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WASHINGTON—House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued the following statement in tribute to former House Republican Leader Robert H. Michel, who has passed away at the age of 93:

“On November 29, 1994, an extraordinary thing happened on the House floor. Outgoing House Speaker Tom Foley, a Democrat from the Pacific Northwest, asked outgoing Minority Leader Bob Michel, a Republican from central Illinois, to take the gavel and preside over the House. More than a symbolic gesture, it was a fitting sendoff for a happy warrior revered for his decency and commitment to what’s right.

“A half-century earlier, as a combat infantryman, Bob Michel was in the Battle of the Bulge. He was at Normandy too. For his service in World War II, he received two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart.

“I did not have the privilege to serve with Leader Michel. But I do have the honor of working every day in the office in the Capitol that bears his name. What a name and legacy it is. What a life well-lived by this great and gracious man. Today the members of the House—past and present—mourn with the family and friends of our former colleague and leader.”