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House, Senate Pass Resolutions Honoring Life of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones

On September 8, 2008, the House passed, by voice vote, H. Res. 1415, a resolution expressing “that the House has heard with profound sorrow of the death of the Honorable Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a representative from the state of Ohio.”

During the House debate, Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) noted, “As so many have said, Stephanie had the gift of making us all her friends and, for me and for others, her sisters…she was a tireless advocate on behalf of working families and civil rights long before she came to Congress, and she continued her devotion to these causes over the last decade. I was proud to work with her in the last few years against a proposal that would have undermined the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her leadership on this issue was exemplary of her commitment to protecting people against discrimination. I will cherish this opportunity to work with her. She was also a wonderful and active member of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. She co-chaired the task force on Women in the Judiciary with her colleague from Ohio and fellow former judge,Deborah Pryce. The people of Ohio and of the entire Congress have lost a true champion.”

Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) said, “Stephanie was a force in our delegation, and she was also an inspiration to everybody here and everybody who knew her. Perhaps we’ll never understand or totally accept the reasons that people are taken from us in such tragic and untimely ways; yet there is always some comfort found when we can look at a life and see the great purpose that dwelled therein. And Stephanie Tubbs Jones lived with such great purpose and made such a difference, and that will help those of us that she left behind…What a wonderful, strong personality. What a contagious smile, and her laughter and her buoyancy held me up many times when I needed just that extra shoulder. She had such purpose in her life, and that is her lasting legacy. We will all miss her, especially her family. There are so many that became part of her family. There are so many that she loved and touched in such an important, meaningful way. She will sorely be missed.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said, “Stephanie and I were in the same class. We came [to Congress] in 1998, and immediately bonded as friends and classmates. She and my husband became very good friends. We would joke…that my husband, Bob, was her boyfriend, and at their last conversation, it ended with his saying, ‘Love you, Stef,’ and her saying, ‘Love you, Bob.’ I’m jealous of that because they had that moment where they actually said the words that I feel so much tonight, that I loved Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Stephanie was a force of nature. She was a big woman and she filled a room. I can just picture her now. Can’t you just picture her coming down and speaking from this podium right now and just filling the space with her presence, with her sense of justice, with her passion, and with, of course, her smile?…Stephanie was fearless and she was loved. I loved her. I love you, Stephanie.”

Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) stated, “Just over three years ago, I first saw Stephanie in this very room. As I was sworn into office, she came over and greeted me with a great big smile and an enormous hug, welcoming me to this wonderful body. Although we share different political views, Stephanie understood that friendship trumped politics. I felt fortunate to call her my friend…I want to say thank you to the Lord for letting us have Stephanie as long as we did. We never know when the hour comes that he will come for us. I know that Stephanie was prepared for Him because she was always prepared for her family and for her constituents, and she had that great big smile. I’m sure that it’s there in heaven. To [Stephanie’s] family, you have my prayers. To the constituents of Cleveland, you have her heart.”

On September 10, the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, S. Res. 654, introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). The resolution chronicles Rep. Tubbs Jones’ career in public service and states that “Ohio has lost a beloved daughter and the House of Representatives [has lost] one of its strongest voices” with [Rep.] Tubbs Jones’ passing. It also describes her as “a highly esteemed and accomplished member of Congress, dedicated community leader, and tireless advocate for those in need.”

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