Hoyer Recess Plan: Hit the Road for Moderates

By Steven T. Dennis, CQ-Roll Call

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer plans a busy August on the campaign trail, with appearances planned for more than two dozen House Members and candidates, particularly moderates for whom the Maryland Democrat is the go-to leader, according to his office.

Among the Democrats who can expect visits from Hoyer are Reps. Larry Kissell (N.C.), Mark Critz (Pa.), Christopher Carney (Pa.) and Timothy H. Bishop (N.Y.) as well as Denny Heck, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.).

The packed schedule is part of a multifaceted effort by Hoyer to shore up his base of support heading into a difficult election year where the party’s majority is at stake and many of his allies are potentially on the chopping block.

“Leader Hoyer is committed to keeping a Democratic majority, so he will be traveling for two dozen Members and candidates this August and making the case that Democrats are moving the country forward, while Republicans offer nothing more than a return to the exact same failed Bush policies,” spokeswoman Katie Grant said.

Hoyer has also raised more than $4.7 million for other Democrats so far and given a series of meaty policy speeches offering a robust moderate perspective on fiscal responsibility, national security and the economy. Grant said the speeches lay the groundwork for arguments that Members can use in their districts.

Hoyer has been more of a hawk on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and several other top Democrats, while pushing aggressively for cutting the long-term deficit by reforming entitlements such as Social Security, controlling defense spending and raising revenue.

Heading into the break, Hoyer also has brought to the House floor bills sought by numerous vulnerable Democrats, including the Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act for Rep. Bill Owens (N.Y.), the National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act for fellow Maryland Rep. Frank Kratovil Jr. and a national park expansion bill for Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez (Texas).

“Throughout this Congress, he has scheduled bills on local issues that are critical for Members back home,” Grant said.

Hoyer also recently unveiled the “Make It in America” manufacturing agenda, a package of bills Democratic leaders assembled to highlight concerns about jobs moving overseas, based on themes Critz used in his special election this spring.

To read more, visit: http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news-000003711154

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