"All of us will be able to tell grandchildren … how proud they can be of the leadership and the trail that has been blazed by this extraordinary woman," Hoyer said.

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Hoyer introduced House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE (R-Ohio), who said Pelosi's tenure represents "25 years of commitment and service to this institution." BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE also said that despite his substantive differences with Pelosi, they have a fine working relationship.

"The gentlelady and I have a very, very workable relationship, and we get along with each other fine and treat each other very nicely, and actually have a warm relationship," he said.

Pelosi spoke for several minutes, and recounted how President George W. Bush, when he spoke at his first State of the Union address with Pelosi as Speaker, said that no other president in history had ever started his address by saying, "Madam Speaker."

Pelosi also voted to repay Hoyer, who organized the brief tribute. "I am thoroughly surprised today," she said. "I had absolutely no idea the mischief that Mr. Hoyer was up to.

"Steny, you don't know when and you don't know where, but one day … I will repay this magnificent honor you have extended me."