Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor this afternoon during a tribute to Paula Nowakowski, Chief of Staff to House Republican Leader John Boehner, who died suddenly last weekend. Below are the Speaker's remarks.
“I thank the gentleman, the distinguished Leader for yielding, and express to him on behalf of all Members of the House of Representatives, indeed the entire Congress, the condolences that we all feel. We extend them to you on Paula's passing.
“As the Leader has said, we all were aware of her brilliance and her effectiveness when Leader Boehner was Chairman of the Education Workforce Committee. Mr. Miller, that is why he is presiding, he became of fan of Paula, as did John Lawrence, her counterpart in my office.
“This is a very special person - a devoted conservative as the Leader has said, who loved Ronald Reagan and John Paul II. She had a strong perspective, very innovative in her orientation in terms of solutions, and a beautiful, beautiful smile.
“It is with great sadness that all of us received the news of her passing. And to her mother, I say we were shocked by her death. We were in a state of disbelief, especially for someone so vibrant, so full of life, with this brilliant intellect and strong personality, to leave us so young. She left us, but she has made her mark. She is a person we will never forget because of her leadership skills and because of her friendship.
“So it is with great respect, admiration, sadness, and affection that I extend to Paula's family the sympathy and condolences of the Congress as I join the distinguished Leader in doing so. I extend those condolences to you too, Mr. Leader, because I know what a great partner she was to you as you lead the Republicans in the Congress. But she was here for everyone because, as the Leader said, she loved this institution.
“We are all shocked by our loss. Her belief in John Paul II enables the rest of us to be comforted by the fact that now she has joined him and so many others in heaven. And just to express the gratitude of a grateful Congress to all who knew her, to her family, to Michael, to her mother, to all of you.
“I hope it is a comfort to you that with the greatest sadness, so many people mourn your loss and are praying for your family at this very, very difficult time. With that, and in sorrow, I yield back to the distinguished Leader.”