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Nita M. Lowey

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey used her position to fight for women’s health, public broadcasting, and support for Israel. Lowey served as assistant secretary of state for the New York Department of State before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1988. As co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, she increased funding for breast cancer research and protected funding for domestic violence awareness and child support programs, and has advocated for workplace equity and preventing teen pregnancy. She is credited with saving the Public Broadcasting System by “inviting” Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie to make their case before congress when Republican leaders sought to eliminate funding for PBS. She also helped push through several crucial aid packages to Israel. In 2001, she became the first woman to chair the Democratic Congressional Committee. As of 2014, she is a ranking member of the Appropriations Committee and serves on the subcommittees for Homeland Security; Labor, Health, and Human Services; and State and Foreign Operations.

Nita Lowey
Full image
New York Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey.
Courtesy of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
Date of Birth
July 5, 1937
Place of Birth
Bronx, New York

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Nita M. Lowey." (Viewed on December 16, 2018) <>.


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