Lawmakers gave a floor tribute Wednesday night to Rep. Doc HastingsRichard (Doc) Norman HastingsCongress just resolved a 20-year debate over Neolithic remains Boehner hires new press secretary GOP plots new course on Endangered Species Act reform MORE (R-Wash.), who is retiring after 20 years in the House.

Hastings has served as House Natural Resources Committee chairman since 2011 and previously chaired the House Ethics Committee, from 2005 to 2007.


Members described Hastings as a down-to-earth and hardworking colleague.

"Doc has been a constant source of wisdom, of compassion, of patience and of leadership for our chamber. And I know that he will be sorely missed by all who have had the pleasure of working with him," said House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).

"Doc has been a humble leader and a masterful legislator," McMorris Rodgers added.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) described Hastings as a "personal friend" with whom he frequently has dinner, sharing their love of politics and NASCAR.

"There's nobody more knowledgeable of politics in America than Doc Hastings. He knows every congressional district," Rogers said.

The Kentucky Republican joked that Hastings's interest in NASCAR racing made him an honorary Southerner.

"Doc loves the NASCAR world. And so that makes him a Southerner, which is another reason I admire the man," Rogers said, chuckling.