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Friday, February 3, 2023

‘Biggest Change’ in US House Is ‘Confrontational’ Nature of GOP

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  • Steny Hoyer spoke about his time in leadership as he prepares to hand over the reins.
  • He lamented the “confrontational” nature of some Republicans in the chamber in a Washington Post interview.
  • Hoyer is stepping down from leadership, but will remain in the House in January 2023.

Outgoing Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has long enjoyed strong relationships across the political aisle, said in a recent interview that the “biggest change” he’s noticed in the lower chamber is the more “confrontational” nature of Republicans.

Hoyer, a Marylander who has served in Congress since 1981, is often one of the first Democrats approached by top Republicans looking to cut deals on various pieces of legislation.

But in an interview with the The Washington Post, Hoyer — who will step back from leadership but remain in the House in January — was remarkably candid about the toll that partisanship has taken in a chamber where he is always looking to forge bipartisan consensus.

“I think the biggest change in the institution is how confrontational Republicans have become,” he told the newspaper.

Hoyer, who in 1990 was the lead sponsor of the Americans With Disabilities Act, worked with then-GOP Rep. Steve Barrett of Texas and then-President George H.W. Bush to pass the sweeping legislation. 

But after former GOP House Speakers John Boehner of Ohio and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin struggled to contain the most extreme elements of their party, governing became more difficult.

“That’s the biggest change,” Hoyer said, while also pointing to the events of January 6, 2021.


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