President Gerald Ford assumed office during one of the greatest times of challenge for our nation and provided Americans with the steady leadership and optimism that was his signature.

As a fellow House Minority Leader, I have great respect for the fair and reliable leadership President Ford displayed throughout his service in the House. He was effective and respected on both sides of the aisle. He recognized that however much we may disagree on political questions, we serve all of the people of the nation in a great institution: the House of Representatives.

It is with great sadness and respect that I extend deepest condolences to Mrs. Ford and all of the Ford family. I hope it is a comfort to them that so many people mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.