Hoyer Eyes Task Force to Hone Floor Strategy

Posted January 4, 2011 at 7:15am

Incoming Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has been floating the idea of forming an intra-Caucus task force to help Democratic Members make better use of their floor strategy as they move back into the minority.

Hoyer has brought up the idea of forming the task force at several closed-door meetings, an aide to the Maryland Democrat confirmed Monday. The aide said the purpose of the Member group would be to create the best strategy for using motions to recommit, a procedural technique used to try to delay or change legislation brought by the majority.

A Democratic leadership aide said the issue came up before Christmas as part of a larger discussion about what Democrats can do to make better use of the procedural maneuver. Republicans often employed the motion to recommit to try to stall or trip up the Democratic agenda during the 111th Congress.

The leadership aide said that it remains unclear whether Hoyer or incoming Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) would craft the party’s motions to recommit in the 112th Congress. Outgoing Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) has led the effort for Republicans.

Moderate Rep. Heath Shuler on Monday endorsed the idea of the task force, and he said he would like to see Hoyer’s office be in charge of the party’s strategy on the issue. The North Carolina Democrat also said he and other moderates want to make sure that liberal Democrats don’t use the technique try to advance their agenda.