WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement this morning after learning of the passing of Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York:

“This is just jarring. My first thoughts go out to Louise’s family, friends, and her staff. Louise was a giant in the people’s House, the first woman ever to chair the Rules Committee. That said, Louise did not need a gavel to make a dent in history. She was unrelenting in fighting for her ideas and the people back home in Western New York. But really, the thing that I keep coming back to is how she was tough, but unfailingly gracious. She was simply great. 

“In memory of Louise, I have ordered that the flags above the Capitol be lowered to half-staff. The coming days of mourning will bring many tributes to this wonderful public servant. For now, let us pray that God brings comfort to those closest to Louise.”