Congressman Steny H. Hoyer represents Maryland's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties and portions of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties. A resident of Mechanicsville serving his 18th term in Congress, Congressman Hoyer became the longest-serving Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland in history on June 4, 2007.
Congressman Hoyer was elected by his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to serve as the House Democratic Whip for the 112th, 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses. He previously served as House Majority Leader from 2007 to 2011, and as House Democratic Whip from 2003 to 2007. Prior to those positions, he served as Chair of the Democratic Caucus from 1989 to 1995. He is the former Co-Chair (and a current member) of the Democratic Steering Committee, and served as the chief candidate recruiter for House Democrats from 1995 to 2000. He also served as Deputy Majority Whip from 1987 to 1989.
A Record of Achievement
In Congress, Steny Hoyer has built an outstanding record of achievement and earned a reputation as a strong leader, a skilled legislator and a committed consensus builder. For example, a profile of Congressman Hoyer in the magazine National Journal stated: "Congressional insiders roundly agree that [Steny Hoyer] is a workhorse with the ability to focus on getting a job done that is unmatched by many lawmakers."
He gained wide acclaim for guiding the Help America Vote Act to House passage and producing a House-Senate Conference Report that was signed into law by President Bush on Oct. 29, 2002. Washington Post columnist David Broder called this comprehensive election reform legislation "the most significant piece of election law since [the] Voting Rights Act."
Congressman Hoyer also shepherded the Americans With Disabilities Act to overwhelming approval in the House in 1990, and it was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. This landmark civil rights legislation has helped millions of disabled Americans enter the workforce, achieve independence and go as far as their talents take them.
In addition, Congressman Hoyer guided the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA) to House passage. It was signed into law in November 1990. FEPCA was a major effort to restructure the pay system for Federal employees, and attempts to ensure fairness in pay and comparability to similar work outside the Federal government.
Congressman Hoyer aggressively advocates for his Fifth District constituents and also is a respected voice on national and international issues. After being elected Majority Leader, Congressman Hoyer took a leave of absence from his seat on the House Appropriations Committee, where he served on the Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and Housing, and the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. As Majority Leader and Democratic Whip, though, Congressman Hoyer still wields great influence on issues important to his Fifth District constituents.
On the Appropriations Committee, Congressman Hoyer secured funding for numerous important projects in the Fifth District and throughout the State of Maryland. He also has worked to ensure that the military bases in the Fifth District not only survived base closings but grew and thrived.
On the Transportation, Treasury and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, Congressman Hoyer was widely recognized as a national leader on issues affecting federal employees and retirees. In addition to guiding FEPCA to passage, he fights year in and year out for fair pay and benefits for federal employees, and has secured funding for telecommuting centers that allow Federal workers to work closer to home and spend more time with their families.
He also is a strong proponent of federal law enforcement efforts that fall within the Subcommittee's jurisdiction, securing funding for innovative crime-fighting projects such as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program, Gang Resistance Education and Treatment Program, and the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative. In addition, he is a long-time supporter of the COPS on the Beat Program, which has meant more than $30 million in Federal funding to hire more than 700 police officers in the Fifth District.
On the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Congressman Hoyer also championed education and funding for the Class Size Reduction Initiative, Head Start and teacher training programs. He also has led the fight to increase funding for immunization and works to raise public awareness about the importance of immunizing children.
Congressman Hoyer is well-recognized for his efforts to make the House more efficient and "customer friendly." As the former Ranking Democrat on the Committee on House Administration, which oversees the internal operations of the House, he played an important role on policy issues ranging from election reform and campaign finance reform to enhancing the security of the Capitol complex in the aftermath of September 11.
Steny Hoyer also is a widely respected voice on foreign policy and international affairs. As the former Chair and Ranking Democrat on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission), he championed the cause of human rights, individual freedoms, democracy and religious liberties throughout the world. He called for decisive U.S. and NATO action to stop the carnage throughout the former Yugoslavia, and, more recently, condemned the repressive tactics of Afghanistan's former ruling regime, the Taliban; recognized the danger posed by that government before the terrorist attacks of September 11; and urged action against genocide in Sudan.
Always Advocating for His Constituents
In the Fifth Congressional District, Congressman Hoyer continues to be a leader for economic development and jobs. He helped bring 4,000 IRS jobs to New Carrollton; preserved 5,000 jobs and helped add 5,000 more jobs at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station; helped to keep open the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Indian Head, preserving 3,000 jobs; helped win the reversal of a closure recommendation at St. Inigoes, preserving more than 1,600 jobs; and blocked an effort to close Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, saving more than 3,000 civil service and approximately 6,000 contractor positions.
He also works hard to protect our natural resources. In addition to supporting every major piece of environmental legislation while in Congress, he co-sponsored the "Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act," providing funds to protect the Bay and its tributaries; secured more than $10 million in the 1990s to respond to Pfiesteria and to study its effects on humans; and champions the efforts to replenish the declining oyster population of the Bay and to restore the Anacostia, Potomac, Patuxent, and St. Mary's rivers.
A Commitment to Public Service and Maryland
Steny Hoyer graduated from Suitland High School in Prince George's County. In 1963, he graduated with high honors from the University of Maryland and was selected "Outstanding Male Graduate." In 1966, he received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. That same year, at the age of 27, he won a seat in the Maryland Senate, after campaigning on a fair housing platform.
In 1975, he was elected President of the Senate, the youngest ever in state history, and served in that body until 1978. He also was a member of the State Board of Higher Education from 1978 to 1981, the year in which he came to Congress after winning a special election.
Congressman Hoyer currently serves on the St. Mary's College Board of Trustees. He also is a former member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland and the Naval Academy Board of Visitors. He and his wife, the late Judith Pickett Hoyer, have three daughters, Susan, Stefany and Anne; son-in-law Loren Taylor; grandchildren Judy, James Cleveland, and Alexa; and great-grandchildren Ava, Braedon, and Brooklyn.