SEATTLE, WA – Today, Representative Jim McDermott (WA-07) released the following statement on the passing of former Speaker of the House Tom Foley.
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Speaker of the House Tom Foley. Though I know he has found much needed peace now, I miss him intensely, and my heart is with his family today.
"A giant of American politics, Tom was an urbane and erudite man who embodied the noble institution that is the United States House of Representatives. He was a deeply learned student of history, and he brought to his sage leadership of the House enormous tactical skill and profound understanding of our political system. The House of Representatives was a very different place in the age of Tom Foley, and it is a sad irony that the institution we know today has just emerged from one of its most ominous chapters.
"Tom believed in American politics, and he served this country with great distinction for more than three decades. A polished and very effective representative of Washington’s 5th Congressional District, Tom was a critical leader of the post-Watergate reforms that reenergized the House after that dark period. He became a splendid Majority Leader who eventually became one of the most respected Speakers in the history of the House of Representatives. Tom left the House in the Gingrich sweep of 1994, but he continued to serve the country masterfully as the very able Ambassador to Japan during one of that nation’s most difficult periods.
"Tom Foley was a dear personal friend, a mentor, and a great teacher. His passing takes a truly great man from our midst. He will never be replaced but he will be long remembered with great admiration and deep love."