Thursday, March 6, 2008

Brooklyn Losing Power in the U.S. House, but Strong in Senate

According to's recently released 2008 Power Rankings for the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Brooklyn's Congressional delegation doesn't have as much weight to throw around as borough residents might think. Out of the nation's 435 members of the House, only one Brooklyn Congressman, Rep. Edolphus Towns, slips into the top 50 most powerful at #43 on the list. Despite his prominent placement, Towns is still likely disappointed by his Power Ranking. In 2007, he came in at #18 on the list.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, who comes in next at #63, also lost influence from last year according to, which ranked him as #43 last year. As did Jerrold Nadler, who went from #128 in 2007 to #162 in 2008. Brooklyn's sole Republican member of the House, Vito Fossella, tumbled precipitously from #116 in the 2005 Power Rankings to #315 this year, though his decline reflects the fact that his party is now in the minority, rather than his performance. Fossella actually bettered his 2007 ranking of #365.

The only other member of the Brooklyn delegation to ascend the list was my congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who leapt to #96 from #180 last year.

Our borough's newest member of Congress, Rep. Yvette Clarke, who won her seat in 2006, almost doesn't register in the rankings. After premiering at #366 on the list last year, Clarke has fallen to #402, giving her the dubious distinction of the 5th LEAST influential Democrat in the House.

Despite our decline in the House, Brooklynites can console ourselves with our seniority in the U.S. Senate. Both New York Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton place in the Top 10 most powerful members, Chuck at #5 and Hillary at #9.

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