Jansing & Co. , 12/5/12, 7:00 PM ET

Rep. Lowey: 'What really matters is having women at the table'

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., will be the new ranking member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, a group that’s so male-driven that at one time—members wouldn’t even hire female secretaries. Lowey joins an incredibly diverse group of Democratic...

Democratic Rep. makes history as top woman on key committee


Congresswoman Nita Lowey, a Democrat from New York, took a huge step forward for women in politics.  She was named the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee for the 113th Congress Wednesday.

“I must say it was really an honor to be elected by my colleagues as top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee,” Lowey said on Jansing & Co.

The House Appropriations Committee has traditionally been a boys club. Years ago, the men who ran it joked they didn’t even want women as their secretaries.

When I came here in 1988, there were 29 women in the house, now there are 81.  We have a speaker who is now a leader, who will be speaker again, who is a woman, and our caucus really does look like America. What’s so exciting about it is as a woman, I know we bring our personal experience as a wife, as a mother, to our job and it really makes a difference.”

At a news conference Wednesday, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi touted the diversity of her caucus.  Out of 22 leaders, seven are women. Lowey echoed those sentiments when she spoke to Chris Jansing.

“Our Democratic caucus reflects America; in fact, we have the first majority minority caucus in the congress for the first time.  We represent not just women. We represent African Americans, we represent Hispanics, we represent Asians, we represent wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and that’s why when we approach issues on appropriations like education and healthcare and building infrastructure, rebuilding our schools, dealing with the environment, our perspective is absolutely essential.  So you may have women in congress, a couple, but what really matters is to have women at the table.  So that our perspectives, our lifetime of experiences can be reflected in the work we do. “


Democratic Rep. makes history as top woman on key committee