Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D)

New York District 14

Leadership: Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman

N/A

crowley.house.gov

Biography

Elected: 1998, 8th term.

Born: March 16, 1962, Elmhurst, NY

Home: Elmhurst

Education: C.U.N.Y. Queens College, B.A. 1985

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Catholic

Family: married (Kasey) , 3 children

Joseph Crowley, an ambitious and garrulous Democrat first elected in 1998, fulfilled a long-held goal to enter his party’s leadership ranks in 2012 by becoming Democratic Caucus vice chairman. Once a moderate who chaired the centrist New Democrat Coalition, he has moved leftward in recent years and become an energetic fundraiser.

Crowley grew up in Woodside, where his family was involved in politics. His uncle, Walter Crowley, was elected to the New York City Council in 1984. When he died in 1985, Joseph Crowley wanted to succeed him, at age 23. But Tom Manton, the boss of the efficient Queens County Democratic Party, chose his chief of staff instead. (Walter’s daughter and Joseph Crowley’s cousin, Elizabeth, now has a council seat.) The following year, Assemblyman Ralph Goldstein from Elmhurst died. Fresh from Queens College, Crowley ran and won, with support from Manton. Crowley was interested in Irish affairs and sponsored the law that requires public school students to be taught about the Irish potato famine. He played guitar and sang tenor with the Budget Blues Boys, a group of assemblymen who performed on cold Albany nights. (He still loves to sing, and once did a version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” at a USO concert with Springsteen’s guitarist, Nils Lofgren.) When political boss Manton decided it was time for Crowley to go to Congress, he went.

In 1998, Manton was the 7th District incumbent. He filed for reelection by the July 16 deadline. Then at 11 a.m. on July 21, he convened a meeting of Queens Democratic committeemen, announced that he was retiring, and got them to vote in Crowley as the Democratic nominee. Other potential candidates were not notified beforehand and were naturally miffed, but resigned to reality. Manton argued that Crowley, at 36, was in a position to accumulate seniority and power in Washington. Crowley said, “What you’re hearing is not so much about the process, but sour grapes. What happened here is simply that I was offered an ice cream cone, and I took it.” His Republican opponent had no money and no chance. Crowley won in November, 69%-26%.

Once elected, Crowley voted as a centrist Democrat. He was the freshman Democrats’ class president that year. Over time, he changed his position from opposing abortion rights to favoring them, a stance in line with the party. Since Republicans reclaimed control of the House, he has been much more of a loyalist; he was the 55th most liberal House member in 2012, according to National Journal rankings. “There needs to be a responsibility from the federal government to help our most vulnerable,” he said in May 2012 in criticizing Republican plans to cut funding for the poor and elderly. He did move down to 104th most liberal in 2013, but remained a solid Democratic vote on big issues.

Fundraising is one Crowley's chief duties. By August 2014, his political action committee had raised nearly $1 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He concentrated his attention on freshmen lawmakers in tough reelection races.

He now has a seat on the powerful, tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, where he served as an attack dog against Republican efforts to investigate the Internal Revenue Service for allegedly targeting conservative groups. He stepped outside one May 2013 hearing to tell MSNBC: “Right now, unfortunately, what you are seeing is a breakdown in the process. It’s about partisanship once again and trying to somehow link this to the White House." Around the same time, he said that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., had the inspector general responsible for issuing a report on the IRS' targeting of conservative organizations tailor it to Issa's “personal ideology.”

Crowley has become more active on immigration in recent years, something that has helped to bolster his status with Hispanics and Asians. He was part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers that toured various sites in July 2013 as part of an effort to highlight the importance of immigration. Two months later, he was one of the eight lawmakers arrested at an immigration rally on the National Mall, and in August 2014 he joined freshman Democrat Ami Bera of California in urging the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to end its policy against Sikh basketball players who wear turbans as an article of faith.

His local priorities include aid for city hospitals and getting Brazil, Argentina, and Chile added to the visa waiver program in the hopes of boosting Queens’ tourism; all three countries have sizeable populations in the borough. He also has worked on a range of foreign policy issues, from extending economic sanctions against Burma’s military regime to criminalizing the removal of girls from the United States for genital mutilation, a practice common across Africa and parts of the Middle East and Asia.

Crowley became caucus vice chairman after his two rivals, California’s Barbara Lee and Colorado’s Jared Polis, dropped their bids; Crowley was helped by his close alliance with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. His success compensated for two earlier failures. In 2005, he sought the chairmanship of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, highlighting his fundraising connections to Wall Street. But as an ally of Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland at the time, he was on the wrong side of Pelosi, who was then competing with Hoyer to move up the leadership ladder. The DCCC appointment went to Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, who led Democrats to victory in the next election in 2006.

After that election, Crowley sought to move up to caucus vice chairman. But Pelosi ally John Larson of Connecticut prevailed, 116-87. Crowley did some bridge-building with Pelosi and her allies, becoming chief deputy whip and DCCC vice chairman for finance. When the caucus vice chairmanship opened again after the 2008 election, he expressed interest but deferred when Pelosi backed Rep. Xavier Becerra of California.

For a time, he also held sway as the head of the New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats. Crowley sought to work more closely with the leadership than the often-confrontational Blue Dog Coalition. He cited his group’s success in reshaping elements of the financial regulatory reform bill that passed the House in 2009 and became law a year later. Their efforts earned them admiration from the industry’s lobbyists—an issue that the investigative reporting organization ProPublica highlighted in a lengthy October 2010 article detailing the New Democrats’ tight connections with K Street. Crowley found himself fighting allegations that he was the object of a lobbyists’ fundraiser right before a vote on the financial bill. The House Ethics Committee ultimately cleared him and two other lawmakers in 2011. The coalition lost about a third of its members in the November 2010 elections, and with Republicans back in control of the House, its influence waned.

After the September 11 attacks, Crowley was especially active in homeland security issues. His district lost many firefighters, including his first cousin, who was a battalion chief. He won passage of an amendment to issue the Public Safety Officers Medal of Valor to the 414 first responders who died that day. And in 2007, the House passed his amendment to restore $50 million for homeland security funding in high-threat urban areas. He sponsored a bill calling for $70 million in funding for police and firefighters, along with teachers, that became a part of President Barack Obama’s unsuccessful jobs package in 2012.

Crowley has worked with Republicans on behalf of business interests to gain approval of bilateral free trade agreements. But when Republicans called for repeal of the Democrats’ 2010 health care overhaul, Crowley organized an effort asking GOP lawmakers who backed repeal to forgo their taxpayer-subsidized health insurance as a matter of principle.

He has not faced serious opposition at election time. After Manton died in July 2006, Crowley became Queens Democratic chairman, a job that has enabled him to weigh in on important local political issues. It also has brought him a few headaches. When Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned in 2011 over texting sexually explicit photos to a woman, Crowley reportedly was the one who chose his potential Democratic successor, Assemblyman David Weprin. But Weprin ran a poor campaign and lost to a Republican, Bob Turner, causing some New York Democrats to blame Crowley in the news media.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3965

(202) 225-1909

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1436
Washington, DC 20515-3214

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3965

(202) 225-1909

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1436
Washington, DC 20515-3214

DISTRICT OFFICE

(718) 931-1400

(718) 931-1340

2800 Bruckner Boulevard Suite 201
Bronx, NY 10465-1972

DISTRICT OFFICE

(718) 931-1400

(718) 931-1340

2800 Bruckner Boulevard Suite 201
Bronx, NY 10465-1972

DISTRICT OFFICE

(718) 779-1400

82-11 - 37th Avenue Suite 402
Queens, NY 11372-7014

DISTRICT OFFICE

(718) 779-1400

82-11 - 37th Avenue Suite 402
Queens, NY 11372-7014

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

48-24 - 65th Street
Woodside, NY 11377

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

48-24 - 65th Street
Woodside, NY 11377

Staff Leadership Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Acquisitions

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Aerospace

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Agriculture

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Arts

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Banking

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Budget

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Campaign

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Commerce

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Communication

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Consumers

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Education

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Environment

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Family

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Finance

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Foreign

Jeremy Woodrum
Deputy Chief of Staff

Govt Ops

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Shane Smith
Legislative Correspondent

Health

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Jeremy Woodrum
Deputy Chief of Staff

Housing

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Human Rights

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Insurance

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Intelligence

Jeremy Woodrum
Deputy Chief of Staff

Internet

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Judiciary

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Military

Jeremy Woodrum
Deputy Chief of Staff

Minorities

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Privacy

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Recreation

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Rules

Kate Keating
Chief of Staff

Science

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Seniors

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Social Security

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Tax

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Technology

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Jeremy Woodrum
Deputy Chief of Staff

Transportation

Todd Sloves
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Kevin Casey
Policy Director

Welfare

Nicole Cohen
Legislative Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Joseph Crowley
Votes: 120,761
Percent: 83.23%
Williams Gibbons
Votes: 21,755
Percent: 14.99%
2012 PRIMARY
Joseph Crowley
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Joseph Crowley
Votes: 71,247
Percent: 80.53%
Kenneth Reynolds
Votes: 16,145
Percent: 18.25%
2010 PRIMARY
Joseph Crowley
Unopposed
2008 GENERAL
Joseph Crowley
Votes: 118,459
Percent: 84.65%
William Britt
Votes: 21,477
Percent: 15.35%
2008 PRIMARY
Joseph Crowley
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (81%), 2008 (85%), 2006 (84%), 2004 (81%), 2002 (73%), 2000 (72%), 1998 (69%)

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