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Election 2020: New York's Congressional Delegation Expected To Have New Faces In January, Possibly Less Power

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- No matter who wins the Rose-Malliotakis race, New York's Congressional delegation is expected to have a number of new faces come January -- and possibly less power.

There will be a lot of new blood when the New York Congressional delegation heads to Washington in January, CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer explains, and a big unanswered question is how will they deliver for a state and city that currently need so much?

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They were the power brokers -- Nita Lowey, the chair of the house appropriations committee; Elliot Engel, the chair of the foreign relations committee, and Jose Serrano, the longest serving Hispanic in Congress. They were the people who brought home the bacon.

But come January, their time on the political stage will be over -- Lowey and Serrano retiring, Engel defeated -- and with their exit, New York could lose a whole lot of clout in Washington.

"It could absolutely affect what New York gets from Washington," Baruch College professor David Birdsell said. "If we're talking about agenda setting, if we're talking about the ability to twist arms, if we're talking about the power to get things done and to make financial commitments, we are losing that."

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The new members of the New York delegation are expected to be more progressive, more to the left and, according to Birdsell, will have a whole new set of priorities.

"It means that there will be less attention to the business of Wall Street, that there will be less attention to real estate interest in New York overall, but there will be more attention to income equity questions and to social equity questions, generally, and probably more attention to climate-related legislation," Birdsell said.

There are lingering questions about how the new delegation will be able to deliver on mass transit funding and the Gateway Tunnel under the Hudson.

But experts say there will be more focus on the Green New Deal, a top priority of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who could see her political star shine even brighter in the New York delegation because she backed many of the progressive candidates who will be in the freshman class.

Political experts expect her to try to influence and help shape the new congressmen from New York.

Another factor in how well New York fares in the next Congress will be who controls the Senate.

If the Democrats pick up enough seats, Sen. Chuck Schumer could become the next majority leader, and that would be a shot in the arm for the city, the state and the financially ailing MTA.


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