- The Washington Times
Wednesday, May 8, 2019

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday that the Democratic Party in Washington is actually less liberal after last year’s elections, despite all the attention progressive lawmakers have been getting.

“We have 63 [freshman] members,” Mr. Hoyer told reporters. “My view is that the caucus largely went to the center. We took a lot of Republican seats, we took a lot of purple seats.”

Mr. Hoyer did not go into more details about his claim, though the battle between his party’s wings has played out in very public fashion over the last five months.

While the Green New Deal plan by liberal stalwart Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been buried in committees and Rep. Rashida Talib’s impeachment inquiry resolution has failed to take off, liberals did manage to sink Democratic leaders’ budget.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose liberal credentials are strong, has been a particular backer of more moderate members of her party.

“The 40 districts — we won 43, net gain of 40 — were right down the middle, mainstream, hold-the-center victories,” Mrs. Pelosi said in London last month. “If we’re going to be helping the 1 in 5 children in America that goes to sleep hungry at night, who lives in poverty in our country, we have to win.”

Mr. Hoyer stressed that despite the diversity, Democrats are united on their key legislative priorities such as health care, election reform, and lowering drug prices.

“I think the speaker is correct in that the party is principled and pragmatic,” Mr. Hoyer said.

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