Washington, D.C. - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor today in memory of former Congressman Ed Jenkins. Below are the Leader's remarks.
“Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the life, leadership, and legacy of our former colleague and a friend of many in this House: Congressman Eddie Jenkins.
“My colleague, John Lewis, has brought many of us together on this floor, or in our other public statements, to say what an honor it was to serve with Eddie Jenkins, how much we all learned from him, the humor, as well as the intellect that he brought to his work was definitely, definitely an asset to the work of the Congress.
“Eddie Jenkins was a proud son of Georgia. If you heard him say, you would agree, a self-described “country lawyer” from Jasper; a public servant dedicated to his constituents, to advancing the interests, hopes, and aspirations of his neighbors down there in Georgia, and to securing future prosperity for all, and opportunity for all Americans.
“It must be a true honor for Congressman Jenkins and his family that this tribute was organized and led by the conscience of the Congress, a man of extraordinary leadership and character and a fellow representative from the state of Georgia, Congressman John Lewis.
“Congressman Jenkins will long be remembered as a leader willing to work across the aisle, negotiate, and build coalitions on behalf of the greater good.
“He will be remembered in textile mills across the South as a champion of the industry-a defender of good-paying jobs for local workers in small towns and communities across the region, small businesses.
“He will be remembered in the chamber of the Ways and Means Committee for his expertise on the tax code, for his wisdom and leadership, for the respect he earned even when his colleagues disagreed with him.
“And he will be remembered for his legendary tough questioning during the Iran-Contra hearings-a scene that reflected and embodied his strong will, deep character, core principles: his pursuit of the truth, his commitment to transparency and accountability, his firm belief in the sanctity of the rule of law.
“Congressman Jenkins served his community and our country as a lawyer and a congressional staffer, in the Coast Guard, and as a Member of the House of Representatives.
“He will be missed by his friends in Congress, by the friends he served in Georgia, by his neighbors and loved ones.
“We only hope that it is some comfort to his wife of 51 years, Jo; his daughters, Janice and Amy; his brothers, sisters, grandsons, and his entire family, that so many share in their grief at this sad time.
“Thank you, Mr. Jenkins, for a life of service to the country and to the Congress.
“Thank you, Mr. Lewis, for providing this opportunity for us to honor a person who we were proud to call colleague and friend.”