House pays tribute to Speaker Foley

McClatchy Washington BureauOctober 22, 2013 

The House of Representatives met Tuesday for the first time since former House Speaker Tom Foley died last week, and quietly paid tribute.

Flags above the Capitol were lowered to half-staff Friday, after he died.

And following tradition, the House is honoring the Washington Democrat by draping the speaker's chair on the rostrum in black and laying a gavel on a black pillow.

The current speaker's office explains: "This custom is akin to a riderless horse.  The draping is removed each day for legislative business, and will remain in place until a memorial service is held in Speaker Foley’s honor.  In addition, his portrait in the Speaker’s lobby next to the House floor will be draped in black for the same period."

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called Foley one of the House’s “most devoted servants” whose “solid sense of fairness … remains a model for any Speaker or representative.” 

 

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