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Pelosi Statement on the Passing of Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis

Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor this evening on a resolution honoring the life of Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis of Virginia, who passed away Saturday from breast cancer:

'It is with great sadness that I rise to acknowledge the passing of Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis, and to pay tribute to her.  As we all know, she passed away on Saturday and although she had been diagnosed awhile ago and we knew she was sick, it has still hit this Congress very hard to lose her.

'Congresswoman Davis was tremendously proud to represent the Virginia's First District, which she called, 'America's first district' because it included Jamestown.  She spoke often on this floor of the deep patriotism of her constituents, and with pride of the many brave men and women in uniform who were her constituents. 

'When Jo Ann Davis was elected to Congress seven years ago, she made history as the first female Republican ever elected to the House from Virginia.  But she knew it was far more critical to make progress than to make history, and she did, particularly in honoring our troops and our veterans.    

'In fact, the first piece of legislation Congresswoman Davis ever introduced increased the life insurance benefit paid to survivors of military members killed on duty, and passed the House in 2001. 

'After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, Congresswoman Davis became an outspoken advocate in favor of education, prevention, and treatment of this disease. 

'We in this body can express our admiration for her dedication with a real national commitment to fighting this disease which takes the lives of more than 40,000 American women every year. 

'The Daily Press of Newport News, Virginia wrote of their Member of Congress this weekend: 'You can, as Jo Ann Davis amply demonstrated, succeed in politics by making friends, working hard, and doing your duty.'  All of us in this body can honor Congresswoman Davis's legacy by doing just that. 

'She loved our country and this Congress loved her.  When she was diagnosed, we all hovered over her and prayed for her and were deeply saddened.  After she'd be gone for awhile and come back, we'd all encircle her and hug her and as it turned out, drew strength from her, as we were trying to encourage her.  She gave us strength.  Her attitude, her dignity, the strength with which she confronted this terrible disease was something of a lesson for all of us. 

'When she passed away, we were all very deeply saddened to get that sad news.  She was really a bright light in this Congress. 

'I hope it is a comfort to her husband, Chuck Davis, to her whole family, her two sons, her granddaughter, and her many family and friends that so many people in our country indeed, intensely in this Congress, mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.'