Steny Hoyer faces a shrinking press corps

As Democrats confront a grim transition back to the House minority, outgoing Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is flashing some gallows humor. 

Facing a conference room packed to the brim with reporters last week, Hoyer told his press corps he’d be watching to see how many of them returned to his weekly pen-and-pad sessions in the 112th Congress, when he’ll be minority whip. 

“I want to see all the loyalists here!” the No. 2 House Democrat quipped. 

“I have been there, done that. Remember, when we started this cycle, as I became more relevant, there were more people sitting around.” 

One scribe interjected, “You will always be relevant,” drawing a laugh from Hoyer. 

At the end of the 30-minute session, Hoyer joked that he’d be taking the roll next week, “and those who are here will have first priority on seats in whatever small cubicle I may find myself in.”