Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the 84-year-old former House majority leader, isn’t done with Congress just yet. Hoyer announced on Monday he was seeking a 23rd term in 2024, and we spoke with the longtime Maryland Democrat to hear why.
Hoyer’s decision to stay: First thing’s first: Hoyer’s new wife is on board. Plus, Hoyer told us he’s in good health. And on the policy side, Hoyer believes he’ll be in a key position to help ensure the construction of the new FBI headquarters in his home state.
“I think we’re going to take back the majority of the House. I’ll be the House chairman of the subcommittee that deals with the construction of buildings,” Hoyer said. “I think I’ll have some ability to make sure [the FBI headquarters] happens.”
Hoyer has made bringing the FBI headquarters to Maryland the centerpiece of the final stage of his political career. While Virginians are crying foul over the GSA process that led to Maryland’s victory, Hoyer maintains the selection was fair.
“In terms of the FBI, which obviously was of critical importance, we’ve had success on that,” Hoyer added. “But it’s not done until it’s done.”
The stakes of 2024: Hoyer, breaking with some in his party, said he doesn’t think former President Donald Trump should be disqualified from the ballot over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
To be clear, Hoyer slammed Trump as a figure who “led, recruited, incited and deployed an insurrectionist mob to the Capitol.” But until Trump is convicted, Hoyer said he should be defeated at the polls and not kicked off the ballot.
Hoyer is confident that President Joe Biden will win reelection, arguing the incumbent “has one hell of a record — probably one of the best records of any president in a three-year term.” Of course, Hoyer has been front and center in the implementation effort, working alongside the White House in his role as Regional Leadership Council chair.
And the Maryland Democrat predicted the ongoing House GOP impeachment inquiry into Biden wouldn’t affect the president.
“There is no fire there. There’s no smoke there,” Hoyer said. “They’ve been pounding on the table. But they don’t have the facts and they don’t have the law.”
— Max Cohen