The road from the Number Two Minority leader to the Number Two Majority leader...
WASHINGTON - Yesterday the Democratic Party picked up 28 seats in the House of Representatives which will give them majority control beginning in January. Current House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, is expected to be elected as the Speaker of the House. Although she now represents California, she was born and raised in Baltimore. Her father served as both a Congressman for Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore.
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, who represents all of southern Maryland, has in the past made no secret about his desire to seek the House Majority Leadership position should the occasion arise. Now that the Democrats have officially regained control, Hoyer has made his desire official.
Both the Speaker of the House and the House Majority Leader will be selected by a vote of fellow House Democrats. "The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers," is the only direction regarding the selection process that is provided in the U.S. Constitution.
Hoyer released the following statement early this morning regarding his desire to serve as the Majority Leader for the new House Democratic Majority:
"Voters gave Democrats a vote of confidence today to take our nation in a new direction, and to address the challenges that confront the American people. The new House Democratic Majority, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is determined to meet this responsibility and to lead and govern effectively.
"As part of the leadership team that helped regain the House Majority, I would like to continue to serve House Democrats as their Majority Leader. Over the past several months, I have talked with almost every one of my House colleagues and Members-elect, and am grateful for the depth of support I have received.
"As Majority Leader, I would continue to work closely with Speaker Pelosi to ensure our Party's unity, as I have over the last four years. Democrats are more unified than they have been in 50 years due to the hard work of our leaders and our Caucus. We have put forward responsible budgets, proposed smarter defense policies, advanced innovative ideas on energy independence, and stood strong against the privatization of Social Security. I have been proud to be a part of all of those efforts every step of the way.
"Furthermore, I believe that it is imperative that our next Majority Leader have the skills, ability and energy to reach out to every element of our diverse Caucus so that we may achieve consensus. Our new Majority Leader also must have an unwavering commitment to our core principles, and be an effective communicator and legislative strategist. I believe that I have established a strong track record in all of these areas over the last four years.
"I am very confident in the support I have from the House Democratic Caucus. I will continue to talk with my colleagues in the coming days and weeks about how best to take America in a new direction."