STATEMENT OF WHIP STENY HOYER ON THE PASSING OF REP. ROBERT MATSUI

For Immediate Release:

January 2, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer released the following statement today:
 
"The untimely passing of my good friend and colleague, Congressman Bob Matsui, early this morning is a grievous loss for Bob’s family and friends, as well as the Democratic Party, the House of Representatives and our great nation.
 
"Bob Matsui, above all, was a patriot who loved this country and all that it stands for – freedom, opportunity and equality.  And I am privileged to have known and worked with him for more than two decades.
 
"My deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Doris, and his son, Brian, as they mourn the loss of this great man who devoted his life to public service and the proposition that, in America, one person armed with goodness in his heart, compassion in his soul, and an unshakable will truly can make a difference.
 
"Bob Matsui leaves a legacy of dedication, competence and integrity that will stand the test of time and which should be emulated by all who aspire to a life of public service.  In the quarter century that he served in the House of Representatives, Bob Matsui left an indelible mark on many of the most important issues of our time, including tax policy, Social Security, international trade and welfare reform.  As Congress prepares again this year to consider reforms to Social Security and our tax system, it is not overstatement to say that Bob’s expertise and experience on these issues are virtually irreplaceable.  His leadership will be sorely missed.
 
"Bob’s dedication to the principles of the Democratic Party also were on full display during the last two years as he chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, logging thousands of miles campaigning and fund-raising all across the country on behalf of Democratic candidates.  In this most difficult election environment for Democrats, Bob’s unflagging optimism and hard work were instrumental in helping House Democrats hold our own.
 
"This is a sad and shocking loss.  Again, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to Doris and Brian and the entire Matsui family."

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