Steve J. Israel (born May 30, 1958) is the U.S. Representative for New York's 2nd congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is located on Long Island and includes the towns of Huntington, Babylon, Islip, and Smithtown in Suffolk County, part of the town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County, and the communities of Huntington, Dix Hills, Melville, Northport, Commack, Brentwood, Central Islip, Bay Shore, Deer Park, North Amityville, and Wyandanch. Israel was tapped by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to head the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2012 election cycle, which will make Israel the 5th highest ranking Democrat in the leadership.
Early life, education and career
Israel was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Nassau Community College and George Washington University.
He was elected to the town board in Huntington, New York in 1993.
U.S. House of Representatives
In his first term, Israel voted to authorize George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq, even though over 60% of his Democratic colleagues in the House voted against the bill.
In his second term, Israel was tapped for a leadership position as Assistant Whip. He is one of two New York members of Congress to serve on the House Armed Services Committee. He also serves on the House Financial Services Committee.
He is the founder and chair of the Democratic Study Group on National Security, the Congressional center aisle caucus, and co-chairs the bipartisan House Cancer Caucus and the bipartisan Long Island Sound Task Force.
In his third term, Israel was appointed to chair the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Defense and Military, a group of 15 members of Congress who will outreach to the defense community and advise the House Democratic Leadership on military policy. In 2006, Israel harshly criticized Jimmy Carter for his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid and at the same time criticized the Palestinian government.
In his fourth term in Congress, Israel was appointed to the Appropriations committee.
Israel supported a study on the feasibility of switching from Tuesday to weekend voting.
After Rick Lazio left his House seat to run for the United States Senate in 2000, Israel was elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat. Israel received 48% of the vote, defeating Republican Joan Jonhson, who received 34%, and three independent candidates who received 6% of the vote each.
New York election law allows for fusion voting, where a candidate can run as a member of multiple parties. In 2000, Israel ran only as a Democrat in his winning bid for Congress, but since 2002 he has run under the Democratic Party, the Independence Party, and the Working Families Party. The pooled vote totals for candidates are listed first, and the split of the votes among the parties they ran as is listed beneath.
He lives in Di
x Hills with his wife, Marlene Budd, who had served on the Huntington Town board before being elected as a county family court judge in 2005. Israel has two daughters.
December 23rd, 2011