Steny Hoyer Beats Murtha for Majority Leader

 

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Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 8:00pm

Steny Hoyer Beats Murtha for Majority Leader

In the end, it wasn't that close.  In a secret vote by Democrats, Steny Hoyer defeated John Murtha 149-86 to become the next Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.  The 67-year old Hoyer will retain his position as the second in command to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when Congress convenes in January.

 

 Steny Hoyer is a Congressman from Maryland who has served in the House for the last 25 years.  Here is Hoyer ripping into the Republicans about their lack of fiscal discipline.  It remains to be seen if he will do anything to lower spending on his watch.  I tend to doubt it.  After all, he is a Democrat.

 

People will say Pelosi loses in the long-term because she backed Murtha and not Hoyer for leader, but that could not be further from the truth.  This was, at best, a three day story in a week where there wasn't anything else to talk about.  After the vote, Pelosi, Murtha, and Hoyer stood together and they all agreed to push the President to change course in Iraq.

 

Pelosi simply came into the game too late to make a difference.  Hoyer had gone after the votes months ago, knowing that Murtha or someone else would challenge him for leader.  Steny had locked up enough votes before Pelosi even came out for Murtha.

 

Most people outside the beltway don't even know who these three people are right now, so this skirmish will have been forgotten by the time the vote on the speakership even occurs.

 

All that said, it is disappointing that the #1 and #2 Democrats in the House did not change.  They have shown zero ability to lead in the last few years and that is not likely to change anytime soon.  The best thing they can do in the next two years is to keep Bush and his folks in-line.

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