Congressmember Joseph Crowley is being proposed by veteran Congressmember Charles Rangel for appointment to the key House Ways and Means Committee, which Rangel will chair when Congress convenes early next year.
Rangel (D-Harlem) made the request to incoming Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, according to a published report. Rangel, who, as head of Ways and Means, will be one of the most powerful Democrats in his request to Pelosi took the position that Crowley should have the post because New York City, as the unquestioned center of world commerce, should have at least two representatives on this key committee.
The panel is involved in virtually every piece of legislation that deals with taxes, business issues and health care.
Rangel didn't mention any other reasons why Crowley (D-Queens/The Bronx) should be a member of Ways and Means, but possibly he feels that Crowley earned the spot for the work he did in helping to win some elections which in turn were pivotal in the party's winning control of Congress.
It was recently reported that Crowley was among a group of New York City lawmakers who contributed part of their own campaign funds to other candidates to help them win their contests. Also in the group spreading their campaign cash around were United States Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Rangel.
Crowley gave $275,000 to the House Democratic Campaign Committee and another $65,000 directly to certain other candidates. Clinton topped the list, giving out $2.4 million, $400,000 of it to congressional candidates, and Rangel doled out $550,000 to 83 Dem candidates in 30 states, according to the report.
MALONEY MAY GET COMMITTEE POST: Washington sources report that Congressmember Carolyn Maloney is in line to get a subcommittee chairmanship, either on the Financial Services Committee or the Government Reform panel.
Maloney (D-Queens/Manhattan) will be starting her eighth term when Congress convenes. She is the senior Democrat on Financial Services which deals with banking and monetary policy as well as Wall Street and the mega-million investment industry.
The Democrats, in organizing for the new session, have chosen the chairs of the major committees, but have not sat down to deal with subcommittee chairmen posts yet. As we previously reported, Congressmember Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/Nassau) is in line to become chairman of the Subcommittee on International Relations in the Middle East.
RUDY FILES TO 'EXPLORE' PREZ RUN:As long expected, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to form a presidential exploratory committee, giving him the authority to raise funds to conduct polls and test the waters for a run in 2008.
The 62-year-old Giuliani had a busy year, visiting numerous states, raising funds and campaigning for Republican candidates who might repay him in kind if he becomes a candidate.
Giuliani's chief rival for the GOP nomination, Senator John McCain of Arizona, has also set up an exploratory committee to possibly run for president.
Previously, Giuliani set up a political committee in New York state and met with supporters in New York City who could be the nucleus of a nationwide fundraising organization.
SAY HEVESI PROBE NOW INCLUDES CHARTIER: Reports out of Albany say that the Albany District Attorney's probe of state Comptroller Alan Hevesi now includes the Forest Hills pol's longtime supporter, Jack Chartier, who is Hevesi's chief of staff.
Allegedly, Chartier arranged for actress Peggy Lipton to be chauffeured to a doctor's visit by a state employee, the same charge made against Hevesi. Lipton was battling cancer at the time Chartier provided the assistance for her, the report said.
SEEK MORE 9/11 HEALTH AID: The city's congressional delegation- Congressmembers Ackerman, Joseph Crowley, Maloney, Gregory Meeks and Anthony Weiner-were among 27 bipartisan lawmakers who requested President George W. Bush to include more funding for a 9/11 health program. Maloney and Congressmember
Vito Fossella (R-C, Staten Island) took the lead on the request, citing $52 million the administration gave for 9/11 first responders last October-the first such financial aid given by the federal government for illnesses suffered by 9/11 Ground Zero workers.
Maloney and Fossella said the $52 million was in effect only a down payment and future monies should now be included in the federal budget. They said doctors who have monitored the sick responders have told Congress that the health crisis must be viewed as a problem that will persist for a few decades, not just a few years.
Maloney said, "The men and women who breathed in the toxic air around Ground Zero will be feeling the serious effects for many years and the
federal government needs to reflect that to view this as a long term issue as the doctors have testified."
BRUNO WILL MAKE 'NO TAX' PLEDGE STICK: Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said last week he will not agree to any tax or fee increases next year. And if Governorelect Eliot Spitzer reneges on his "no tax" pledge, Bruno will not let him off the hook.
Albany watchers said Bruno was looking ahead to Spitzer's proposal to expand the state 5 cent per bottle soft drink deposit law to include water and sports drinks. A Bruno spokesman said the senate leader considers Spitzer's plan a tax increase and will in no way go along with it.