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Murtha, Hoyer 'battle' for Majority Leader post

Published: Thursday November 9, 2006

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After winning back the House, two senior Democrats are engaged in a "battle" for the Majority Leader position, Roll Call reports.

Yesterday morning, RAW STORY posted a statement released by Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) which indicated his intention to seek the post.

"As part of the leadership team that helped regain the House Majority, I would like to continue to serve House Democrats as their Majority Leader,"H Hoyer stated. "Over the past several months, I have talked with almost every one of my House colleagues and Members-elect, and am grateful for the depth of support I have received."

Hoyer told Roll Call that "over a majority" of incumbents and Congressman-elects support his bid.

"I think I’m going to win," Hoyer said.

However, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) "re-affirmed his own interest in the office Wednesday," during an interview with National Public Radio, Roll Call reports.

"I’m working diligently now trying to convince people that I’d make a good balance," Murtha told NPR yesterday.

Excerpts from Roll Call article:


Murtha, who is the ranking member of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense, also defended his decision to seek the leadership post, asserting that not only is the office an “open seat” in the new Congress, but arguing that he outranks Hoyer in the Caucus hierarchy.

“There’s Nancy Pelosi, [Appropriations Committee ranking member Rep.] Dave Obey (D-Wis.) and myself, and then Hoyer is listed after me in the power plays,” Murtha said on NPR.

That assertion bewildered at least one Democratic House lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity: “In my mind that shows a lack of understanding. I like Mr. Murtha but that’s not just the way it is.”

“There is real genuine concern that we don’t want to see a divisive leadership fight, just at the time that we’re seeing tremendous success and tremendous unity and harmony and good feelings in the Caucus,” the lawmaker added.