Biography

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

  
"A tenacious, resilient legislator”  --Time Magazine  
"A tiger in the House on every dollar due New York”  --The Village Voice
"The best friend a credit card user ever had”  --Money Magazine  
 “No one has been a greater (anti-trafficking) champion than Carolyn Maloney, a Democratic Congresswoman from New York." -- Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, “Half the Sky” (Knopf, 2009)   
"While I am critical of Congress, kudos have to be given to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, for her efforts..."  --Joseph E. Stiglitz, "Freefall" (Norton, 2009)  
"New York’s Congressional delegation stands out for their moxie, kind of the way New Yorkers themselves often do. Among the brashest members is Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat of Manhattan” --The New York Times

First elected to Congress in 1992, Carolyn B. Maloney is recognized as a national leader with extensive accomplishments on financial services, national security, the economy, and women’s issues. She is a senior member of both the House Financial Services Committee (where she serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets) and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Ranking House member of the Joint Economic Committee. In the House Democratic Caucus, she serves as a Regional Whip (she served as Vice-Chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in the 112th Congress). Maloney has authored and passed more than 60 measures, either as stand-alone bills or as language incorporated into larger bills.

Her career has been a series of firsts. Maloney is the first woman to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District; the first woman to represent New York City’s 7th Councilmanic district (where she was the first woman to give birth while in office); and was the first woman to Chair the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the nation’s most pressing economic issues. Only 18 women in history have chaired Congressional committees.

On the House Financial Services Committee, she has worked to modernize financial services laws and regulations, strengthen consumer protections, and institute more vigilant oversight of the safety and soundness of our nation’s banking industry. In the 113th Congress, she was selected by her Committee colleagues to be Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. She continues her membership on the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit (which she chaired in the 109th and 110th Congresses, and where she served as Ranking Member in the 112th Congress), and joins the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

 

Maloney served on the historic conference committee for the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, which also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Her Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights (the Credit CARD Act) was signed into law by President Obama in Spring of 2009. As a senior member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Maloney legislation has helped government work more efficiently and has saved hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars.  

As co-founder of the House 9/11 Commission Caucus, Maloney helped author and pass legislation which created the 9/11 Commission and, later, to implement all of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for improving intelligence gathering—described as the most influential intelligence bill in decades.  The James Zadroga 9/11 Health Care and Compensation Act, her bill to provide health care and compensation for 9/11 first responders, residents and workers near Ground Zero passed Congress in late 2010 was signed into law by President Obama January 2, 2011.

A champion for domestic and international women’s issues, Maloney helped pass legislation that targets the ‘demand’ side of sex trafficking; provides annual mammograms for women on Medicare; the Debbie Smith Act which increases funding for law enforcement to process DNA rape kits, termed ‘the most important anti-rape legislation in history.’ Her legislation to create Women’s Health Offices in five Federal agencies was part of the landmark health care reform legislation signed by President Obama.

New York City has no stronger advocate in Congress than Maloney. She has delivered over $7 billion in federal aid to New York City just in the last ten years, including hundreds of millions of dollars each for two of the largest transit construction projects in the nation, the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access project, both of which run through her district, and have helped create thousands of  jobs in New York. Most recently, over $300 million in federal grants were directed to high speed rail improvement projects in the Sunnyside Rail Yards in Queens, which will help remove a bottleneck toward high speed rail in the Northeast Corridor.

Many Maloney bills have been signed at ceremonies in the White House, where all the principal legislators involved in the legislation witness the President signing their bill into law:

Extended Biography

New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney is a national leader with extensive accomplishments on security, financial services, the economy and women's issues. She also has been a force representing the interests of the City of New York in Congress from the time she entered, in 1993.

In the 112th Congress, Maloney serves as a senior member of of the House Financial Service Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. She is the immediate past Chair of the Joint Economic Committee.

9/11

Maloney has worked tirelessly to ensure that New York's recovery from 9/11 is completed and that our national security is strengthened. A strong supporter of the 9/11 Commission, Maloney and her former colleague Rep. Christopher Shays (CT) formed the bipartisan 9/11 Commission Caucus upon the release of the commission's final report.

Beginning in July 2004 and working closely with family members of 9/11 victims on the Family Steering Committee, Maloney and Shays attempted to pass a bipartisan security reform bill in the House. They introduced companion bills to the Senate's McCain-Lieberman and Collins-Lieberman legislation. They kept up the pressure for a final bill, even as the House-Senate negotiations appeared on the brink of collapse. Finally, in December 2004, Congress was called back to Washington to pass a landmark bill born out of key 9/11 Commission recommendations – a tremendous victory for the nation.

Maloney's 9/11 Commission Caucus accomplished another major victory in 2007, when more of the Commission's recommendations were enacted into law. Maloney is also the author of a proposal to reorganize Congress for better oversight of Homeland Security and Intelligence, one of the commission's chief concerns.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, sponsored by Maloney and cosponsored by Reps. Jerry Nadler and Peter King, provides health care for those exposed to toxins released by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, and reopens the federal September 11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide economic relief to those harmed by the attacks.  The House passed it in September, 2010 with a strong bipartisan majority, and the Senate passed it by voice vote on December 22, 2010. President Obama signed the bill into law on January 2, 2011.

Economy/Financial Services 

Rep. Maloney is senior member of the House Financial Services Committee and the former Chair of its Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee. She is currently the ranking member of that Subcommittee and is also a member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. She served on the conference committee for the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Since being elected to Congress, Maloney has worked to modernize financial services laws and regulations while strongly advocating for consumer protections.

Maloney is the author of the "Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights"-- also known as the "Credit CARD Act"--  which levels the playing field between consumers and credit card companies and provide consumers with increased notification over changes in terms on their accounts. H.R. 627 was signed into law by President Obama on May 22, 2009, after passing Congress with overwhelming bipartisan majorities.

In the 110th Congress, Rep. Maloney was the author of the National Security Foreign Investment Reform and Strengthened Transparency Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-49). This legislation strengthens and reforms the process by which the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews foreign direct investment for national security issues.

In the 108th Congress, Rep. Maloney worked to include groundbreaking identity theft protections in legislation updating the nation's credit reporting system (FACT Act, P.L. 108-159). She was a leader of the fight to preserve the rule-making authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board over corporations' public filings. Rep. Maloney also cosponsored legislation that enhances consumer protections needed to combat mutual fund abuses that were exposed in New York State.

From 2003-2007, Rep. Maloney served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade and Technology of the Financial Services Committee.

A vigorous advocate for the New York financial services community, Maloney has played a major role in legislation to modernize the deposit insurance system which passed the House, coauthoring an amendment to ensure fairness for banks that helped recapitalize the insurance fund during past crises. A long- time supporter of credit unions, she introduced the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 3579) which would improve the safety and soundness of credit unions.

In the 107th Congress, Maloney remained steadfast to her commitment of modernizing financial service laws while strongly advocating for consumer protections and privacy. She passed legislation to cut fees on securities transactions by $14 billion over ten years. In April 2003, the House passed a bill introduced by Maloney and Sue Kelly (R-NY). H.R. 758, the Business Checking Freedom Act, allows banks to pay interest on business checking accounts.

In the 106th Congress, Maloney served as a conferee on the historic Gramm-Leach-Bliley financial modernization bill, where she fought to redraft Depression-era separations between banking, securities, and insurance firms while at the same time providing new consumer privacy protections for personal financial information. Maloney was the lead Democrat on the Investor and Capital Markets Relief Act, legislation which allowed the SEC to increase salaries of its employees so it can recruit and retain the most qualified professionals to oversee the markets.

JEC

Rep. Maloney served as Chair of the Joint Economic Committee in the 111th Congress, the first woman to do so.

As Maloney took over the Chair in January, 2009, the economy was still reeling under the shocks of the Great Recession.  In fact, as Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer pointed out at a JEC hearing, the economy endured shocks that were even greater than those experienced during the Great Depression.

Under Chair Maloney, the JEC closely monitored the employment situation and tracked its rebound. The Committee held close to 50 hearings and issued dozens of reports with an emphasis on creating jobs and reducing unemployment.

These hearings and reports highlighted the most cost-effective job creation strategies and examined how innovation can fuel growth in emerging sectors of the economy. The Committee also shed light on the segments of the population hit hardest during the recession and identified targeted policy actions that could benefit these workers. In addition, the JEC analyzed possible barriers to future growth, including rising oil prices, tighter credit standards, and inadequate investment in basic research.

The JEC also highlighted fiscally responsible policies that can help strengthen the economy and ensure that the employment and income gains from the next economic expansion will reach all workers.

Chair Maloney took particular interest-- as the first woman ever to serve as the Chair of the JEC-- in how the economy affected women. The JEC held series of hearings and published reports that together provide a comprehensive assessment of women's role in the economy, to inform the next set of policy decisions about how best to create an economy that fully unleashes the economic potential of women. This body of work will help policymakers in Congress, in statehouses, and in the private-sector determine whether policies promote or inhibit women's ability to be powerful contributors to economic growth.

Women's Issues

As the former co-chair of the Women's Caucus, Maloney is a nationally-recognized advocate for women's and family issues, with special emphasis on funding for women's health needs, reproductive freedom, and international family planning. She was a member of the U.S. delegations to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) fifth-year review and appraisal at The Hague (Cairo + 5). In 2004, she attended ICPD's tenth-year review meeting in Puerto Rico.

 

As the Member of Congress who spearheaded the Debbie Smith Act in numerous sessions of Congress, Maloney took the lead in the effort to erase the backlog of rape DNA testing kits that could put rapists behind bars. In 2004, the Debbie Smith Act was attached to two broader pieces legislation on DNA technology, which each had wide bipartisan support in the House and Senate. After passing the House and Senate, the Justice for All Act, containing the Debbie Smith legislation, was signed into law in October 2004.

Maloney has also been an outspoken authority against the persistent problem of sexual assault in the military. She successfully attached an amendment to the Defense Authorization legislation in 2004 that will ensure the American military has ample rape DNA testing kits and that the use of those kits is properly expedited.

Maloney has fought vigorously to restore the Untied States' contribution to UNFPA, the United Nation's Population Fund, since the Bush Administration first withheld it in 2002. Maloney succeeded in increasing funding for UNFPA in the FY 2002 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill to $34 million, a $12.5 million increase from the previous fiscal year. Additionally, she introduced the Saving Women's Lives Act of 2002, to try to spur the Bush Administration to release the $34 million budgeted for the United Nations Population Fund. In 2004, Maloney proposed compromise legislation to restore the U.S.'s contribution to combat the horrific condition obstetric fistula. In November 2002, Maloney was recognized for ‘Carrying the Weight of the World' by United Nations Family Planning and received their Women's Leadership Award.

Maloney worked to increase public awareness in social inequalities between men and women that still exist in America In January 2002, she released The Dingell-Maloney Report: A New Look through the Glass Ceiling, an alarming report documenting a widening wage gap between men and women managers. Together with her colleague John Dingell of Michigan, she followed the 2002 report up by commissioning another Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, this one examining wages for all women over the past 20 years. The comprehensive report, released in 2004, revealed a persistent wage gap of 20-cents on the dollar that has remained unchanged.

Maloney has reintroduced legislation that would amend the Constitution and guarantee equal rights for women. Over 200 lawmakers have signed onto Maloney's Women's Equality Amendment, and key women's groups have also endorsed it.      

 

Homeland Security

In the wake of September 11th 2001, Rep. Maloney was a national leader on homeland security and was named Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Homeland Security in June 2003. In that position, she organized hearings, national surveys and reports on homeland security and advanced Democratic security policy. In late June 2003, Maloney convened a special task force hearing in Washington on local homeland security needs. First responders and local officials from around the country went to Capitol Hill to testify. Maloney also coordinated a national survey of local responders and officials on hometown security; the results were compiled into the October 2003 report, Federal Homeland Security Assistance to America's Hometowns.

As a New Yorker, Maloney led the charge in Congress to reform federal homeland security assistance distribution, particularly to America's most targeted areas. She fought vehemently for a change in the state funding program that sends disproportionate amounts of security money to low-threat states and for an increase in "high-threat" funding to targeted cities. In January 2004, Maloney and several colleagues requested of President Bush a doubling of high-threat funds in his FY2005 budget. When President Bush's proposal was released days later, the high-threat program was, indeed, doubled. Maloney has worked to help the New York Fire Department at the federal level, introducing legislation to fix FDNY's radio system and releasing a report on the flaws of the FIRE Act, which shortchanges FDNY. 

Transportation/Education

Maloney continues to focus attention on issues relating to transportation and education that have a direct impact on her district in New York. A strong supporter of the Second Avenue Subway, Congresswoman Maloney has been instrumental in bringing home hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for the project. Maloney also spearheaded a coalition of elected officials who persuaded Mayor Bloomberg to reaffirm his commitment to the Second Avenue Subway. 

She has also been instrumental in bringing home additional hundreds of millions in funding for the Long Island-Queens-Manhattan connector known as "East Side Access" which would link Long Island Railroad trains to Grand Central Station.

Maloney created and co-chaired the Task Force for an East Side High School which succeeded in obtaining backing from the Board of Education for a new academically rigorous high school on the East Side. The school, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, opened in September 2002. Maloney has worked to support the creation of the Frank Sinatra High School of the Arts in Queens. In addition, Maloney has organized a coalition of local elected officials who are working to address severe overcrowding in Community School District 2.

 

Recognitions

Maloney has received the Military Order of the Purple Heart, For Meritorious and Conspicuous Service for Veterans, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association's (NFPRHA) Distinguished Public Service Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the Hadassah Myrtle Wreath Award, Peace Action's Global Peace Award, the Queens Women's Political Caucus's Queens Women of Distinction Award and the Healthy Mothers, Health Babies's 2000 Special Impact Award. Maloney was the Grand Marshal of New York's Greek Independence Day Parade in 1996 and 2001. Her legislative efforts have been featured on NBC Nightly News, NBC's Today, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other local, national, and international major media outlets.

Early Career

After graduating from Greensboro College, Maloney worked for several years as a teacher and an administrator for the New York City Board of Education. In 1977, she went to work for the New York State legislature and held senior staff positions in both the State Assembly and the State Senate. In 1982, Maloney ran for public office for the first time and defeated an incumbent to win a seat on the New York City Council.

In her ten years on the Council, Maloney fought to eliminate waste and fraud in government. In 1986, she founded the Council's committee on city contracts and used this position to write a series of new laws setting up a computerized system to monitor the $7 billion which the city awards each year in contracts. She was also the principal author of the landmark New York City Campaign Finance Act. Maloney also became a champion of women's, family, and children's issues.

The first Council member to give birth while in office, Maloney was also the first to offer a comprehensive package of legislation to make day care more available and affordable. Congresswoman Maloney lives in New York City. She has two grown daughters, Christina and Virginia. 

Maloney lost her beloved husband, Clifton H.W. Maloney, in 2009 when he passed away after summiting Cho Oyu Mountain in China, the world’s seventh largest peak.  They had been married for 26 years.