House Democrats picked Rep. Steny Hoyer to be majority leader on Thursday, spurning Rep. Nancy Pelosi's handpicked choice moments after unanimously backing her election as speaker when Congress convenes in January.
A Marylander and 25-year veteran of Congress, Hoyer defeated Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania in a vote of 149-86.
His election to the No. 2 job came just a short time after the Democratic caucus put Pelosi in line to become the first woman to be speaker, a position which is second in line of succession to the presidency. It marked a personal triumph for Hoyer. ...
The intra-party battle had preoccupied Democrats, overshadowing Pelosi's promotion to speaker -- a position that is second in line of succession to the presidency.
Many Democrats were dismayed that the family feud had broken out in the first place and objected to heavy pressure placed on longstanding Hoyer supporters. ...
Murtha, 74, was a problematic candidate because of his penchant for trading votes for pork projects and his ties to the Abscam bribery sting in 1980, the only lawmaker involved who wasn't charged.
The race dredged up Murtha's involvement in the Abscam scandal. FBI agents pretending to represent an Arab sheik wanting to reside in the United States and seeking investment opportunities offered bribes to several lawmakers.
Posted by Forkum at November 16, 2006 05:11 PM