Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor yesterday evening in support of legislation to designate the federal building and United States courthouse in Canton, Ohio, as the 'Ralph Regula Federal Building and United States Courthouse.' The House will vote on the legislation later today. Below are the Speaker's remarks.
“Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and thank him for giving us this opportunity to come to the floor to sing the praises of our former colleague--we always will have him as a colleague in our hearts, but former colleague on the floor, Congressman Ralph Regula of Ohio.
“As many of you know, Ralph Regula served in the House with great distinction for 38 years of service, 38 years of service and not only service, great leadership. Last year, we sadly said good-bye to him, but now tonight we will honor him by creating a longstanding testament to his leadership, designating the courthouse and federal building in his hometown of Canton as the Ralph Regula Federal Building and United States Courthouse.
“I want to acknowledge Congressman John Boccieri for his work in shepherding this legislation through Congress and for doing an exceptional job, I believe, following in the footsteps of Ralph Regula in representing Ohio's 16th Congressional District.
“Congressman Regula's entire life was devoted to public service and still is. He was a distinguished Navy veteran of World War II. He served our country in that way, and he served in both the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives as well as the State Board of Education. And aren't we fortunate that when he came to Congress, he was already an experienced legislator with a strong commitment to educating our children?
“Thirty-eight years. Imagine that. Some of our Members weren't even born when Ralph Regula came to the Congress. Thirty-eight years in the House of Representatives, earning the distinction of being the second-longest-serving Republican in the Congress.
“Congressman Regula's leadership benefited our entire nation. It was a personal privilege for me to work with him on the Appropriations Committee. I saw firsthand his leadership, his knowledge of the issues, the respect that he commanded for all who came before him and the respect he had from both sides of the aisle.
“I personally am grateful to him for transforming San Francisco's former Army base -- he was very much a part of doing that -- the Presidio, into one of our nation's premier parks. We have honored him on many occasions in San Francisco, most recently at Fort Baker.
“None of us can come together and talk about Ralph Regula without talking about Mary Regula, because they served here in Congress as a team. Ralph would be the first to say that it was the love of Mary and their three children and four grandchildren that made his leadership possible. And we all know that Mary is the one who made a decision that we would have a National First Ladies' Library in Canton, Ohio, to honor the contribution to our nation of the first ladies of America. It's a phenomenal thing. She had an idea, she executed it, and now people can visit and see that important part of American history thanks to Mary Regula.
“Today we honor a great congressional leader, a great friend to all of us, and a great man. I urge all of my colleagues to understand the privilege that we have of expressing our appreciation for Ralph Regula's leadership by supporting this legislation, and I join my colleagues from Ohio on both sides of the aisle for the honor that we are paying to Ralph Regula tonight. And I again thank John Boccieri for shepherding this through the Congress.”