Democratic chairmen back Hoyer for No. 2 slot
Tuesday, November 09, 2021 8:10 PM

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(Source: Associated Press/AP Online)By LAURIE KELLMAN

WASHINGTON - Seven Democratic House chairmen have endorsed Rep. Steny Hoyer to become the Democrats' second in command in the next Congress when Republicans regain control of the House. The support from such veterans as Henry Waxman of California and Barney Frank of Massachusetts is the latest development in the race for the vote-counting whip post between the Maryland Democrat and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina.

"Steny Hoyer is a tested leader who can help Democrats rise to the challenge of the next Congress, protect the interests of the middle class, and win back the majority," the seven Democrats wrote in a letter to their colleagues.

Clyburn, the highest-ranking black member of the House, was endorsed Tuesday by the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus.

"He has been an extremely effective consensus-building member of the Democratic leadership," said CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee of California. She added that Clyburn "has brought together all corners of our caucus behind a unified agenda."

House Democrats, still smarting from their Election Day losses, have been hoping to avoid a showdown between the two men.

Hoyer is currently the House majority leader and Clyburn is the party's whip. But following the election, which place Republicans in charge of the House next year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she wanted to remain at the top of the party leadership. That created a contest for the No. 2 slot.

Pelosi has not endorsed either lawmaker for the post. Congressional officials said both men would likely remain in the leadership whatever the outcome of the contest.

Frank is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Waxman is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Others signing Hoyer's endorsement letter were Howard Berman of California, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Bob Filner of California, chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee; Silvestre Reyes of Texas, chairman of the Intelligence Committee; Nick Rahall of West Virginia, chairman of the Natural Resources Committee; and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, chairman of the Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee.

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