Editorial: Re-elect Nita Lowey in 17th Congressional District

Nita Lowey, Democratic candidate in the 17th Congressional Nita Lowey, Democratic candidate in the 17th Congressional District. Photo Credit: Handout

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Incumbent Democrat Nita Lowey says the top priority in Congress must be to help kick-start an economic recovery. In fact, this election is all about "jobs, jobs, jobs."

Her opponent, Republican Joe Carvin, the innovative and impressive Rye town supervisor, certainly agrees about the need to create jobs, but his desire to go to Washington is rooted in the hope of slimming down the federal government.

The newly configured 17th District includes parts of Westchester County and all of Rockland.

Lowey, 75, of Harrison, supports tax incentives for small businesses, a long-term restructuring of the country's debt and tax cuts for the middle class. Key for her suburban New York constituents is that she understands that an income of $250,000 doesn't make you rich -- certainly not in Westchester or Rockland counties -- so she's supporting a cut for couples earning less than $1 million.

While Democrats are unlikely to take control of the House in the next session, Lowey's seniority makes her an influential congressional force regardless of which party is in the majority. During her 23 years in office, she has proven to be effective on a host of issues like education, health care, national security, women's issues and the bread-and-butter matters of her constituents. As a senior member of the appropriations committee, Lowey has secured millions for first responders, flood control, health care facilities and roads, bridges and highways.

Her experience ought to be helpful in obtaining federal dollars for the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge. A supporter of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, she's willing to work with Republicans on improving it.

Carvin, 57, of Rye Brook, is a hedge fund manager as well as town supervisor. He's a smart, pragmatic and moderate Republican whose no-nonsense style is refreshing and, frankly, hard to find. He's willing to call issues the way he sees them.

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In fact, he says it's important to tell the American people a hard truth, which in the case of our country now is: "We're broke." So he says the federal government must reform programs like Social Security and Medicare and address its debt problem now. The country's problems aren't ideological, he says, but mathematical.

Carvin backs a repeal of the national health care law and would replace it by allowing insurance policies to be sold across state lines, making such costs tax deductible and expanding health savings accounts. He also supports tort reforms to drive down medical costs and favors having states control health programs for the poor and seniors through a block grant program, which would mean less money for New York.

While the two disagree on many issues, they agree on the need to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, to establish an infrastructure bank that encourages private investment, and to reform immigration and campaign finance rules.

We like Carvin and his messsage of cutting wasteful spending, but we see no reason to unseat an incumbent who has been effective.

Newsday endorses Lowey.

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