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Hoyle ‘frustrated’ at Republican fight over Speakership

Val Hoyle on Election Night
Tiffany Eckert
/
KLCC
Val Hoyle, second from right, celebrates her victory in the race to represent Oregon's 4th District. On Hoyle's right is Rep. Peter DeFazio, the Springfield Democrat who retired after 36 years in office.

The political logjam in the U.S. House has made for a "frustrating" first week in Washington for Val Hoyle.

The Springfield Democrat was elected to represent Oregon’s 4th District, replacing longtime Congressmember Peter DeFazio.

Because of the Republican majority’s failure to elect a Speaker, Hoyle–along with all other members of the House–is still technically a “representative-elect.”

“I came here to DC to get work done for the people of Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District," she said. "That’s why people elected me, to come here and do work. But we can’t do anything until the House Republicans choose a Speaker.”

Hoyle said she doesn’t even know what committees she’ll serve on yet.

The House is scheduled to take a 14th vote for Speaker Friday evening. The last time it took this long to elect a Speaker was 1859, the year Oregon became a state.

Despite the delay in formally taking office, Hoyle said she feels ready to go once she takes the oath of office.

"I feel very lucky because the vast majority of Peter DeFazio's staff agreed to stay on," she said. "I walked in with this incredibly competent and experienced team."

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”