New York is said to have a stronger hand in the new, divided Congress

WASHINGTON — Paralysis could be the prognosis for the next Congress as it will be divided as Democrats narrowly control the Senate and Republicans cling to a tiny majority in the House of Representatives.

Still, it’s a convention where New York will have a stronger hand – partly because the top Democrats on both sides of Capitol Hill will likely be New Yorkers, and partly because the House Republican leadership will have every reason to listening to the 11 members of the GOP House of Representatives New York.

With that in mind, New York lawmakers polled last week were surprisingly optimistic about what they could accomplish in the new, divided Congress that will take office in January. No one expects the massive amount of sweeping legislation that has emerged from the last two years of Democratic one-party control — but spending bills that need to be passed and other, lesser measures may very well have a New York stamp on them.

That’s in part because Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, a Brooklyn Democrat, will continue to serve in that role and may have a slightly larger Senate majority to work with. Meanwhile, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries – also from Brooklyn – is expected to take over as top Democrat in the House of Representatives, where Republican leaders will no doubt remember that the GOP’s unexpected victories in New York was the only reason are why the party has a majority in Parliament.

“Anytime you have New Yorkers in a position of influence, I think it’s good for the state,” said Assemblyman-elect Nicholas A. Langworthy, a Republican who ran the state GOP while it held all of those seats. “And you know, we’re going to have state priorities, regional priorities that we need to work together on. There are certain things that we, as New Yorkers, are all in together.”

Here’s a look at what western New York lawmakers have to say about the next two years in Congress — as well as a look at Jeffries, who is in line to replace Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the most powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives:

There’s now a chance the Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate may be New Yorkers, reports CBS2’s Dick Brennan.


Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer just won his fifth term in the Senate, which no other New Yorker has ever achieved. And his place as majority leader was sealed when Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat from Nevada, served a second term.

The biggest question for Schumer now is whether Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, will have to continue cutting ties in a 50-50 Senate, or whether Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Georgia Democrat, will survive a Dec. 6 runoff against his Republican opponent, former football star Herschel Walker, and produces a 51-49 Senate. An additional Senate vote would strengthen Schumer’s hold against his most recalcitrant and conservative Democratic colleague, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

No matter what, Schumer — always the optimist — said he’s already in talks with Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about closer collaboration in the next Congress. Schumer noted that Republican votes over the past two years have helped pass several key measures, including a huge infrastructure bill, NATO expansion, a veterans bill, a gun security measure, and the CHIPS bill aimed at turning microchip makers back to bring to the US from overseas.

All of this happened when the Democrats controlled the House, but Schumer doesn’t seem too concerned that Republicans have taken control of that chamber.

“A large number of Republicans in the House of Representatives are MAGA,” Schumer said of former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again supporters. “They will be difficult to work with. But since there’s such a small margin of maneuver when a group of mainstream Republicans say we’re not going to agree with this far-right radical MAGA stuff, we’ll’ If we try to work in the middle on a bipartisan consensus, so can we work with them. And I hope to do that.

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a Democrat likely to run for a third full term in 2024 thinks the past is prologue in Congress — and that’s a good thing for her.

“I’m optimistic we’re going to get a lot done because I’ve passed six laws in the last six months and they’ve all been bipartisan,” Gillibrand said. “And so I have no trouble finding strong Republican cues to help me get things done. And I will do the same in the new Congress.”

In fact, over the past year, Gillibrand has seen many of her proposals make their way into legislation. Her anti-arms trade measure became part of the bipartisan Gun Safety Bill. Her years-long effort to expand benefits for veterans who were exposed to cremation pits eventually got passed by Congress, as did two separate measures she proposed to address sexual harassment and assault. Her move to expand biological research at the federal level made it into the CHIPS bill, and other Gillibrand proposals were included in the huge Climate Change and Health Act that Congress passed this summer.

At the next convention, Gillibrand said she would continue to push for legislation mandating paid family and medical leave, universal pre-K and affordable day care.

“I think that was something where we didn’t have strong Republican leadership,” she said. “And so over the next few months I’m really going to focus on what they’re willing to agree to to try and get us somewhere.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is little known in the backcountry – but he is well known to Rep. Claudia Tenney, a Republican who worked with what is likely to be the leading Democrat in the House of Representatives when they served together in Albany.

“He used to sit next to me in the state assembly, so I’ve known him for a long time,” Tenney said. “He’s a very talented guy, very smart.”

Jeffries, long considered a reticent but effective lawmaker, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 — and just a decade later he will likely become the first African American to rise to a party leadership role in Congress. A prominent lawmaker who was considering challenging Jeffries for minority leader, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, decided against taking the step last week, and that seems to clear Jeffries’ way to the top.

“I hope that where possible, we find common ground with our Republican colleagues to deliver results for the American people,” Jeffries wrote in a letter to his colleagues last week. “At the same time, the opposing party seems to have no plan to achieve anything meaningful. If the Republican Conference continues to rely primarily on demagogy and less on disinformation, their bankruptcy of ideas must be exposed continually.”

MP Claudia Tenney, formerly in the Utica area, won re-election in a vast new district stretching from rural eastern Niagara County to the North Country. She rents a house in Canandaigua, near the center of the district, and wants to rise in the house by running for a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which writes taxes, which also oversees health care and social security.

“It’s an important committee,” Tenney said. “I think my background as a lawyer and small business owner gives me the ideal skillset.”

She said serving on Ways and Means would be important for her sprawling new district, where small business and agriculture dominate the economy and have a large share of tax policy.

Rep. Nicole R. Malliotakis, a Republican from Staten Island, is also running for a seat on Ways and Means, but since Republicans are in the majority, it’s possible that both Tenney and Malliotakis could end up there.

Tenney has history on her side. For decades, a Republican from western New York or the southern row — be it Rep. Barber Conable, Rep. Amo Houghton or Rep. Tom Reed, who left Congress earlier this year — has served on Ways and Means.

MP Elect Nicholas A. Langworthy comes to the Congress, known to many of his colleagues. Langworthy, who will represent a district stretching from the Buffalo suburbs through much of the Southern Tier, serves as New York Republican leader — and New York has 11 Republicans in the House of Representatives this year for the first time in more than two decades chosen.

Additionally, he donated $100,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee before he was elected — meaning he helped others get elected.

Langworthy hopes to bring all of this into a seat on the House Energy and Trade Committee, where he hopes to push legislation that would move America toward energy independence. Though New York has banned fracking within its borders, he insists the controversial method of extracting natural gas still holds huge economic potential for the Southern Plains.

Otherwise, he said, the GOP majority of the new House of Representatives must deliver on the promises they made during the campaign and pass their “Commitment to America” ​​agenda, which includes securing the border and adding police officers statewide, as well as “pro-growth.” Taxes and regulations” calls for politics.”

“I think it’s incumbent on us to come up with an agenda to pass sensible legislation,” he said.

MP Brian Higgins, a Buffalo Democrat, will find himself in the minority after four years in the majority. With that in mind, Higgins, who will continue to serve on the Ways and Means Committee, hopes to build on the Democratic legislation passed in the current Congress and channel the money Democrats have decided to pour into Buffalo over the next two years.

Higgins has long been a proponent of increased federal infrastructure spending and is particularly interested in the 2021 infrastructure bill, which already includes $95 million for neighborhood improvements in East Buffalo and $47 million for rebuilding Tifft and Louisiana streets target. New York State has received less than half of the money due under the bill so far, which means there’s a lot more to come.

“We need to find common ground so we can continue to take advantage of all of this money that has just been approved,” Higgins said.

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