Jim McClure, a former chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and one of the most powerful Idahoans to ever serve in Congress, died Saturday at his home in Garden City, surrounded by his wife and three children.
Known for his grasp of detail and common touch in a 24-year congressional career, the Republican was mourned by famous colleagues after the news broke Sunday afternoon.
Howard Baker, a former Senate majority leader and chief of staff for President Ronald Reagan, told the Statesman, “He was steady, and when I got to positions where I could, I always depended on him for advice. He was special, and he certainly was my friend.”
Former Wyoming GOP Sen. Alan Simpson, who recently co-chaired President Obama’s deficit reduction panel, remembered McClure’s humor, intellect and tenacity.
“I was in awe of him,” Simpson said. “He was a superb legislator. He didn’t care about anything but the amendments, the hearings, the work, the slaving. Legislation, if you do it right, is deadly, deadly boring. And he did it with great skill.”
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