Mayor Bill de Blasio: ‘We Have to Take Back the House’

Mayor Bill de Blasio (right) with U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Mayor Bill de Blasio (right) with U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

As voters head to the polls today in several states holding pivotal Republican primaries for the U.S. Senate, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is “hopeful” that Democrats can hold onto their slim majority in the upper chamber and beat back threats of a GOP takeover.

His bigger concern, however, is winning control of the House.

“I’m concerned about the situation in Washington writ large,” Mr. de Blasio told the Observer at an unrelated press conference in Brooklyn. “I remain hopeful that the Democrats will hold the majority in the Senate and that is certainly better for New York City, but we have to take back the House if we’re really going to make some of the changes that we need.”

“We need once again for the federal government to invest in urban America. We need investments in mass transit, affordable housing. infrastructure for the good of our nation,” Mr. de Blasio continued. “This is not a self-interested plea.”

Much of Mr. de Blasio’s far-reaching, left-leaning agenda–from the construction of 200,000 units of affordable housing to Hurricane Sandy rebuilding–relies heavily on federal investment. Mr. de Blasio has worked closely with both of New York’s senators, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, to help bolster his priorities locally.

But Mr. de Blasio insisted that it’s the GOP-dominated House that he is most concerned about going into the midterm elections.

“It is actually extraordinary that elements of the House of Representatives are ignoring every opportunity to strengthen our country economically and by definition to make us more secure for the future in the process,” Mr. de Blasio charged. “So, I remain hopeful about a Democratic Senate, but even with a Democratic Senate, we have a huge challenge ahead.”