Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, made the following remarks on the House floor on House Parliamentarian Tom Wickham’s announced retirement and Deputy Parliamentarian Jason Smith’s appointment to succeed him in the role.
As prepared for delivery:
Mr. Speaker, I rise to join Chairman McGovern in paying tribute to a dedicated public servant. Tom Wickham, the House Parliamentarian, has served this House with honor and distinction for the past 25 years and will be taking a well-deserved retirement at the end of this month.
Tom has expertly advised five Speakers and countless Members and staff throughout his distinguished tenure. His exceptional knowledge and understanding of rules, procedure and parliamentary precedent has been invaluable to this institution, and he will be sorely missed.
I am also proud to congratulate Jason Smith, the current Deputy Parliamentarian, on his appointment as the sixth Parliamentarian of the House. The Rules Committee has the benefit of working with the Parliamentarian’s office more than most, and I have every confidence that Jason will lead the office with the same standard of excellence his predecessors, particularly Mr. Wickham, have set.
Finally, I just want to take a moment to thank you, Chairman McGovern, for seeking my opinion during the process to select our next Parliamentarian. That’s not something you were required to do. It speaks volumes to your respect for this institution and the role that the Parliamentarian plays for the minority, particularly on the Rules Committee, that you were interested in my perspective on this important decision.
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