WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today to announce his bid for Majority Leader:
“I’ve spoken to many of my Democratic colleagues, and I appreciate the support I’ve received from every part of our Caucus for returning to my position as Majority Leader. In the next Congress, our Caucus must be united in our efforts to clean up government corruption, expand economic opportunity to all Americans, and bring down health care costs. We will need to listen to the ideas and views of all our Members. As Majority Leader, I will work with my colleagues to make progress for the American people.”
Hoyer sent the following letter to all Democratic Members today:
Dear Democratic Colleague:
This week’s election of a Democratic Majority to the House is the result of your hard work, and I join you in celebrating our victory. Even as we celebrate, however, we know that a great deal of work lies ahead. This election has shown how deeply divided our country remains. With the American people electing a Democratic House and a Republican Senate, we will fight tirelessly on behalf of our deeply held values while also working to find common ground where we can in order to make progress for our country and our people.
I’ve spoken to Members across our Caucus about what we hope to accomplish in the next Congress, how to build on the gains we’ve made, and positioning Democrats for success in 2020. I’ve heard from many of you that you want experienced leaders who will fight against President Trump’s worst policies, while being willing to work together where cooperation is possible on areas where we agree. You want leaders who welcome new ideas and different ways of doing things, who will effectively advance our policy priorities, and who will convey an effective message to the American people. That is why I’m running for Majority Leader in the 116th Congress, and I look forward to serving the Caucus.
I have discussed with many of you my belief that younger and more diverse Members must be made a real part of the decision-making process. I’ve worked to empower younger Members as leaders on our Whip team, and in the Majority I believe we must do even more to ensure that the future leaders of our Caucus are included in key negotiations and are part of developing our agenda.
In the current Congress, I have been proud to work on your behalf as Democratic Whip, keeping the Caucus united and on message. Together, we stopped Republicans’ attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act; I convened the hearing Republicans refused to have on what TrumpCare would mean for families, which many of you participated in, and created the #TrumpCareStories website where our Members posted video interviews with their constituents about how repealing the ACA would harm them. I also worked to keep our Caucus united against the Republican tax scam, which helped ensure that it has been a failed message for them. Over the past two years, I traveled across the country on the Make It In America listening tour, talking to Americans from all walks of life about the challenges they face and where government can be an effective partner in expanding economic opportunity. Many of you joined me on the tour, and from that, we unveiled a new economic plan, which is within the For the People framework, that focuses on education, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure to help more Americans get ahead.
As Majority Leader in the 116th Congress, I will continue to engage with Members across the Caucus to ensure your voices are heard as we pursue our agenda. Many of you have been working diligently to lay the groundwork for a government reform package that will address campaign finance reform, redistricting reform, voting reform, and ethics reform. As I said in a speech I gave in September about how to renew Americans’ faith in their government, this should be the first thing our new Majority takes up in 2019.
We should then turn to advancing legislation to expand skills training, lower health care costs and prescription drug prices, raise wages and ensure equal pay for equal work, keep DACA recipients here in the only country they know as home, and address the scourge of gun violence that has taken far too many lives. In addition, the Administration has indicated their support for investing in America’s infrastructure, reforming our criminal justice system, and enacting paid family leave. Whether they will act constructively remains to be seen, but those are areas where we could seek to build consensus.
We will also conduct necessary oversight of the Trump Administration, a responsibility that has been abdicated by House Republicans. In particular, we will hold the Administration accountable for actions that are harmful to the health and safety of Americans, including sabotaging health care markets, gutting clean air and water protections, and botching disaster recovery efforts. We must also hold the Administration accountable for conflicts of interest that harm American taxpayers.
Over the coming days and weeks, I look forward to speaking with you and hearing your thoughts on our priorities for the next Congress. I want to thank you for your tireless work in this Congress and your efforts to help us take back the House. I am energized and ready to get to work to ensure that we meet the expectations of those who have entrusted us with leading the House of Representatives.
With thanks and warmest regards, I am
STENY H. HOYER