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Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.)

U.S. Representative (since 1999)

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Why He Matters

Crowley has been involved in politics since he was a child working on his uncle's campaigns. The Queens native has represented his home district for more than a decade and his time is divided between the parochial interests of home and a global focus that has come from serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Crowley has also aggressively climbed the House Democratic leadership ladder since arriving in Washington. He served on the House Steering Committee, which makes committee assignments. He also sat as the vice-chair for finance of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Crowley also served as chair of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), a group of moderate Democrats focused primarily on economic growth. "What we are, and what we've become, is kind of the sweet spot here in the Democratic Caucus to get bills passed," Crowley told Politico.

Never seriously challenged for reelection, Crowley is in prime position to become a leading House Democrat for the foreseeable future.

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Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.)

U.S. Representative (since 1999)

Article

Pelosi marks a quarter-century in the House

(Astrid Riecken / For The Washington Post)

Epic celebrations have honored Democratic House leader, powerful fundraiser and first female speaker.

 
 

At a Glance

  • Career History: New York Assembly (1986 to 1998)
  • Birthday: March 16, 1962
  • Hometown: Elmhurst, N.Y.
  • Alma Mater: Queens College, B.A., 1985
  • Spouse: Kasey
  • Religion: Catholic
  • DC Office: 2404 Rayburn House Office Building, 202-225-3965
  • District Offices: Queens, 718-779-1400; Co-op city, 718-320-2314; Bronx, 718-931-1400
  • Web site
 

Path to Power

The son of an Irish immigrant mother and a first-generation American father, Crowley was born the day before St. Patrick's day in 1962. He grew up in Queens, where his father, who went to law school at night, worked as a New York Police Department detective and his mother raised four children.

Crowley was involved in politics from a young age. His uncle, Walter, was on the New York City Council and Crowley's helped on his uncle's campaigns and in his office.

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The Issues

Walk into Crowley's office and you'll see a dichotomy that, in a sense, sums up his work in Congress. He is keenly attached to his New York district, and he has prominently displayed both the New York Fire Department helmet of his cousin and a poster from the "Subway Series" World Series matchup. But on his bookshelf and walls are also photos of him in Ireland and books about Bangladesh and Benazir Bhutto. His Queens district is one of the most diverse in the country, and he has made foreign affairs a priority throughout his political career.

Crowley voted to authorize the Iraq war in 2002 but has since expressed anger with the way the war was handled.He is a moderate Democrat on some issues such as free trade (which he generally favors) and abortion (which he has consistently worked to reduce the prevalence of through education and contraceptive availability). Crowley voted with the Democratic Party 97.7 percent of the time in the 110th Congress.

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The Network

Crowley is chair of the New Democrat Coalition. He works closely with the rest of the NDC leadership, including vice chairs Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Artur Davis (D-Ala.). White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was in the NDC when he was in the House, and Crowley also worked closely with former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), who is now at the State Department.

The moderate Crowley has aligned himself with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) instead of the more liberal Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), which, some say, has hurt Crowley's leadership ambitions. Crowley is on the House Steering Committee with chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), and is the chief deputy whip under Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

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Additional Resources

  1. "New Democrats pledge to work with Obama on trade policy," Inside U.S. Trade, March 13, 2009
  2. About the New Democrat Coalition section on the New Democrat Coalition official Web site
  3. "New Democrats pledge to work with Obama on trade policy," Inside U.S. Trade, March 13, 2009
  4. "Rep Crowley Burma sanctions bill signed into law," U.S. Fed News, July 30, 2008
  5. "New Dems urge strong action on the economic recovery package," Capitol Hill Press Releases, Feb. 10, 2009
  6. Whorunsgov interview with Joseph Crowley on April 2, 2009
  7. Whorunsgov interview with Joseph Crowley on April 2, 2009
  8. McGrane, Victoria, "Joe Crowley chairs New Democrat Coalition," Politico, July 9, 2009
  9. Lesser, Benjamin, "N.Y. pols back big shots," New York Daily News, Oct. 3, 2008
  10. Biography on Rep. Joseph Crowley's official Web site
  11. Biography on Joseph Crowley's official Web site
  12. CQ's Politics in America 2008
  13. McGrane, Victoria, "Joe Crowley chairs New Democrat Coalition," Politico, July 7, 2009
  14. Newmyer, Tory and Kurtz, Josh, "New Dems await new leader," Roll Call, March 19, 2009
  15. "American Heroes: Mike Moran; Lt. Col. Thomas Cleary III; Congressman Joseph Crowley," Irish America, May 31, 2002
  16. Biographical and career data from the Almanac of American Politics, 2008 edition
  17. Newmyer, Tory and Kurtz, Josh, "New Dems await new leader," Roll Call, March 19, 2009
  18. "Rep. Crowley applauds passage of U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement," U.S. Fed News, Sept. 26, 2007
  19. Biography on Rep. Joseph Crowley's official Web site http://crowley.house.gov/biography.shtml
  20. "Rep. Crowley applauds passage of U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement," U.S. Fed News, Sept. 26, 2007
  21. Hicks, Jonathan P., "Racing to prepare for a political race," The New York Times, July 26, 1998
  22. Washington Post Votes Database
  23. Whorunsgov interview with Joseph Crowley on April 2, 2009
  24. Lueck, Thomas, J., "Democratic Councilman quits race for Congress," The New York Times, July 29, 2000
  25. "So much for elections," The New York Times, July 22, 1998
  26. "New Dems urge strong action on the economic recovery package," Capitol Hill Press Releases, Feb. 10, 2009