Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
September 13, 2022
Contact Info: 
Raymond Rodriguez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – This evening, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor to congratulate Rep. Mary Peltola (AK-AL) on her Congressional swearing-in. Below is a copy of his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
 
Click here for a link to the video. 

"Madam Speaker, there are few honors greater in this country than being elected by your neighbors and fellow Americans to Represent them in this House. In the United States Senate, down the hall, one can be appointed to fill a vacancy. That is not the case here. Only by election can one serve in the People’s House.
 
"When our friend and colleague Don Young passed away earlier this year, this House lost a giant. The people of Alaska lost a Representative who had served them with great ability for fifty years. Earlier this month, Alaskans cast their votes to send a new Representative to carry their voices and views to Washington.
 
"The woman they chose just made history with the oath she took. She made history by becoming the first Alaskan native to be elected to Congress. She also made history as the first woman to serve Alaskans in the House of Representatives.
 
"In Rep. Mary Peltola, Alaskans chose someone who was not only a friend of former Rep. Don Young but also someone cut from the same cloth: someone who believes fundamentally in pragmatism, independence, and in putting Alaska’s unique needs first.
 
"Rep. Peltola is widely known across Alaska not only for her strong record as a state legislator but as a champion for rural and native communities who are too often overlooked by policymakers. She has built solid relationships across both parties in Alaska because of what many have called her “extreme kindness” and her determination to befriend anyone and everyone she meets.
 
"Her record reflects Alaskans’ independent approach to the most divisive issues, and in her election she appealed to Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Her campaign slogan reflected what she and many others consider the three fundamentals of Alaska: “fish, family, and freedom.” Indeed, she has already begun to assemble a bipartisan staff to serve her constituents.
 
"Given the recent politics of Alaska, many might be wondering why I – Steny Hoyer, Majority Leader for the Democrats – am standing here introducing Alaska’s new Representative today. That’s because Rep. Peltola is a Democrat. She won her election by showing Alaskans that a Democrat can be just as Representative of their state’s unique views and just as effective in delivering for its people as the Republican who Represented them for the past five decades. Rep. Peltola has a long record of working well with Alaska Republicans and even campaigning for Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski when she faced a primary challenge from an extremist candidate.

"What Alaskans have shown us by electing Mary Peltola is that, like so many other Americans, they do not want to be Represented by extremists focused on partisanship and confrontation. They want someone who will put people over politics and get things done.That’s been Rep. Peltola’s record back home in Alaska, and I know it will be her philosophy here in Washington as well.

"In so many ways, she is the perfect successor to Rep. Young, who worked hard to make sure his fellow Republicans understood Alaskans’ unique challenges and preferences on major issues. In a similar fashion, Rep. Peltola will be an important addition to our Democratic caucus, helping us better understand the perspectives of rural and native communities and the special concerns of Alaskans as our majority works to deliver results and expand opportunities for all Americans.
 
"Our Caucus, the House Democratic Caucus, is a place where diversity not only of background but of thought and ideology is cherished and respected, and Rep. Peltola will surely find a warm welcome here. I know she will be warmly welcomed to the House by our Republican colleagues as well.
 
"Traditionally, the senior-most member of a state’s delegation has the honor of introducing a new member to the House. Because Alaska has only one at-large Representative in the House, that honor falls to me today as the senior-most member of our party. It is an honor I wholeheartedly accept, and i now ask my colleagues to join me in welcoming Alaska’s new Representative, and someone we will all very shortly be calling our very good friend, Rep. Mary Peltola."