WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement honoring former House Speaker Tom Foley (D-WA), who has passed away at the age of 84:
“Today the House mourns the loss of our beloved former colleague, Thomas S. Foley from the state of Washington. Born and raised in Spokane, Tom was elected to the House in 1964 from Washington’s Fifth Congressional District. Over the course of 15 terms and countless accomplishments, he rose to become chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Majority Whip, Majority Leader, and on June 6, 1989, the 57th Speaker of the House.
“It was a natural sequence for a natural leader. Forthright and warmhearted, Tom Foley endeared himself not only to the wheat farmers back home but also colleagues on both sides of the aisle. That had a lot to do with his solid sense of fairness, which remains a model for any Speaker or representative. Take it from the great Henry Hyde, who used to say of Tom, ‘I wish he were a Republican.’ With his passing, the House loses one of its most devoted servants and the country loses a great statesman.
“The whole House extends its heartfelt sympathy to Tom’s wife, Heather, a longtime friend of this institution. We will keep her and all of Tom’s friends and loved ones in our prayers. He will be dearly missed.”