Steny Hoyer

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Steny Hoyer currently serves the 5th Congressional district of Maryland

Steny Hamilton Hoyer has been a Democratic member of the U. S. House of Representatives, representing the 5th district of Maryland, since 1981 (map). He is also the House majority leader, having been selected for that position during the 110th Congress.

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Steny Hoyer voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

Hoyer voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

CLEAN Energy Act

Hoyer was a supporter of the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, which addressed royalties and tax breaks previously afforded to oil and gas companies. He commented on the bill, stating "The oil industry doesn't need the taxpayers' help. ...There is not an American that goes to a gas pump that doesn't know that."[2]

Main article: CLEAN Energy Act of 2007#Support and opposition

Support for gun control

In 1991, Hoyer cosponsored H.R. 3104, which sought "To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the importation and the manufacture of firearms designed to accept a silencer, bayonet, grenade launcher, flash suppressor, or folding stock, of certain ammunition feeding devices, and of related devices, and to provide for the imposition of enhanced penalties for the possession or the use of any such item in a crime of violence or in a drug trafficking crime. [3]

He also cosponsored H.R. 1312 (Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2005) on July 28, 2005.

Main article: U.S. gun legislation

Health-care promise

On March 2, 2007, Hoyer introduced a bill that would increase the government's contribution toward federal employee health-care premiums. He pledged such action to two unions earlier this week. Under the proposal, the government would pay 80 percent of the cost of premiums in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, saving the average federal worker about $500 annually.

FY2008 budget

As Majority Leader, Hoyer was heavily involved in the June 2007 debate over the FY2008 appropriations bills. House Republicans argued for greater transparency with earmarks in the bills, however Democrats sought to quickly pass the budget measures, sacrificing earmark disclosure. After having successfully stalled passage of the budget measures and attempting to come to an agreement, on June 14, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Republican negotiators claimed a victory at a press conference, but Hoyer called the GOP announcement premature and purely political. By that evening, however, a final deal had been forged by Majority Leader Hoyer, Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), and Minority Leader Boehner. The agreement still allowed the Homeland Security and Military Construction bills, which typically include few earmarks, to move to conference committee without earmarks, where they would then be added. The remaining 10 appropriations bills, however, would list their earmarks up front, and any earmarks later added in conference would be allowed to come up on the House floor upon final consideration.

Main article: Congressional actions on the federal budget/110th Congress

DC voting rights

Delegate voting rights in the House

On January 24, 2007, after Democrats took control of the House following the 2006 congressional elections, a rule change was again passed providing delegates and the resident commissioner with limited voting rights. The change allowed delegates and the resident commissioner (4 of 5 of whom were Democrats) to vote on the House floor in the "Committee of the Whole," whereby bills are debated and amendments are added. The rule, however, stipulated that if a delegate's vote was decisive, the committee would disband and a new vote would be taken without the non-voting members.[4]

Following the vote, House Majority Leader Hoyer, sponsor of the bill, admitted the change was largely symbolic, but added that “It is an opportunity for them to participate.” Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D-A.S.), who had represented American Samoa in the House since 1989, supported the change by emphasizing that his “territory has the highest per capita casualty rate (in Iraq) in the whole United States.” Del. Donna Christensen (D-V.I.) said that she would have preferred to receive full voting rights, but that the rule change was "important because it's a step forward."[5]

All but one House Republican, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), opposed the change. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called it, “An outrageous grab of power by the majority,” while Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) argued it amounted to, “Representation without taxation.”[6]

Main article: Voting rights in the District of Columbia

District of Columbia Fair and Equal Voting Rights Act of 2007

After the District of Columbia Fair and Equal Voting Rights Act of 2007 failed in late March 2007, Majority Leader Hoyer announced that the chamber would again take up the bill in mid-April. He stated, "I intend to have the D.C. bill back on the floor the first week that we return (from a two-week spring recess)...And I expect it to be in a position where we will not have the procedural problems that we confronted." In April 2007, the original bill was divided into two separate bills. The first would grant the District a House vote while also giving an at-large seat to Utah. The second would address the costs associated with the new seats. By combining the two items last time, Democrats opened the bill to amendments, which led to the introduction of an amendment repealing the District’s handgun ban, and for its ultimate failure. Hoyer stated, “Essentially, what this rule allows is for those two things to happen while denying Republicans an opportunity to kill the bill with unrelated issues.” Motions to recommit were to be allowed on the bills, but Hoyer urged Democrats to vote against all Republican motions to recommit that contained technical amendments created to stall legislation, even if they agreed with the content of the respective motions. On April 19, 2007, the bill (H.R.1905) passed the House with a vote of 241-177.

Main article: District of Columbia Fair and Equal Voting Rights Act of 2007

August 2007 House voting controversy

When controversy erupted following a contested vote on the FY2008 agriculture appropriations bill on August 2, 2007, Hoyer attempted to quell Republican anger over the issue, working with Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) to initiate some form of investigation into the incident. He supported a Republican-sponsored resolution to create a select committee with subpoena powers to look into the affair. However, when Republicans introduced a resolution aimed at rebuking Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn.) for his actions as presiding chair regarding the matter, Hoyer extended the controversy when he stated "enough is enough" in response to the GOP measures. House Republicans called for continued debate on the resolution to rebuke Murtha following those remarks, citing that any such statement requires the initiation of an hour-long debate on the vote at hand. However, Democrats claimed that since the presiding chair had not recognized Hoyer, the remarks were not official and not on record. Republicans made claims of a coverup, and later sought to investigate the removal of Hoyer's remarks from the congressional record as well, but were defeated by Democrats when the resolution came up for a vote.

Main article: August 2007 House voting controversy


Representative Hoyer's voting record and publicly divulged positions indicate that he favors progressive, lenient policies towards immigration. He advocates for a touch of humanity in all of the United States' immigration laws, which includes granting illegal aliens access to domestic medical care. He frowns on deportation as a long-term fix, as it is both inhumane and incredibly costly. [7]

The Secure Fence Act of 2006

Rep. Hoyer voted NO to the Secure Fence Act of 2006. He announced in January 2007 that Congress intended to revisit the plan, as one part of a comprehensive analysis of border security led by the Department of Homeland Security. On his official website, he highlights legislation that has already been passed to tighten border security.[8] He indicates that this legislation would provide for nearly 2000 additional Border Patrol and Immigration personnel, if only House Republicans would provide the money they promised to help fund these new additions.

The Minuteman Project

Rep. Hoyer voted NO to preventing US funds to be used to inform Mexicans of the location of Border Patrol officers (or so-called “Minutemen.”) This vote was on ammendment 968 to the Minuteman Project, or HR 5441 (2006), which, if passed, would prevent any federal dollars from being used to publicize the whereabouts of Border Patrol agents. Currently there are numerous Mexican websites describing where the bulk of the US Border Patrol agents is located, and how to avoid them.

On reporting undocumented immigrants receiving hospital treatment

Rep. Hoyer voted NO to HR 3722 (2004), which would require hospital personnel to report any patient who was not a legal citizen of the United States. This bill specifies that illegal aliens could be deported without treatment as a direct result of this identification, so long as their condition does not worsen as a result. On his official website Hoyer stresses that immigration policies should “keep families united.”

Hoyer and immigrant residency

Hoyer voted YES on HR 1885 (2001) which would extend Immigrant Residency by four months, allowing some immigrants to pursue US citizenship. Hoyer also voted YES on HR 3736 (1998), which would increase the number of worker visas to 115,000 by the year 2000. Hoyer has acknowledged that immigrants, foreign-born citizens, and minorities are a huge part of the workforce in his district.[9] He stresses that employers should have the workers they need.



Hoyer was born June 14, 1939 in New York City but grew up in Mitchellville, Maryland. He was educated at the University of Maryland, College Park, earning a B.S. degree in 1963. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1966.

In 1966 at the age of 27, Hoyer won a seat in the Maryland State Senate. In 1975, at the age of 35, Hoyer was elected President of the Senate, the youngest in state history.

In 1981, Hoyer was elected to the House of Representatives by special election to succeed the ailing Gladys Spellman from the fifth congressional district of Maryland.

Congressional Career

Hoyer served as Chair of the Democratic Caucus, the fourth-ranking position among House Democrats, from 1989 to 1994. He is the former Co-Chair (and a current member) of the Democratic Steering Committee, and was the chief candidate recruiter for House Democrats from 1995 to 2000. He also served as Deputy Majority Whip] from 1987 to 1989. On November 14, 2002, Hoyer was unanimously elected by his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to serve as the House Democratic Minority Whip, the second-highest-ranking position among House Democrats. Following Democratic victory in the 2006 midterm elections, Hoyer was elected House Majority Leader by a vote of 149-86 over Rep. John Murtha (Pa.) following a particularly contentious race. [1]

Hoyer served as the lead House sponsor of the Help America Vote Act, which President Bush signed into law on October 29, 2002, and is known for sponsoring the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.[2]

2006 elections

No major candidates announced their intentions to contest Hoyer’s seat in the November 2006 election. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) Hoyer overwhelmingly won reelection, receiving 84% of the vote. [3] Following his victory, and the Democratic takeover of the House in the 2006 midterm elections, Hoyer was elected House majority leader for the 110th Congress.

Campaign fundraising

In March 2007, the Center for Public Integrity reported that Hoyer's political action committee "raised nearly $1 million for congressional candidates [in the 2006 election cycle] by exploiting what experts call a legal loophole." The Center reported:

Campaign finance disclosure records show that the Maryland Democrat used his leadership political action committee ­— AmeriPAC — as a conduit to collect bundles of checks from individuals, and from business and union interests. He then passed more than $960,000 along to 53 House candidates and another quarter of a million to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, data compiled from the Center for Responsive Politics Web site show.

Federal law generally prohibits political action committees, including leadership PACs, which are run by politicians, from receiving more than $5,000 each year from a single donor or giving more than $10,000 to a single candidate ($5,000 each for the primary and the general election). But Hoyer collected as much as $136,000 from one labor union committee and distributed more than $86,000 to a single Congressional race. [4]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00001821&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Steny Hoyer
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

  • House Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services Education and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Transportation Treasury and Housing and Urban Development The Judiciary District of Columbia


On the Board of Governors for the Partnership for Public Service.

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Steny Hoyer. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC Office:
1705 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-4131
Fax: 202-225-4300
Web Email

District Office- Greenbelt:
United States District Courthouse
6500 Cherrywood Lane, Suite 310
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: 301-474-0119
Fax: 301-474-4697

District Office- Waldorf:
401 Post Office Road, Suite 202
Waldorf, MD 20602
Phone: 301-843-1577
Fax: 301-843-1331

Articles and Resources


  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. William L. Watts. "House Democrats take aim at drilling royalties," Market Watch. January 12, 2007.
  3. Thomas page on H.R. 3104
  4. "House delegates may get partial voting rights," Associated Press (via MSNBC), January 22, 2006.
  5. "House delegates may get partial voting rights," Associated Press (via MSNBC), January 22, 2006.
  6. "House delegates may get partial voting rights," Associated Press (via MSNBC), January 22, 2006.
  7. "Albert Wynn" "wikipedia."5/12/2008.
  8. "Rep. Steny Hoyer -- Issues"May 11, 2008.
  9. "Rep. Steny Hoyer -- Newsroom"August 16, 2006.


Local blogs and discussion sites


Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Majority Leader
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
May 19, 1981
First Took Current Office:
May 19, 1981
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Maryland State Senate, Maryland State Board for Higher Education,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. United States District Courthouse, 6500 Cherrywood Lane, Suite 310, Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: 301-474-0119 / Fax: 301-474-4697
2. 401 Post Office Road, Suite 202, Waldorf, MD 20602
Phone: 301-843-1577 / Fax: 301-843-1331

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: June 14, 1939