155 House Dems sign letter backing Hoyer as majority leader

155 House Dems sign letter backing Hoyer as majority leader
© Anna Moneymaker

House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump Overnight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 House to vote next week on sweeping bill to lower drug prices MORE (D-Md.) published a letter Tuesday signed by 155 Democratic lawmakers endorsing his bid to be the House’s next majority leader, far surpassing the number of signatures needed to lock up the lower chamber’s No. 2 spot.

“In the majority, we will have considerable opportunity to effect change and great responsibility to get things done on behalf of our constituents. We will need a steady, experienced leader over the next two years, who also works to empower our Members and prepare them for future leadership opportunities,” the representatives wrote in the letter, which came a week after the Democratic Party recaptured the House majority in the midterm elections.

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“We will need someone who will hold President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE, his Administration, and Congressional Republicans accountable – while still being able to work effectively in a divided government to get legislation passed. It is for these reasons that we believe that Steny is the person we need as Majority Leader,” they added.

Hoyer made a point of shoring up support among his caucus, traveling across the country to campaign and fundraise with Democratic candidates, an effort specifically cited in the letter.

“Steny was out on the trail tirelessly campaigning this cycle, doing the hard work necessary to take back the House. He traveled to districts in every part of the country, campaigning with progressive and moderate Democratic candidates alike. He’s been there for us: traveling for us, raising money for us, and he’s often one of the first people to reach out and offer his support. He has been a mentor to many of us,” the letter says. 

Hoyer’s support transcends ideological fractures within the party, gaining the support of progressives and moderates, as well as 32 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, 31 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and 31 freshman representatives, accounting for the majority of the freshman class.

The representatives note that as whip, Hoyer emphasized giving more junior members further experience, writing, “Half of his Whip team is composed of Members who have served for three terms or less... Steny is an innovative leader with unwavering integrity who empowers Members and gets things done. We believe that under his leadership, we will be well-positioned for further success in 2020.”

Democrats will hold their elections for leadership positions on Nov. 28, when Hoyer is expected to officially be elected majority leader.

Current Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump Democrats open door to repealing ObamaCare tax in spending talks Sunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing MORE (Calif.) plans to run for Speaker, though some Democratic lawmakers have pledged not to support her, saying fresh blood is needed.

Assistant Minority Leader Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnTop Democrat: 'Obstruction of justice' is 'too clear not to include' in impeachment probe GOP senator blasts Dem bills on 'opportunity zones' Harris: Suggestion that older African Americans are homophobic 'just nonsense' MORE (S.C.) is expected to remain the No. 3 Democrat as majority whip in the next Congress.

Melanie Zanona contributed to this report