Rep. Gary Peters, former CMU Griffin Chair, given key Democratic leadership position

A familiar face was selected as minority senior whip in the 113th Congress on Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, now in his third congressional term, was appointed to the Democratic leadership position. Peters was the Griffin Endowed Chair in American Government at CMU from 2007-2008.

“I loved my experience as a Griffin Chair at (CMU)," Peters said. "I was able to meet some outstanding students who cared deeply about the future of their country and were very interested in how they could make a difference through the political process.”

As a senior whip, Peters is responsible for joining a team of fellow Democratic representatives to discuss impending issues for congressional debate and the best methods for building party consensus.

“Gary has been a key ally in our ‘Make It In America’ agenda, and that’s why I’ve asked him to serve as a senior whip in the 113th Congress,” Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said in a release. “As we move into 2013, America needs leaders like Gary Peters who will take point in the fight to create more good-paying, middle-class manufacturing jobs.”

Additionally, Peters was appointed as Recruitment Committee Vice Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, where he will recruit various individuals as candidates for upcoming elections.

“Congressman Gary Peters is a battle-tested leader who knows how to win competitive races,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y.

Peters said he hopes to use his newfound influence to develop and maintain a healthy state and federal economy.

“I have been focused on ensuring we have a strong and vibrant auto industry, which is absolutely essential for the Michigan economy,” Peters said. “I believe that we have to have a strong manufacturing sector, and, in order for the United States to be a world leader, we actually need to have a manufacturing sector that offers good, middle-class paying jobs.”

As a member of the Financial Services and Small Business committees, Peters has attempted to put his rhetoric into practice, he said.

Peters was previously instrumental in providing Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Corp. with a federal bailout in 2009.  This prompted former House Financial Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., to call Peters the "single most effective person" in combating anti-bailout forces.

Additionally, Peters is an advocate of further financial regulations. This prompted a 2011 appearance at Occupy Detroit, where he criticized Wall Street speculation and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.


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