Sherman to change into rating member. When Democrats gained the House in 2018, Engel transitioned to chairman.

Next in line after Sherman on Foreign Affairs is Meeks. The 12-term lawmaker is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, a strong faction inside the bigger Democratic Caucus, and will probably current a major problem to Sherman.

Like Sherman, Meeks additionally would not speculate on a possible bid for the Foreign Affairs gavel.

“I would like each vote to be counted. It’s vital to know and the folks’s will to be carried out,” Meeks mentioned in an interview. “I used to be out working very exhausting for Mr. Engel… so let’s have all of the votes counted and as soon as the votes are counted let’s have a dialog.”

Sherman and Meeks have broadly comparable information on Foreign Affairs, in keeping with most Democrats, though Sherman has grown more and more hawkish on China. Sherman has pushed laws to sanction people and banks that violate China’s dedication to keep up Hong Kong’s autonomy, in addition to a invoice that will delist securities on U.S. monetary exchanges for firms that do not meet worldwide accounting requirements. That proposal is basically geared toward Chinese firms. And Sherman has pushed to enhance U.S. relations with India.

Meeks has traveled extensively on overseas coverage points, and he co-chairs the European Union Caucus.

Despite the 2012 end result at Foreign Affairs, the Democratic Caucus continues to reward seniority with few exceptions. For occasion, Maloney beat out a problem for the Oversight gavel final yr from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) following the dying of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), largely as a result of she was most senior on the panel.

The CBC has additionally been vehement in its help for seniority, which has helped propel 4 members of the group to chairmanships this Congress. So it might be exhausting for the group to buck its insistence on seniority and again Meeks, a senior member of the CBC, in a race in opposition to Sherman.

Other potential candidates may embrace Democratic Reps. Albio Sires (N.J.), and Connolly.

Foreign Affairs could be one among two open committee gavels in 2021, with Lowey, the House Appropriations chairwoman, retiring. The three-way battle for that panel’s management has been ongoing since nearly instantly after Lowey introduced she would step down in 2019.

If Maloney comes up brief after all of the votes are counted, Democrats would additionally must elect a chair of the Oversight Committee. But as of Wednesday afternoon, sources near Maloney remained assured she would win her main. More than 30,000 absentee votes have but to be counted in her district — roughly as many as had already been counted — and her marketing campaign expects to win a lot of these after an aggressive effort directed at absentee voters.

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