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Steny Hoyer selected by House Democrats as majority leader

November 28, 2018

House Democrats backed Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland to serve as majority leader in the new Congress, extending his lengthy reign in the top ranks of party leadership.

Mr. Hoyer, who ran unopposed, was selected by acclamation without a ballot, putting an end to whispers the 79-year-old should cede way to younger members seeking a promotion.

He solidified his position in recent days by posting a letter indicating support from more than three quarters of the caucus.

Mr. Hoyer has served as the No. 2 Democrat under Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the party leader, since 2003.

Their partnership is set to continue for another two years, unless a rebel group musters the votes to box Mrs. Pelosi out of the speakership during a vote before the full House on Jan. 3.

The rump group of Pelosi opponents floated a shakeup in the positions held by Mr. Hoyer and Rep. James Clyburn, in the No. 3 spot, in exchange for backing her, according to The Washington Post.

Yet Mrs. Pelosi has not turned her back on two lieutenants she’s served with for over a decade.

Rep. Gerry Connelly, Virginia Democrat, rejected the notion that Mr. Hoyer is no longer in step with today’s Democratic Party and its younger progressive wing, which may be looking for a street fighter instead of a moderate dealmaker.

He said every member of the Democratic caucus is progressive and that the magnitude of their differences has been “overstated.”

Mr. Hoyer, he added, has done “yeoman’s work, much of it unsung, for members over the years.”

“He has done a great job he and his staff in managing the floor through hard times,” Mr. Connelly said. “I think people remember that, and appreciate that.”

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