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Eliot Engel

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Collection: 1947 Births, American People of Russian-Jewish Descent, American People of Ukrainian-Jewish Descent, Democratic Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Jewish Members of the United States House of Representatives, Lehman College Alumni, Living People, Members of the New York State Assembly, Members of the United States House of Representatives from New York, New York Democrats, New York Law School Alumni, Rockland County, New York Politicians
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Eliot Engel

Eliot Engel
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 16th congressional district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
17th congressional district 1993 - 2013
19th congressional district 1989 - 1993
Preceded by Mario Biaggi
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 81st district
In office
March 7, 1977 – December 31, 1988
Preceded by Alan Hochberg
Succeeded by Stephen B. Kaufman
Personal details
Born Eliot Lance Engel
(1947-02-18) February 18, 1947
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Patricia Ennis
Alma mater City University of New York, Lehman
New York Law School
Religion Judaism

Eliot Lance Engel (born February 18, 1947) is the U.S. Representative for New York's 16th congressional district. He is a member of the Democratic Party. His new district, District 16, contains parts of the Bronx and Westchester County. In Westchester, it includes Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Scarsdale. Mamaroneck, Pelham, Pelham Manor, Larchmont, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Eastchester, Hastings-on-Hudson, Ardsley, Hartsdale, and Rye City. In the Bronx, it includes Riverdale, Woodlawn, Edenwald, Baychester, Williamsbridge, Van Cortlandt Village, and Wakefield, and Co-op City. He represented the 19th District from 1989 to 1993, and the 17th District from 1993 to 2013. District 17 consisted of parts of the Bronx, Westchester County, and Rockland County.

In 2013, he became the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, replacing Howard Berman, who lost his re-election bid in the 2012 elections.


  • Early life, education, and teaching career 1
  • New York State Assembly 2
  • U.S. House of Representatives 3
    • Elections 3.1
    • Committee assignments 3.2
    • Attendance at the State of the Union address 3.3
  • Political positions 4
    • Healthcare reform 4.1
    • Global health 4.2
    • Energy 4.3
    • Gun control 4.4
    • Other domestic issues 4.5
    • International affairs 4.6
      • Western Hemisphere Subcommittee 4.6.1
      • Middle East 4.6.2
      • Kosovo and the Balkans 4.6.3
      • Cyprus 4.6.4
      • Iraq War 4.6.5
      • Irish affairs 4.6.6
      • Human rights 4.6.7
      • Iran Nuclear Deal 4.6.8
  • Controversies 5
  • Grades and Recognition 6
  • Electoral history 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life, education, and teaching career

Engel was born in the Bronx, the son of Sylvia (née Bleend) and Philip Engel, an ironworker. His grandparents of Ukrainian Jewish[1] roots immigrated from Russia.[2] He grew up in a city housing project Eastchester Gardens and attended New York City public schools. In 1969, he graduated from Hunter-Lehman College with a Bachelor of Arts in history and received a master's degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1973 from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York. In 1987, he received a law degree from New York Law School. He began his political career in local Democratic clubs. He taught in New York City School District and was a guidance counselor. He taught Junior High School at Intermediate School 52 from 1969 to 1976 and at Intermediate School 174 after that.

New York State Assembly

In 1977, Engel entered the special election for a seat in the New York State Assembly after the incumbent Democrat Alan Hochberg was forced to resign. He risked all of his life savings and won by 103 votes. He was the Liberal Party nominee in the special election, and on March 1, 1977, he defeated Democratic nominee Ted Weinstein and Republican nominee Arlene Siegel.[3]

Engel was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1977 to 1988, sitting in the 182nd, 183rd, 184th, 185th, 186th and 187th New York State Legislatures. He chaired the Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, as well as the Subcommittee on the Mitchell-Lama Housing Program.

U.S. House of Representatives


In 1988, Engel ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York's 19th congressional district. He defeated incumbent Democrat Mario Biaggi in the primary with 48% of the vote.[4] Biaggi had been charged with racketeering in the Wedtech scandal;[5] he was eventually jailed by Rudy Giuliani. He won the general election with 56% of the vote.[6] He never won re-election with less than 61% in a general election. He only faced competitive primary elections (getting less than 70%) twice (1994 and 2000). In 1994, he defeated musician Willie Colón 62%-38%.[7] In 2000, Engel defeated State Senator Larry Seabrook, who had the support of Bronx County Democratic Party Chairman Roberto Ramirez, 50%41%.[8]

Committee assignments

Party leadership
  • Vice Chair of the Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security
  • Assistant Democratic Whip
Caucus memberships

Attendance at the State of the Union address

Engel can be seen shaking hands with the president during televised State of the Union addresses.[9] Along with other Members of Congress, Engel shows up to the Capitol early in order to guarantee that he will get an aisle seat. Engel has managed to shake hands with the president at every address and be seen by his constituents on television since 1989. He has expressed that "It's an honor to shake the hand of the president of the United States no matter who it is."[10]

Political positions

Healthcare reform

Engel supports quality access to health care and refers to himself as pro-choice "all the way."[11] Engel is a co-sponsor of the United States National Health Care Act, which would implement a single payer health care system in the United States. He was a strong supporter of the landmark Affordable Care Act, committing his vote only after securing provisions that New York would not be penalized for being a do-gooder state.[12]

In 2008, Engel authored the ALS Registry Act (P.L. 110-373),[13] which established a national registry for the collection and storage of data on those suffering from ALS. He also authored the Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Act (P.L. 110-361),[14] which promoted research at Centers of Excellence for Muscular Dystrophy.

He wrote the Partnering to Improve Maternity Care Quality Act, introduced in 2010, to improve maternity care for mothers and newborns and do so in partnership with doctors, advocates, payers and purchasers. In 2010, Engel wrote the Gestational Diabetes Act of 2010, which passed the House before not coming to a vote in the Senate. The legislation could be re-introduced in the 113th Congress for consideration. The legislation would provide for better tracking and research into gestational diabetes, which if untreated could lead to Type 2 diabetes for both mother and child.

Global health

Rep. Engel supports an improved re-authorization of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Within the PEPFAR bill, Engel included his bill, the Stop Tuberculosis Now Act.[15] This measure provides increased U.S. support for international Tuberculosis control activities and promotes research to develop new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines.


In 2005, Engel introduced with Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) the Fuel Choices for American Security Act (H.R. 4409), later modified and reintroduced in 2007 as the DRIVE Act (H.R. 670) – the Dependence Reduction through Innovation in Vehicles and Energy Act – with more than 80 bi-partisan co-sponsors. It was designed to promote America's national security and economic stability by reducing dependence on foreign oil through the use of clean alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. It also called for increased tire efficiency – to increase a vehicle's gas miles.[16]

Many provisions of the DRIVE Act were included in the Energy Independence and Security Act, which was signed into law on December 19, 2007, and became Public Law No. 110-140. This law mandates increased fuel efficiency standards from 25 miles per gallon to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. The law also requires improved energy efficiency standards for appliances, lighting and buildings, and the development of American-grown biofuels like cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel and biobutanol.

On July 22, 2008, Engel introduced with Congressmen Kingston, Steve Israel (D-NY) and Bob Inglis (R-SC) the Open Fuel Standards Act.[17] This bill requires 50 percent of new cars sold in the United States by 2012 (and 80 percent of new cars sold by 2015) to be flexible-fuel vehicles capable of running on any combination of ethanol, methanol or gasoline. Flex fuel vehicles cost about $100 more than the same vehicle in a gasoline-only version. This bill was resubmitted in the 111th United States Congress by Rep. Engel, Inglis, Israel and Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD). It was re-introduced in the 112th Congress with Rep. John Shimkus as the lead Republican. It will likely be re-introduced in the 113th Congress.

Engel is the senior Representative from New York on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Representative from New York on the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. He played a key role in negotiating the American Clean Energy and Security Act, HR 2454,[18] which passed the House on June 26, 2009.[19] That legislation was intended to revitalize the economy by creating millions of new jobs, increase American national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil, and preserve the planet by reducing the pollution.[20] It passed the House in 2009, but was not voted on by the Senate in the 111th Congress.

Gun control

Engel believes in requiring background checks on gun sales between private citizens at gun shows,[21] and disagrees with the statement that "District of Columbia does not have the authority to enact laws or regulations that 'discourage or eliminate' private ownership or use of firearms."[22] Rep. Engel signed a letter to President Bill Clinton."[23] He also opposed a bill that would allow visitors to carry firearms while inside certain national parks.[24]

Engel has received an "F" grade from the National Rifle Association. Rep. Engel strongly believes in restricting citizen gun use through "smart gun" technology, extending waiting periods for citizens, and allowing the victims of gun violence to sue firearm manufacturers and authorized sellers.[21]

Conversely, Engel has received a 100 percent rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.[25] In addition, he has also been given a 100 percent grade from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.[26] Rep. Engel repeatedly votes in favor of stricter gun control laws. He introduced H.R. 1784, the Protect Law Enforcement Armor (PLEA) Act, which would ban the Five-seveN handguns. Rep. Engel introduced H.R. 2217, intended to protect parents and children from faulty gun locks by instructing the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to set a national quality standard for all child safety devices used on firearms.[27]

Other domestic issues

On December 22, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Truth in Caller ID Act. The legislation was introduced by Bill Nelson in the Senate, passed the House on December 15, and is virtually identical to Rep. Engel's bill.[28] The new law cracks down on the use of caller ID spoofing, often used by criminals to trick their victims into giving out personal information. The legislation will help law enforcement combat identity theft.

Rep. Engel originally introduced the Securing our Borders and Our Data Act in July 2008, HR 6702.[29] That bill would ensure that when a traveler enters the United States, a border agent cannot search or seize the traveler's data or equipment without cause.[30] The legislation was reintroduced in the 111th Congress as HR 239.[31] The Department of Homeland Security altered their rules to prevent agents from searching and seizing without cause.[32] This encompassed much of Rep. Engel's legislation.

In the 109th Congress, Engel introduced the Calling Card Consumer Protection Act, HR 3402.[33] The bill was intended to stop some of the massive fraud in the prepaid calling card industry.[34] The legislation passed the House unanimously, but the Senate did not act on it. In 2011, Rep. Engel introduced the Drug Testing Integrity Act, which would prohibit products to be sold that enable cheating on drug tests.

In 2010, Engel urged the Federal Housing Finance Agency to stop their plan to ban private transfer fees on cooperative apartment sales. Some developers and investors had been abusing the system by imposing transfer fees that would have provided them with percentages on all future sales of the property over many decades. The transfer fee when used correctly can help owners and developers fund projects and remain affordable. The FHFA decided not to pursue this plan in 2011.

In 2012, Engel introduced SNOPA, the Social Network Online Protection Act guarantees online privacy, and ensures that employers and educational institutions cannot use your personal data as a bargaining chip for employment or education. Employers/schools would be barred from requesting or requiring usernames or passwords to social media sites as part of the hiring, employment or enrollment process. The bill has been re-introduced in the 113th Congress, with Rep. Michael Grimm as the Republican lead, and Rep. Jan Schakowski as an original co-sponsor.

International affairs

Engel is a supporter of recognizing

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Alan Hochberg
New York State Assembly
81st District

Succeeded by
Stephen B. Kaufman
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mario Biaggi
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district

Succeeded by
Hamilton Fish IV
Preceded by
Jerrold Nadler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Nita Lowey
Preceded by
José E. Serrano
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 16th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Frank Pallone
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Nita Lowey

External links

  1. ^ In Dnepropetrovsk, a Stylish Passover Despite Ukraine's Rumblings, Lubavitch World Headquarters (27 April 2014)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Engel, a Liberal, Barely Wins Race for Assembly in the New York Times on March 2, 1977 (subscription required)
  4. ^
  5. ^ May, Clifford D. (June 7, 1987). "Wedtech Scandal Gets Messier And Messier". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The Democrat who hogs the aisle seat at every presidential address to Congress | Top of the Ticket". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  10. ^ Ann, Mary. "The Sleuth - Obama Makes Rep. Engel 21 for 21 on Handshakes". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  11. ^ Gonzalez, David (August 2, 1992). "Issue in Campaign Is Biaggi's Record, but Which One?". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  12. ^ Video on YouTube
  13. ^ "ALS Registry Act Signed by President - The ALS Association". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  14. ^ "H.R.5265: Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Community Assistance, Research, and Education Amendments of 2008". OpenCongress. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  15. ^ Robyn Shepherd (June 19, 2009). "". RESULTS. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "H.R.1476: Open Fuel Standard Act of 2009 - U.S. Congress". OpenCongress. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  18. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Eliot L. Engel - Statement From Representative Engel - Energy Bill An Important First Step, More Still Must Be Done". 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Chairmen Waxman, Markey Release Discussion Draft of New Clean Energy Legislation". 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  21. ^ a b "On the Issues - Elliot Engel on Gun Control". Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  22. ^ "Political Voting Records: New York-NY, Engel: Gun Issues". Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  23. ^ "U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  24. ^ "GovTrack: House Vote #277 (May 20, 2009)". Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  25. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Rating". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  26. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Rating". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  27. ^ "CBS News Mobile 400,000 Gun Locks Recalled". 2001-02-07. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  28. ^ 111th Congress (2009) (January 7, 2009). "S. 30 (111th)". Legislation. Retrieved June 25, 2012. Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 
  29. ^ "HR 6702 - Securing Our Borders and Our Data Act of 2008 - U.S. House Bill". 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  30. ^ "Travelers' Laptops May Be Detained At Border". 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  31. ^ [5]
  32. ^ "DHS Clarifies Laptop Border Crossing Rules: What You Need to Know". PCWorld. 2009-08-29. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  33. ^ "H.R.3402: Calling Card Consumer Protection Act - U.S. Congress". OpenCongress. 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  34. ^ Rios, Kristofer (2009-06-30). "Voices That Must Be Heard: Calling home – and losing minutes - New York Community Media Alliance". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  35. ^ "Bill Text - 108th Congress (2003-2004) - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  36. ^ "Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti". 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  37. ^ 110th Congress (2007) (September 27, 2007). "H.R. 3692 (110th)". Legislation. Retrieved June 25, 2012. Social Investment and Economic Development for the Americas Act of 2007 
  38. ^ 111th Congress (2009) (December 16, 2009). "H.R. 4368 (111th)". Legislation. Retrieved June 25, 2012. Social Investment and Economic Development for the Americas Act of 2010 
  39. ^ 110th Congress (2008) (September 27, 2008). "H.R. 7183 (110th)". Legislation. Retrieved June 25, 2012. Western Hemisphere Energy Compact Act of 2008 
  40. ^ 111th Congress (2009) (April 28, 2009). "H.R. 2134 (111th)". Legislation. Retrieved June 25, 2012. Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act of 2009 
  41. ^ "House Resolution Condemning Palestinian Rocket Attacks (January 29, 2008)". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  42. ^ "Eliot Engel". 1947-02-18. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  43. ^ "Bill Summary & Status - 108th Congress (2003 - 2004) - H.R.1828 - THOMAS (Library of Congress)". 2003-12-04. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  44. ^ Michael Dobbs (1996-07-21). "Kosovo's Albanians Look to U.S. for Help; American Office Opened in Serb-Ruled Region". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  45. ^ Chan, Sewell (May 2, 2008). "Driving Down Congressman Engel Boulevard, in Kosovo". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  46. ^ "Community Call To Action To Support Congressman Eliot Engel (Pseka)". 2001-12-21. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  47. ^ "The National Coordinated Effort Of Hellenes (Ceh)" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  48. ^ Mitchell, Alison; Hulse, Carl (October 11, 2002). "Threats And Responses: The Vote; Congress Authorizes Bush To Use Force Against Iraq, Creating A Broad Mandate". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  49. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Rating". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  50. ^ "H. Res. 744 [109th]: Expressing support for the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 as the blueprint for lasting peace in...". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  51. ^
  52. ^ [6]
  53. ^ "The Hindu : Review decree, U.N. officials tell Taliban". 2001-05-25. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  54. ^ "HRES1254 - Supporting the values and goals of the "Joint Action Plan Between the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Government of the United States of America to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality", signed b…". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  55. ^ "Get Information - History". Day Of Silence. 2002-04-10. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  56. ^ "Day of Silence Resolution Introduced in Congress". 2009-04-02. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^ "Engel taking heat". The Riverdale Press. June 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  60. ^ Besser, James (July 23, 2008). "Lieberman: Hagee Still Like Moses".  
  61. ^ "Bronx Representative Loses a Tax Break". The New York Times. March 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  62. ^ "Ethics office reviewed tax records of four House members". The Washington Post. October 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  63. ^ Crabtree, Susan. "Calif. lawmaker cleared by ethics panel over tax credit for Maryland home". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  64. ^ a b "Hagedorn Takes No Prisoners In Co-op City War of Words" Bronx Beat On-line (published by students of the Columbia School of Journalism) (December 11, 1995)
  65. ^ Jennifer A. Kingston (April 2, 1988). "Co-op City Ends Lease of Hard-Hitting Paper". The New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  66. ^ Jonathan P. Hicks (September 8, 2000). "Vitritol Flows in Race for Congress; Accusations Overshadow Issues in Bronx Contest". The New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  67. ^ "Congress at the Midterm: Their 2005 Middle-Class Record". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  68. ^ "Eliot Engel on Environment". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  69. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Sierra Club Rating". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  70. ^ "NIAF Board Officers". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  71. ^ "H.R. 3533 [110th]: Public and Teaching Hospital Preservation Act". 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  72. ^
  73. ^ "Rockland County, NY - Refuah Health Center Awarded Grants From U.S. Department of Health". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  74. ^
  75. ^ "Press Release from office of Congressman Engel". 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  76. ^ "Project Vote Smart - AFL-CIO Rating". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 


      • Eliot Engel – 90.9%
      • Aniello Grimaldi – 9.1%
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D, WF) – 66.4%
      • Joseph McLaughlin (R) – 2%
      • Joseph Diaferia (Green) – 1.1%
      • Other – 12.5%

Democratic Primary – NY District 17

  • 2012
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 16
  • 2010
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D, WF) – 73%
      • Anthony Mele (R) – 23%
      • York Kleinhandler (Con) – 4%
  • 2008
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
      • None
    • General Election
  • 2006
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
    • General Election
  • 2004
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
      • Eliot Engel – 65%
      • Kevin McAdams – 23%
      • Jessica Flagg – 12%
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D, WF) – 76%
      • Matthew Brennan (R) – 23%
      • Kevin Brawley (Con.) – 2%
  • 2002
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
      • None
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D, WF) – 62%
      • C. Scott Vanderhoef (R) – 35%
      • Arthur Gallagher (RTL) – 2%
      • Elizabeth Shanklin (Green) – 1%
  • 2000
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D, L) – 89%
      • Patrick McManus (R) – 11%
  • 1998
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
      • Eliot Engel – 80%
      • Herbert Moreira-Brown – 20%
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D, L) – 88%
      • Peter Fiumefreddo (R) – 12%
  • 1996
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
      • Eliot Engel – 76%
      • Herbert Moreira-Brown – 24%
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D, L) – 85%
      • Denis McCarthy (R) – 14%
      • Dennis Coleman (Ind.) – 2%
  • 1994
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D, L) – 74%
      • Edward Marshall (R) – 19%
      • Kevin Brawley (Other) – 5%
      • Ann Noonan (Other) – 2%
  • 1992
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 17
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D,L) – 81%
      • Martin Richman (R) – 14%
      • Kevin Brawley (C) – 3%
      • Martin O'Grady (RTL) – 2%
      • Nana LaLuz (NLP) – 1%
  • 1990
    • Democratic Primary – NY District 19
      • Eliot Engel – 71%
      • Dominick Fusco – 29%
    • General Election
      • Eliot Engel (D) – 61%
      • William Gouldman (R) – 23%
      • Kevin Brawley (O) – 16%


Electoral history

He was honored in 2008 by the American Farm Bureau Federation and the New York Farm Bureau as a "Friend of the Farm Bureau" for his support of farm issues during the 110th United States Congress.[74] He received an "A" on the Drum Major Institute's Congressional Scorecards in 2005 and 2008 for supporting middle-class issues.[75] Engel has had a nearly 100% rating from the AFL-CIO over his entire legislative career.[76] On 11 November 2011 the Municipality of Peć, Kosovo, gave Engel the title of Honorary Citizen of Peć.[77]

Engel received the "National Association of Public Hospitals Safety Net Award" in 2007 primarily for the introduction of The Public and Teaching Hospital Preservation Act.[71] He also earned the "100% Perfection in the Pursuit of Equality" in 2002 from the Human Rights Campaign. Engel was presented with "The AIDS Institute National HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Award" in 2007[72] and is the 2008 "Distinguished Community Health Superhero" as deemed by the National Association of Community Health Centers.[73]

In 1998, as a response to Engel's work in Albania and Kosovo, the Italian government presented him, and his then-Administrative Assistant John Calvelli, with a ceremonial knighthood[70] for his work in promoting United States-Italian ties. Ambassador Fernando Salleo issued the knighthood and Italian Consular General in New York Antonio Bandini performed the ceremony.

Engel has received positive marks from major environmental groups such as the League of Conservation Voters[68] and the Sierra Club.[69]

Engel received an "A" on the Drum Major Institute's 2005[67] Congressional Scorecard on middle-class issues. He also received a 100% from the League of Conservation Voters for his record on the environment.

Grades and Recognition

Engel has mostly ignored Hagedorn's attacks. In 1995, however, his then-communications director Greg Howard, told the Bronx Beat newspaper, which wrote about the feud, "We don't consider Mr. Hagedorn a legitimate journalist. He uses the paper as his own personal platform for whatever agenda he has. He chooses the paper to malign people with whom he has philosophical differences."[64] In the last decade, Hagedorn's newspapers have mostly ignored Engel.

Publisher Christopher Hagedorn has often used his Bronx weekly newspapers, the Bronx News, the Parkchester News, and the Co-op City News, to attack Engel.[64] Hagedorn believes that Engel, when he was still an Assemblyman, was behind a failed effort in 1988 to evict the Co-op City News from its offices in Co-op City.[65] Since 1988, Hagedorn has published numerous editorials and articles attacking Engel and even reprinted critical articles about him that have been published in other newspapers. Hagedorn has often endorsed Engel's opponents in the Democratic primary and the general election but the Congressman always won re-election to Congress. In 2000, Hagedorn intensified his campaign against Engel when the leadership of the powerful Bronx County Democratic organization decided to support former Assemblyman and City Councilman Larry Seabrook in the primary against Engel.[66] Seabrook, whose campaign was plagued with problems, lost the primary to Engel by a wide margin.

In March 2009, the AP reported that Engel had been taking an annual tax credit on his Maryland residence for at least ten years, despite the fact that the credit is reserved for people who declare Maryland their primary residence. Engel ran for reelection in the Bronx at least five times while claiming a primary residence credit in Maryland, during which time he received "thousands of dollars" in tax credits. Maryland officials revoked the tax credit.[61] The Washington Post reported that the matter was reviewed by the Office of Congressional Ethics in August, 2009, and that the Office was "[e]xpecting OCE notice of termination" for Engel."[62] The OCE eventually ended its review on Engel, and Reps. Doris Matsui and Edolphus Towns, without recommending further investigation by the ethics committee.[63]

Engel was criticized[59] for choosing to attend a July 2008 event hosted by the controversial pastor John Hagee, who has suggested that God sent Adolf Hitler to bring the Jews to Israel.[60]


In August of 2015, Engel announced that, similar to fellow Jewish lawmaker Senator Charles Schumer, he will also oppose the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Iran nuclear deal in congress, saying that "The answers I’ve received simply don’t convince me that this deal will keep a nuclear weapon out of Iran’s hands, and may in fact strengthen Iran’s position as a destabilizing and destructive influence across the Middle East."[58]

Iran Nuclear Deal

Engel sponsored a bill to support the Day of Silence during which students vow to remain silent to bring attention to the harassment and discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in schools.[55] That bill has been resubmitted in the 111th United States Congress.[56] He also voted against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which allowed for states not to be required to recognize same-sex marriages in other states.[57] He voted in 2010 to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, enabling homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. Military.

In early 2001, he wrote the House resolution condemning the Taliban for forcing Hindu citizens to wear distinguishing marks as reminiscent of the Nazis forcing Jews to wear a yellow Star of David.[53] In 2008, he wrote a resolution commending the U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Promote Racial and Ethnic Equality.[54]

As a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, Engel has supported Albanian-Americans and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. He is co-author of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, along with Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), which addresses child labor in the cocoa fields of West Africa.

Human rights

In 2007, Engel became a Co-Chair of the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs. He supported the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and aided Irish nationals facing deportation from the United States.[50] He has been a friend of Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Féin,[51] and was the author of legislation that prohibits employers in Northern Ireland and Ireland from receiving U.S. funds from the International Fund for Ireland unless they comply with fair employment and non-discrimination principles called the "MacBride Principles".[52] In 2010, Rep. Engel was instrumental in helping Joe Byrne return to the United States after a bureaucratic problem left him detained in Ireland and separated from his family in Rockland County

Irish affairs

In 2002, Engel joined the two Senators from New York, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, and almost 300 members of the United States House of Representatives in voting for the resolution granting President Bush the authority to use force in Iraq.[48] After revelations that intelligence provided to Congress was partially unreliable, and the subsequent problems faced after Saddam Hussein was deposed, Engel has come to regret his decision to support the invasion, and consistently votes in favor of gradual withdrawal. He has met with anti-war activists, and in 2008, he publicly called for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Engel received an "A" grade from the Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans in 2008.[49]

Iraq War

[47] Engel called for the withdrawal of


In 1996, The Washington Post wrote, "The Kosovo cause has been kept alive in Washington by a small group of congressmen led by Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.)...."[44] While a member of the Subcommittee on Europe and Chair of the Congressional Albanian Issues Caucus, Engel fought ethnic cleansing in Kosovo in 1999 and voiced support in Congress for independence of Kosovo. A street has been named after him in Peć and he was the first foreign dignitary to address the Kosovo parliament.[45]

Kosovo and the Balkans

and for its relationship with terrorist groups. Lebanon and penalties for its occupation of Syria This law authorized restrictions on American relations with [43] Engel has been a vocal supporter of

Middle East

The bipartisan Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act of 2009 (sponsored by Rep. Engel) was passed by the House on December 8, 2009; it would have taken a fresh look at the United States' counter-narcotics efforts both at home and abroad. The bill did not pass the Senate.[40]

Engel pushed for increased funding for emergency relief in Haiti and for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) of Haitian nationals in the U.S.[36] Engel is also supportive of the "Mérida Initiative" in which the U.S. is cooperating with Mexico, Central America, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti to counter narco-trafficking and related violence in the region. In the 110th United States Congress, he introduced the Social Investment and Economic Development Act for the Americas of 2007[37] (re-introduced in 2009, where it also died in committee[38]) and sponsored the Western Hemisphere Energy Compact Act to develop partnerships to strengthen diplomatic relations with the Government of Brazil and the governments of other countries in the Western Hemisphere (died in committee).[39]

As Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Engel has called for stronger U.S. relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. His Subcommittee has held hearings on issues such as the crisis in Haiti, poverty and inequality in Latin America.

Western Hemisphere Subcommittee

and for its relationship with terrorist groups. Lebanon for its occupation of Syria In this Law, Congress authorized penalties and restrictions on US relations with [35]

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