WASHINGTON, DC - Wanted to be sure you saw this profile in the Calvert Recorder on Congressman Steny H. Hoyer's re-election campaign. Congressman Hoyer filed for re-election to continue serving the people of Maryland's Fifth Congressional District on November 9. Click here to read the profile or see below.
Hoyer Runs for 18th Term as Congressman
By Tamara Ward
Since May 19, 1981, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) has been representing District 5 Marylanders in the halls of the U.S. Congress.
Thirty-six years later, Hoyer shows no signs of stopping and has filed paperwork with the Maryland State Board of Elections to extend his reign to an 18th term during the 116th Congress.
“I think I've done a good job for the people of Southern Maryland, 5th Congressional District and the state — and hopefully for the country. I feel that I can continue to do that work,” Hoyer said, on why he is running for re-election in 2018.
The Mechanicsville resident feels he has been very effective on his constituents' behalf on both local and national issues. Hoyer cites one of the major local accomplishments during his long tenure was regional economic development spurring from his involvement in Naval Air Station Patuxent River during multiple base realignments and closures. The combined efforts brought research and testing facilities from closing installations to Pax River, boosting the local economy with an influx of tens of thousands of new residents.
A known advocate of all of Southern Maryland military installations, Hoyer reported bringing federal dollars to the region in support of Pax and Webster Field in St. Inigoes in St. Mary's County, and Indian Head Naval Surface Warfare Center in Charles County.
Nationally, Hoyer credits as his biggest accomplishment the introduction and the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. The civil rights law prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees.
The 17-term congressman touts advocating on behalf of 63,325 federal employees in the district, as well as leading transportation and job creation and retention initiatives as some of his top accomplishments over the year, but acknowledged his priorities for next session will include cleaning up behind efforts enacted in the current session.
“Hopefully the tax bill won't pass because it will do great damage to the country, great damage to Marylanders and great damage to our fiscal wellbeing,” Hoyer said, referring to the Republican tax reform bill currently in conference. “If it should pass — trying to repair the damage will be one of my major priorities in the 116th.”
The congressman said the bill, as currently presented, will prohibit deductions for state and local taxes, adversely affecting nearly half a million taxpayers in the state of Maryland, especially the middle class making between $50,000 and $150,000. Hoyer said the proposed elimination of deductions for student loans and medical expenses will also hit constituents very hard.
Hoyer said the Democratic Party's biggest accomplishment for the current session is the fact that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is still law. If re-elected, he is committed to continuing to work to ensure health care is affordable and accessible to millions of people, as well as “reverse the damage” done by President Donald Trump's administration, which he said has led to higher prices impacting individuals and small businesses using the health care exchange.
Hoyer also plans to continue to work toward bringing the FBI building to Prince George's County, as he has been instrumental in bringing federal buildings to the district in the past.
The minority whip acknowledged that being a Democrat in a Republican-controlled Congress and administration makes it more challenging to get things done, but said he managed to work across the aisle to get work accomplished.
He credits himself in working in a “bipartisan way” on efforts to modernize the government with Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), and on international relations with Israel, as well as additional sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.), a practice he plans to continue next term.
Hoyer acknowledged there are many distractions that have plagued Congress recently, to include allegations of sexual misconduct by members, who have since stepped down, in the House and Senate.
“We need to have a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment. It is unacceptable in workplace or any place else … but there should be some kind of investigation,” Hoyer said.
“We are seeing a president that is trying to divide people and pit people against one another. That's not who we are as Americans — that is not what we ought to be as Americans,” Hoyer said. “I am hopeful that I have played a role and will continue to play a role in trying to bring people together.”
And while he has been vocal in his opposition to some of Trump's policies, Hoyer believes it is too premature to call for Trump's impeachment, even in light of substantial recent developments in the investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Hoyer acknowledged the need to address more pressing government matters such as funding for the federal government and North Korea, about which he said all Americans should be concerned.
In 2016, Hoyer won overwhelmingly in Charles and Prince George's counties, garnering 67 percent of the votes to secure another term. However, the incumbent failed to secure Calvert, St. Mary's and Anne Arundel, edged out by opponent Mark Arness (R) upwards of 3,000 votes in each county. Post election, Arness said Hoyer should heed his constituents in those counties.
“I am going to continue to talk to them and continue to listen to them and try to convince them that I am an effective member of Congress of the United States on behalf of interests that I think are important to our country, therefore to Calvert, St. Mary's and Charles County ...” said Hoyer, who has been significantly more present in the district this year.
“My health is good, I think I continue to be effective and right now is not a time to quit,” the 78-year-old incumbent said in response to questions about retirement. “The country is at real risk — the Trump administration is pursuing policies, both international and domestically, which are not helpful. I feel continued engagement is something I ought to be doing.”