Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania is the Democratic team’s manager for the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game. Doyle has been in Congress since 1995 and currently represents the state’s 14th district.
The 2017 game is going ahead as planned, despite a shooting on June 14 at an Alexandria, Virginia ballpark where Republicans were practicing. Doyle stood with the opposing manager, Republican Rep. Joe Barton, hours after the shooting to announce that the game will still happen.
During the shooting, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, two U.S. Capitol police officers and two others were injured. Scalise remains in critical condition.
Doyle was first elected to Congress in 1995 to represent Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional district. Before the 2002 election, Doyle was redistricted to the 14th. The district includes all of Pittsburgh, plus several suburbs like McKeesport and Wilkinsburg. Doyle is married to Susan Doyle, and they have four children, Michael, David, Kevin and Alexandra.
Here’s a look at Doyle’s life and career.
1. Doyle Called on Congress Members to Be More Civil Towards Themselves as an Example to the Public
In his press conference with Barton, Doyle said he was sad that such a tragic event was needed to bring members of Gonfress fom both parties together.
“I know in times of tragedy, Americans do that, but Joe [Barton] and I have been reflecting lately just on how we can still maintain our principles and our legislative agendas, but we could do it in a more civil way,” Doyle said.
He continued, “And when the leadership of this country is civil towards one another, maybe the public will start being civil towards one another too, and the news media will be civil towards members of Congress and the public, and we can change the mood in this country so that people don’t get filed up with this kind of hatred.”
Doyle said he was inviting the Republicans to join the Democrats for a dinner the night before the game at Nationals Stadium.
Barton added that the stadium will be “very secure” and “very safe” for the game.
2. Doyle Has Managed the Democratic Baseball Team for 11 Years
Doyle has managed the Democratic baseball team for 11 years, notes Roll Call, and played for 12 years. He hopes to return the Democrats to their former glory after losing the 2016 game to the Republicans. Louisiana Rep. Cedric L. Richmond should make that possible.
In his interview with Roll Call before the shooting, Doyle said everyone was taking the game very seriously.
“Everybody’s working hard and we’re motivated to get back into the win column. The current [trophy’s] over in [Republican manager Joe L.] Barton’s office. I was over in his office the other day and they put the trophy very prominently so I’d see it as soon as I walked in. I could tell the trophy was begging me to bring it back,” Doyle said.
Doyle said the team needs to get better at hitting and blamed a 24-hour sit-in last year the night before the game on the loss. He’s hoping to get good performances out of Jimmy Panetta, Nanette Barragan and Tom Suozzi.
3. Doyle Was Among the Democrats Who Refused to Attend Trump’s Inauguration
In January, Doyle was one of the Democratic members of Congress who did not attend President Donald Trump’s inauguration, notes the Pittsburgh City Paper. Dozens of DEmcorats refused to attend after Trump attacked Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a Civil Rights icon, on Twitter.
“I’m going to #StandWithJohnLewis. I won’t attend the Inauguration on Friday,” Doyle tweeted.
Doyle’s head of communications, Matt Dinkel, told the City Paper that Trump’s comments on Lewis were a “deciding factor” in his decision not to attend. It was the first time he’d missed an inauguration since 1995.
Doyle has continued to criticize Trump. After it was revealed that Trump shared some classified information with Russian diplomats in a closed Oval Office meeting last month, Doyle told the Post-Gazette:
They’re hiding. They don’t want to get up and defend this. The most benefit of the doubt you can give [Mr. Trump] is that he unwittingly revealed information that not only threatened our security but also raises concerns among our allies that are sharing information with us. They’re going to be reluctant to share information with the United States if it can’t be treated in a classified way.
4. Doyle Is on the Energy Committee With Barton
Doyle is also one of the Democrats on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the same Committee Barton is on. Barton chaired the committee from 2004 to 2007, and is now the Vice chair. Doyle is on the Energy & Power and Communications & Technology subcommittees.
On his website, Doyle notes that environmental policy is one of his key concerns and fought to stop the weakening of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Doyle was also disappointed with Trump’s decision to take the U.S. out of the UN’s Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Today’s reversal on the Paris Agreement is foolhardy and incredibly disappointing,” Doyle said in a statement. “President Trump clearly doesn’t understand the Paris treaty – and he certainly doesn’t understand my district. By withdrawing from this non-binding agreement, we’re giving up our leadership on the issue and we won’t even have a seat at the table. I will continue to fight for policies that address climate change by creating good jobs for Pittsburghers.”
5. Doyle Co-Founded the Congressional Autism Caucus & House Robotics Caucus
Doyle is also the co-founder of the Congressional Autism Caucus and of the House Robotics Caucus.
The Autism Caucus has 117 members and Doyle is co-chair with Republican Chris Smith of New Jersey. The two co-founded the caucus in 2001. As Doyle notes on his website, the goal of the caucus is to educate members on autism and raising awareness of autism among the public.
In 2007, Doyle and Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall, a Republican, co-founded the Congressional Robotics Caucus. This caucus educates members and staffers on robotic research and development and makes sure that the U.S. remains competitive in the robotics field.
Doyle is also a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus, Congressional Steel Caucus, Congressional Human Rights Caucus, Congressional Internet Caucus and the Ohio River Basin Congressional Caucus.