Retired Senator Roy Blunt praises former House Whip rival Steny Hoyer

Sen. Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, hails fellow vote counter and friendly rival, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, as a “giant” on Capitol Hill after the longtime Democratic No. he would not seek a leadership position in the new Congress.

Mr. Blunt, who is retiring, said he and Mr. Hoyer have faced each other as Republican and Democratic House whips for nearly 10 years.

“Often we didn’t vote the same way, but when something needed to be done, we almost always voted the same way,” Blunt said. “Steny has always understood that doing your best is a good thing. Democracy is best defined by standing up for what you believe in and finding the place where compromise moves the country forward. No one understands this better than Congressman Steny Hoyer.

Mr. Hoyer has decided to step down from the party leadership after serving as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s first deputy since 2003. He was considered her heir, but Ms. Pelosi has remained at the forefront for nearly two decades .

Mr. Hoyer and Ms. Pelosi will remain in Congress, but they are giving way to a new generation of leaders, with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York set to take over as Democratic caucus leader.


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