Westchester, New York , United States
|| July 05, 1937
Oct 09, 2016 11:32pm
Jewish - Liberal - Anti Alaska/Offshore Oil Drilling - Anti School Vouchers - Anti-Bush Tax Cuts (Pro-Tax Cut Rollback) - Anti-Death Penalty - Anti-Social Security Privatization - Pro Embryonic Stem Cell Research - Pro Environment - Pro Free Trade - Pro-Affirmative Action - Pro-Choice - Pro-Gay Marriage - Married -
|Info||Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey is currently serving her eighth term in Congress, representing parts of Westchester and Rockland counties. She was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988 and has served in the Democratic Leadership. Lowey was the first woman and the first New Yorker to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, leading the organization from 2001 to 2002. |
Lowey has been described as "courageous" by The New York Times, and recognized by the New York Daily News as one of "New York's key Members of Congress." Newsday said she is "terrific" and �delivers for New York." The Journal News called Lowey �one of the most influential Members of Congress.�
As a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, and the Ranking Democrat on the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Subcommittee, Lowey has developed a reputation as an extremely effective, committed legislator with a substantial record of accomplishment. Congressional Quarterly cited her as one of the 50 most effective Members of Congress, saying she �maneuvers skillfully through the appropriations process.�
Few members of Congress have taken key leadership roles on so many vital public policy issues. Lowey is a leading Congressional proponent of educational opportunity, health care reform and biomedical research, stricter gun control and public safety laws, environmental protection, women's issues, a leading international role for the United States, and national security.
The New York Post recognized Lowey�s leadership in securing over $20 billion for recovery efforts after September 11, 2001, calling her �a key general in the battle to rebuild New York.� An outspoken supporter of federalizing air and nuclear security and increasing port and rail security, Lowey also obtained federal funding for local efforts to fight bioterrorism.
Lowey is known as a strong advocate for women, children, and families. She has been a champion of education since her election to the House, fighting for school modernization, teacher development, and literacy programs. Under Lowey�s leadership, federal funding for after-school programs has increased from $1 million in 1996 to $1 billion today. Lowey supported monumental education reform, the No Child Left Behind Act, and is working to ensure full funding for the bill�s initiatives.
When GOP leaders threatened to eliminate the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), Lowey "invited" muppets Bert and Ernie to a Congressional hearing to make their case for public television. The resulting worldwide publicity is largely credited with saving the agency. Lowey has been equally stalwart in her defense of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and has served on the prestigious National Council for the Arts in recognition of her leadership.
Lowey is one of the Appropriations Committee's leading advocates of increased federal investments in biomedical research on diseases like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer�s at the National Institutes of Health. Called a �champion of increased funding for breast cancer research� by the Washington Post, Lowey has helped increase NIH�s budget for cancer research by more than five times. She has been repeatedly honored by the National Breast Cancer Coalition for her leadership in the fight against cancer.
Lowey is also a leader in the fight to reform managed care. She has authored a bill to ensure that women in managed care plans have direct access to their ob-gyns, and is a strong supporter of legislation to guarantee that doctors and patients -- not insurance companies -- make decisions about appropriate care.
Lowey is committed to making our neighborhoods and streets safer. She was a strong supporter of the Brady Law and the Assault Weapons Ban, and is now working to ban the sale of handguns like the "Saturday Night Special." Lowey was named Mothers Against Drunk Driving's (MADD) "Legislator of the Year" for her work to strengthen our nation's drunk driving laws. In 1995 Lowey wrote the nation's "Zero Tolerance" law, which makes it illegal for minors to drive with any alcohol in their system, and in 2000 she led the effort that established a national DWI standard of .08 BAC. She is also the author of legislation to prevent repeat drunk driving offenses.
As a candidate for Congress in 1988, Lowey pledged to make Long Island Sound cleaner and healthier. In 1990 she passed legislation into law establishing a special Environmental Protection Agency office for Long Island Sound. Since then she has obtained millions of dollars in federal funding for local clean-up efforts and has written legislation to improve the area's wastewater treatment infrastructure. Lowey has taken a key role in protecting the New York City watershed and preserving strong environmental laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
As a former Chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus and of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, Lowey has been widely recognized for her leadership on women's issues. The Washington Post called her �the most prominent abortion rights advocate in Congress,� and she has won widespread praise for winning passage of her bill to ensure that insurance companies cover prescription contraceptives for federal employees. Lowey established the Congressional Advisory Panel to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy to encourage abstinence and responsibility among teens. She has also been a leader in the fight against domestic violence, securing record increases in federal funding for battered women's shelters.
On the Appropriations Committee, Lowey has worked to ensure that national security and the war on terrorism are priorities in our foreign aid policy. Lowey has been a leading Congressional proponent of a strong U.S. - Israel relationship, and is the Appropriations Committee's chief advocate of the annual U.S. aid package to Israel. A longtime champion of human rights and enhancing the role of women in development, Lowey has taken a key role in fighting for democracy and justice in Northern Ireland, Indonesia, and around the world.
Lowey was born in the Bronx; graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, where she was the senior class president; and received a Bachelor's Degree from Mount Holyoke College. She served as Assistant Secretary of State for the State of New York before being elected to Congress. Nita and Stephen Lowey have been married for over 40 years and have three grown children and six grandchildren.