On Iraq: Is Steny Hoyer The Problem?

Via mcjoan.

In a recent post, I excoriated Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her statement on not funding the Iraq Debacle. But as mcjoan notes, one has to wonder who is calling the shots in the House. After all, Pelosi voted against the war and championed John Murtha for the #2 slot in the House leadership. The question to ask – is Steny Hoyer the actual Dem leader in the House?

Internal tensions erupted yesterday among House Dem leaders over Rep. David Obey's threat to block war funding without withdrawal timetables and his suggestion of a war tax, The Hill reports. . . .  “It’s hard to believe you could pick a worse time to do something to divide the caucus than the day Democrats and Republicans come together on both an Iraq bill and in sending the children’s health bill to the president,” a Democratic leadership aide told the paper. “The timing of this announcement made no sense.”

I'm told, however, that there's a bit more to these tensions than meet the eye. House insiders say they think that this anonymous dumping on Obey came from the office of House Dem leader Steny Hoyer. Hoyer is a big proponent of the new House Iraq bill being sponsored by Dem Rep. Neil Abercrombie that was voted on yesterday and passed overwhelmingly. Because this measure lacks a binding withdrawal timetable, others in leadership — like Pelosi — are cool to the idea, insiders point out.

. . . “The dumping on Obey likely came from Hoyer, who was much more enthusiastic about the moderate — read: toothless — Ambercrombie legislation than the rest of leadership is,” a House insider tells me.

Steny Hoyer, like Rahm Emanuel, has been awful on Iraq and obviously he seeks to torpedo the not funding without a timeline idea. It looks like he and Rahm Emanuel are the problem.

Greg Sargent updates:

Late Update: Hoyer’s office adamantly denies that it was the source of the criticism of Obey. “This is categorically false and the person making this statement has no idea what he or she is talking about,” Hoyer spokesperson Stacey Bernards told me.

Just to clarify, the House insider quoted above was speculating that he/she thought that Hoyer’s office was the logical source of the criticism based on his/her reading of the internal dynamics at play in the House. The insider conceded that he/she had no direct knowledge that this had happened, nor did he/she say she did.

What is interesting to me is what Hoyer does NOT deny, that he is not in favor of Obey’s initiative and that he is still championing Abercrombie’s ridiculous proposal.

In other words, Hoyer is STILL the problem.


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  1. are not in my district.  Pelosi is.  It’s my only ammo.  Sorry, Nancy.

  2. people need to understand that replacing pelosi is not the answer. the dem leadership needs to be replaced from the bottom up- rahm and hoyer. if it were possible to put more liberal/progressive people in their seats, pelosi might turn out to be a much better speaker than she has been.

  3. Then she’s still the problem.

  4. for god damn sakes

    i am tired of this guessing game.

    it’s fucking bush, not cheney
    it’s pelosi, not hoyer

    they are in charge and whatever follows IT IS ON THEM

    • banger on October 3, 2007 at 21:54

    quantity from the beginning–his pro-war stand was and is well-known. Pelosi opposes the war and became speaker by convincing pro-war Dems she would be open to their views. The Democratic Party is deeply split and we have to accept that. The liberal/progressive wing of the party has little power or influence even though it may represent more than half of the Democratic Party. So why are progressive causes (at least when encountering the Conservative Dem opposition) going down to defeat one and all? Most people don’t like my answer which is that politics isn’t about numbers but about having power. Having power means you are willing to go for the jugular every chance you have so people don’t take you lightly. I suggest the Democratic leadership takes those of us on the left side of center very lightly because we are unwilling to play a contact sport called politics.

    Obviously what I said can’t be true so what is true? Why is Congress taking the positions they are taking? Congress is a machine that reflects accurately real political power–is that true or not true.

  5. without timelines would come out of committee.

    great.  a pissing contest.  shame people are dying in the meantime.

    and hoyer basically told judy woodruff that he intends to keep funding the war.  vomit factor 7

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