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Boehner, Pelosi Pay Tribute To Former Speaker Foley

AP Photo / Louie Balukoff

Pelosi's statement:

“For thirty-six years, Speaker Tom Foley served our country as a quintessential champion of the common good.  A proud son of Washington state, he stood on the strength of his principles and inspired a sense of purpose and civility that reflects the best of our democracy. 

“In his years leading the House of Representatives, Speaker Foley’s unrivaled ability to build consensus and find common ground earned him genuine respect on both sides of the aisle.  The year I took office, he secured a much-needed budget compromise that restored public faith in our financial security and confidence in Congress.  That characteristic passion for fairness and deep respect for others later defined his extraordinary work as President Clinton’s Ambassador to Japan.

“Today, our country mourns the loss of a leader whose authenticity, dedication, and diplomacy will forever serve as an example to all of us who strive to make a difference through public service.  It was an honor to serve with him as a colleague; it was a privilege to know him as a friend.  We only hope it is a comfort to his wife Heather and his family that so many mourn their loss at this sad time.”

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly featured a photo of Republican Tom Foley, who's exploring a run for the 2014 Connecticut governor's race.