Statement ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
December 19, 2012
Contact Info: 

Katie Grant, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today recognizing Congressman Emanuel Cleaver’s service as the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.  Below are his remarks and a link to the video:

Click here to watch the video.

“Mr. Speaker, for over 40 years, the Congressional Black Caucus has strengthened and enhanced the work of the People’s House. It does so by carrying into this chamber the voices of millions of Americans who for too long in our history were voiceless. It represents millions of our citizens who contribute greatly to building our economy, defending our hard won freedoms and fighting for equal justice and equal opportunity for all of our citizens.

“The Congressional Black Caucus has been rightly known for a long period of time as the conscience of the Congress. And, Mr. Speaker, since he arrived here seven years ago, our colleague and my friend, Emanuel Cleaver, has been the conscience of the CBC.

“Representative Cleaver, as most of us who serve with him know, but many Americans might not know, wears multiple hats. He is not only the former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, but he's also an ordained Methodist pastor.

“Pastor Cleaver is frequently called upon for words to deliver at my Whip meeting on Thursday mornings. I have said they are the highlight of our week, in many respects. Emanuel Cleaver speaks to us about humanity, about caring, about respecting each of our colleagues on either side of the aisle, of respecting and honoring our responsibilities to our fellow citizens. In short, Emanuel Cleaver on a weekly basis appeals to the best that is within us, to reflect the best that is America.

“Emanuel Cleaver will shortly be succeeded as [Chair] of the CBC by Marcia Fudge from Ohio. Like Emanuel Cleaver, a leader of conscience, a leader of great ability and a leader who will reach out to all of us as well and continue to lead this organization that we know is the conscience of the Congress.

“As we talk about creating jobs, as we talk about caring for one another, as we talk about making life better for all Americans, there is no more compelling voice than the Congressional Black Caucus towards that end. And there has been no more compelling voice than that of my friend, Emanuel Cleaver.

“Emanuel, I expect your leadership to be enhanced as the days go by, but you have shown us an example of how one can serve with dignity, with grace and with effectiveness. Thank you."