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November 10, 2006
Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

Biography of House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer's tireless work to help Democrats regain the House Majority, effective leadership as Whip over the last four years, and strong record on core Democratic values have earned him broad support among House Democrats to be elected Majority Leader.

 Congressman Hoyer, who has represented Maryland's Fifth Congressional District since 1981, was elected Democratic Whip without opposition in November 2002 and re-elected in 2004.  In this leadership position, Hoyer has run an aggressive, inclusive Whip operation that reaches out to every Member of the Caucus and solicits their views.  Hoyer has worked closely with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to help build unity in the diverse Democratic Caucus on major issues, such as the budget, energy and defense.  In fact, Hoyer is part of the leadership team that has helped make House Democrats the most unified they have been in 50 years.  (Congressional Quarterly, 1/9/06)

 Rep. Henry Waxman of California, a Senior Democrat who is in line to become Chairman of the Government Reform Committee in the next Congress, recently stated: "Steny has done a tireless job to get back the House for us for more than a decade.  Given the leadership he has shown and his ability to unite Democrats, he is the logical choice [to serve as Majority Leader]."  (Washington Post, 10/31/2006)

 Before being elected Whip, Hoyer served in the Democratic leadership as Co-Chair of the Democratic Steering Committee, which determines committee assignments.  He also chaired the Democratic Caucus, the fourth-ranking position among House Democrats, from 1989 to 1995.

 Hoyer also is a Senior Member of the Appropriations Committee, and the former Ranking Democrat of the Committee on House Administration.

 Hoyer has built a record of achievement and earned a reputation as a strong leader, skilled legislator and a committed consensus builder.  For example, he has taken a leading role in fighting to ensure election system fairness and accuracy, and was the lead House sponsor of the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act.  In the 109th Congress, Hoyer has helped lead the fight to increase the federal minimum wage, introduced legislation (co-sponsored by a majority of House Democrats) that would move our nation toward energy independence, and been a forceful advocate for fiscal responsibility and tax reform.

 Congressman Hoyer also is a respected voice on foreign affairs and defense policy.  As the former Chairman and Ranking Democrat of  the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission), he has championed the cause of human rights, individual freedoms, and religious liberties throughout the world.

 Steny Hoyer, 67, graduated from the University of Maryland in 1963 with high honors.  He received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1966.  That same year, at the age of 27, won a seat in the Maryland Senate.  In 1975, he was elected President of the Senate, the youngest ever in state history, and served in that body until 1978.

 Hoyer and his late wife, Judith Pickett Hoyer, have three daughters, Susan, Stefany and Anne; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.



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