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Pelosi Floor Speech Paying Tribute to Retirement of Chief of Staff John Lawrence

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the House floor today to honor John Lawrence with the John W. McCormack Award of Excellence and pay tribute to John Lawrence’s 38 years of service in the House of Representatives.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to address the House for one minute. 

[Speaker Pro Tempore Virginia Foxx gives Leader Pelosi the floor]

“Thank you, Madam Speaker.  Madam Speaker, I rise with great pride to pay tribute to a very distinguished American, a longtime member of the Congressional staff – in fact, a person who has served the Congress for 38 years as a member of the staff, 30 of it for George Miller, 8 as my assistant in the leadership office: John Lawrence.

“I’m happy to pay tribute to him.  I’m sad because John will be, I don’t know if the word is retiring, but he will be leaving service in the Capitol.  He has always been a great proponent of science, technology, and innovation, and as he concludes his service to the House, it is only fitting to cite the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, as inscribed on the walls of the science – House Science and Technology Committee, quote: ‘For I dipped into the future, far as human eyes could see, saw the vision of the world and all the wonder that would be.’

“Over nearly four decades serving the Congress, John has always kept his sights and his vision firmly on the future.  He believed, and he knew, that the future is about investing in our children, supporting working families, strengthening the middle class.  He knew that the future is about protecting our environment and preserving our planet for generations to come.

“John knew that the future of this House is strengthened by fellow staff members working in a bipartisan way.  John has always respected the role played by our staffs – on the Education [and the Workforce] Committee, and on the Natural Resources Committee, and the offices of the Democratic Leader, and as my role as the Speaker of the House, and our distinguished speakers will speak to today.  Indeed, the staff looked to him for leadership, just as Members looked to him for guidance.

“In that spirit, this afternoon, my colleagues the Speaker – thank you Mr. Speaker, for making that possible.  The Speaker and I will honor John Lawrence with the John W. McCormack Award of Excellence, on which, as declared by former Majority Leader, then-Majority Leader Carl Albert in 1970, quote: ‘The name of the House employee who performs the most valuable service for the House will be inscribed.’

“What a fitting tribute to John Lawrence’s 38 years of valuable service, extraordinary leadership, and dedication to the future.  We’ve had the privilege of honoring, in a bipartisan way, other members of the staff in the Congress and John’s name will bring luster to that list.  Colleagues, please join me in thanking a dear friend, my former Chief of Staff, John Lawrence.

“And now I yield to the Speaker of the House, Mr. Boehner.”