WASHINGTON, DC – Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) issued the following statement today on the passing of Congressman Don Payne (D-NJ):
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend and esteemed colleague, Don Payne. I was privileged to serve with Don for more than two decades. I always had enormous respect for his passion, dedication and encyclopedic knowledge of a range of foreign policy issues, particularly the 54 nations of Africa. He was one of the founding Members of the House Democracy Partnership, a commission that benefited tremendously from his expertise and commitment.
"In November Don and I had the opportunity to travel together throughout Eastern and Central Europe to commemorate the post-Soviet transition to democracy of several nations. He endured with good spirits a number of speeches honoring Ronald Reagan, never failing to remind me that John F. Kennedy was the world’s leading champion of democracy long before Reagan’s presidency. We continued on to Egypt, where Don and I served as international witnesses in the first round of parliamentary elections. His enthusiasm and energy never flagged as he spent two long days traveling from poll to poll in Egypt's first true election in 7,000 years.
"As Don always exemplified, our endeavor to protect human rights, promote the rule of law, create economic prosperity and eradicate violent extremism through the building of democratic institutions is a thoroughly bipartisan one. He will be greatly missed by all who were privileged to know him."
For Immediate Release: March 6, 2012
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