Op-Ed ● Make It In America
For Immediate Release: 
November 20, 2017
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Wanted to be sure you saw this article in the Wall Street Journal about Whip Hoyer's Make It In America listening tour taking place over the weekend and today. Thus far, Whip Hoyer has traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada with Rep. Ruben Kihuen and Kansas City, Missouri with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver and Rep. Jimmy Panetta. Today, Whip Hoyer and Rep. Panetta will join Rep. Cheri Bustos in Peoria, Illinois for a listening session focused on education and closing the skills gap. The Make It In America tour is focused on listening to Americans about the economic pressures they face, economic initiatives that have worked in their communities, and persistent economic challenges that need to be addressed. To read the article, click here or see below:

In Tour of House Districts, Democrats Listen for a Message

Minority whip Steny Hoyer meets voters in places the party needs to win in 2018
By Natalie Andrews

November 19, 2017
The No. 2 House Democrat on Friday began a series of trips to districts his party must carry if it hopes to win back the House majority in 2018. His goal: to craft a message that resonates with voters only marginally attached to a party dominated by liberals from the coasts.
“We have a lot in common,” said Mr. Hoyer, of Maryland, about voters in parts of the Midwest that his party has lost over the years. “But they may say it a different way or see it in a different perspective. They may not think you are talking about what they are thinking about, but you really are.”
Republicans control both houses of Congress, the White House, and most state legislatures and governorships. Ten states, all in the mountain West or Midwest, have no Democratic representatives in the House, where the party needs to win 24 seats next year to take the majority.
But after election victories across the country this month, Democratic leaders are optimistic the party can harness voter energy built in large part on animosity toward President Donald Trump. The Cook Political Report rates 62 GOP-held seats as competitive to some degree—17 as tossups and 45 as “likely” or “lean” Republican. Democrats will have to play defense too: Cook lists 21 Democratic seats as competitive, including four tossups.
David Wasserman of Cook Political Report said last week that Democratic wins in Virginia this month show the GOP House majority is in “serious risk” and that the “balance of evidence suggests Democrats would be the ever-so-slight favorites to reclaim the House if the elections were held today.”
To win GOP seats and retain seats they hold in Republican-leaning districts, Democratic leaders say candidates should talk more about bread-and-butter economic matters and less about social issues like abortion rights and gay rights, and climate change.
“One of the struggles the Democratic Party has had is that its messages have not really resonated with a lot of voters in the Midwest,” said Paul Davis, a former Kansas legislator and the party’s 2014 gubernatorial nominee, now running for an open House seat. “I’m not going to wait around for Democrats to construct a message that appeals there.”
In what the party dubbed a listening session, Mr. Hoyer, 78 years old, visited Las Vegas on Friday to discuss infrastructure, joined by Nevada Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen. California Democrat Rep. Jimmy Panetta also joined him for the weekend. More lawmakers plan to join Mr. Hoyer for future trips, said Mr. Hoyer’s spokeswoman.
In Kansas City on Saturday, about two dozen local entrepreneurs gathered at the Kauffman Foundation’s conference center. The group divided among five round tables and discussed regulations they said hampered their businesses, writing with markers on large notepads. Mr. Hoyer and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D., Mo.) visited each table, asking questions and taking notes. At the end, each group presented their findings.
Barbara Shatto, a registered Republican owner of a Missouri milk company, told Mr. Hoyer she worried the windmills near her farm would affect her cows and her property value and didn’t support tax credits for windmill owners.
“I would have never thought of that,” Mr. Hoyer said in an interview.
At another table, a group discussed the challenges brick-and-mortar shops have competing with online retailers like Amazon, which in many areas don’t collect sales tax. Mr. Hoyer packed up notes from the session and took them to Peoria, Ill., where he will join Rep. Cheri Bustos (D., Ill.) on Monday for a session on education.
Republicans, for their part, are trying to tie Midwest Democrats to the longtime leaders of the House and their views on social issues and some government programs.
“What does it say about their efforts when they select a septuagenarian who has spent virtually his entire life in the D.C. area as their ambassador to the Midwest?” said Jesse Hunt, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

In Kansas City, Mr. Hoyer briefly argued against the GOP tax bill, which Democrats say would hurt the middle class. But he didn’t mention the president by name. Democrats are debating to what extent their candidates should attempt to harness voter dissatisfaction with Mr. Trump.
“I don’t think you need to be out there criticizing Mr. Trump; he can handle that well himself,” said Rep. Ron Kind (D., Wis.), who represents a district that Mr. Trump won by four points. “We’ve got to be out there offering constructive ideas of how we can partner with our communities that help them be successful.”