Steny Hamilton Hoyer (born June 14, 1939) is an American politician and attorney. A member of the Democratic Party, he has served as U.S. Representative for Maryland's 5th congressional district since 1981 and as House Majority Leader from 2007 to 2011 and since 2019. Hoyer is the dean of the Maryland Congressional delegation and the most senior Democrat in the House.
Born in New York City and raised in Mitchellville, Maryland, he graduated from Suitland High School in Suitland, Maryland before earning a B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. For four years, from 1962 to 1966, Hoyer was a member of the staff of Maryland Senator Daniel Brewster. In 1966, Hoyer won a newly created seat in the Maryland State Senate, representing Prince George's County-based Senate district 4C. The district, created in the aftermath of Reynolds v. Sims, was renumbered as the 26th district in 1975, the same year that Hoyer was elected President of the Maryland State Senate, the youngest in state history. In 1978, Hoyer unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Maryland as the running mate of then-acting Governor Blair Lee III. In the same year, Hoyer was appointed to the Maryland Board of Higher Education, a position he served in until 1981.
Winning a seven-way primary to succeed Congresswoman Gladys Spellman, Hoyer defeated Republican Audrey Scott in the May 1981 special election to win the first of twenty-one terms. Hoyer has served as chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the fourth-ranking position among House Democrats, from 1989 to 1994; the former co-chair (and a current member) of the Democratic Steering Committee; and as the chief candidate recruiter for House Democrats from 1995 to 2000. He also served as Deputy Majority Whip from 1987 to 1989. On November 14, 2002, Hoyer was unanimously elected by his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to serve as the Minority Whip. He was elected House Majority Leader in 2007, remaining in that role until Democrats lost the House in 2010, returning to the Minority Whip position from 2011 to 2019. After Democrats regained the House in 2019, Hoyer once again began serving as Majority Leader.