NEW YORK – Two congressional heavyweights voiced enthusiastic support for President Joe Biden’s re-election during a debate Tuesday night, marking a dramatic reversal from their position during an earlier showdown.
Representatives from Manhattan. jerry nadler Y Caroline Maloney – Democrats launched into a primary contest by redistricting after decades of serving as colleagues, both hailing the prospect of a second Biden term when asked by moderators.
“I am supporting Joe Biden. He has announced that he is running,” Maloney said, invoking legislation signed by the president or destined for his desk, including a proposal. designed to reduce inflationan infrastructure investment program and a pandemic aid package.
It was not clear which announcement Maloney was referring to, but his kind words contrasted with last week, when he said he did not think Biden would seek re-election. He later apologized to the president while simultaneously reiterating his opinion.
Nadler also had words of encouragement for Biden on Tuesday night after telling moderators last week that it was too early to say whether the president should make a re-election bid.
The two top members of Congress — Nadler is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Maloney chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee — are at odds after a chaotic redistricting process in New York.
A judge threw gerrymandered political maps in the spring, and a court-appointed special master united the east and west sides of Manhattan into one seat, putting House stalwarts on a collision course that will end one or both of their decades-long terms.
The two colleagues face a challenge from Suraj Patel, a 38-year-old lawyer who has argued that voters need younger representation.
“After 30 years of time in Washington, the two opponents here failed to codify [Roe v. Wade] … We need a new generation of leaders,” Patel said. “Generational change, by the way… is nothing to fear.”
The two septuagenarians were elected to the House in 1992 and have risen to prominent positions in the body. Nadler, who was more energetic Tuesday night compared to his last performance, emphasized that seniority confers power to pass laws and bring money to the district.
“Losing a committee chair would be unfortunate for New York,” he said. “Losing two committee chairs would be catastrophic.”
A PIX 11 and Emerson College poll released Friday found Nadler with a 9-point lead over Maloney. About 40 percent of voters favored the West Side lawmaker, while 31 percent supported Maloney. Patel got 11 percent, while about 17 percent of voters said they were undecided.
Throughout Tuesday’s show, hosted by WPIX, the candidates largely overlapped on local and federal issues, such as increasing federal funding for the NYPD and implementing congestion pricing with certain exceptions for residents. Nalder and Maloney said Washington should reimburse the city for the cost of housing asylum seekers who are bused to New York by Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Patel said more generally that the federal government should step in.
All three said the Supreme Court should be expanded to temper former President Donald Trump’s conservative appointees, but seemed to differ on whether those appointees should be impeached.
Trump appointees did not appear to perjure themselves during the confirmation hearings, Patel said. Nadler, who led both of Trump’s impeachment trials as chairman of the judiciary committee, said there was not enough evidence against the justices either.
However, Maloney said he would support it if a new judiciary committee chairman started the process.