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Pelosi Statement on the Passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the passing of Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida, who served his community in Congress for 28 years:

“Today, our Congressional community has been devastated by the passing of a cherished colleague, the Dean of the Florida Delegation: Congressman Alcee Hastings.  Congressman Hastings was a beloved son of Florida, a respected leader in our Democratic Caucus and in the Congress.  As an icon of the Congressional Black Caucus, he was an historic force in our nation’s politics.  His passing is a great loss for America.

“All who knew Alcee knew him as a champion for the most vulnerable in our nation.  As an attorney, civil rights activist and judge, and over his nearly thirty years in Congress, he fought tirelessly to create opportunities to lift up working families, communities of color, children and immigrants.  From his position as Vice Chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, he was an effective force in ensuring that the voices of the American people were heard in the halls of the Congress.

“As he fought for American families at home, Congressman Hastings was a respected force for human rights, economic prosperity and security abroad.  This commitment was recognized by his being named Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), the first Black American to hold this position.  As Speaker of the House, it was my honor to join Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in recommending this appointment to President George W. Bush.  

“Congressman Hastings was a trusted voice in the intelligence community, and as a former Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was a leader on countering terrorism and protecting the American people.

“Congressman Hastings leaves behind a powerful legacy of activism and action on behalf of Floridians and all Americans.  His leadership and friendship will be missed by his many friends in Congress.  May it be a comfort to his wife Patricia and his children, Alcee ‘Jody’ Jr., Chelsea and Leigh, that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”

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