The informal alliance has propelled the minority whip into the spotlight of the spending debate, bolstered his reputation as a centrist dealmaker and even led some Democrats to suggest he should lead the caucus in the looming talks over raising the nation’s debt limit…

“If you’re going to have anything done in the House [that’s] bipartisan, Steny Hoyer is going to have to be involved,” said a House Democratic aide who works for a Blue Dog…

If Pelosi made a point to oppose the spending cuts to draw a distinction between the parties, Hoyer took pains to cast himself as the pragmatist who would make concessions for the sake of a deal. He also recently called a past vote against raising the debt limit a “mistake,” echoing a statement made by Obama just days earlier.