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November 08, 2006
Stacey Farnen Bernards

Hoyer Letter to House Democrats Regarding Majority Leader Position

WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released today the attached letter that he sent this morning to his House Democratic colleagues and Democratic Members-elect:

November 8, 2006

Dear Colleague,


After toiling for 12 years in the Minority, last night we recaptured the House Majority and now are poised to make history by electing our Leader, Nancy Pelosi, as the first woman Speaker, to pursue an aggressive Democratic agenda that addresses the needs of our nation and the American people, and to ensure that the Executive Branch is no longer given free rein by Congress to do whatever it wants but is held accountable by a co-equal branch of government.

For the last four years, I have been honored to serve as your Whip, working on a daily basis with Nancy, Jim, John, Rahm, and all of the Members of our Caucus to bring us to this point.  Together, our Caucus has achieved unprecedented unity – and our unity, I believe, proved to be instrumental to last night’s tremendous Democratic victory.  This was a team effort!

Today, as part of the leadership team that helped our Caucus regain the House Majority, I am writing to ask you to support my candidacy for the position of Majority Leader when the Caucus elects its leaders for the 110th Congress on November 16th.  I would be honored to serve as your Majority Leader, and am grateful for the depth and broad range of commitments that have been given by Members for my candidacy.  While my top priority has been helping our Caucus regain the Majority, I assure you that I have given a great deal of thought to the duties of this leadership position.

First and foremost, I believe it is absolutely critical that our new Majority Leader have the skills, ability and energy to reach out to every element of our diverse Caucus so that we may achieve consensus.  In fact, as Nancy and I have stated, our intention is to run a more civil institution that is open and transparent, and to seek bipartisan support for our agenda.  However, if the other side chooses to obstruct rather than to cooperate, we must be prepared to secure the votes necessary to move our legislative priorities.  And, I believe that I have established a strong track record in this regard over the last four years.

As our Majority Leader, I intend to work closely with Speaker Pelosi to ensure our Party’s unity, as I have over the last four years.  In addition, I will meet with our Committee Chairmen and Chairwomen early and often, as well as solicit Members’ views on what they think ought to be in legislation under consideration.   The success of our legislative program must be our paramount objective.  We have a two-year period in which to demonstrate that we can govern and lead – and our success will be critical to our ability to retain the Majority.

In addition, our new Leader must have an unwavering commitment to our core Democratic principles.  I also believe that our new Majority Leader must be an effective communicator who can persuasively deliver our Democratic message on the range of issues that confront our nation – from national security, to the budget and taxes, to health care and education, to energy and the environment.  And, our new Leader must have a proven track record as a legislative strategist and Floor tactician who works on behalf of our Democratic Caucus.  I believe that I have demonstrated the experience and skills necessary to succeed in this role.

I look forward to talking to you about my candidacy and hearing your thoughts on the Majority Leader position, as well as our new challenges in the Majority, in the next few days.  Until then, enjoy this great victory!  I’ll see you when you return to Washington next week for our organizing Caucus.

With warmest personal regards, I am

     Sincerely yours,




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