Lawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell

Lawmakers from both parties and different ideologies came together on Monday morning to mourn Colin PowellColin PowellDefense & National Security — Biden marks Veterans Day Biden marks Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery Overnight Defense & National Security — Washington gathers for Colin Powell's funeral MORE, the towering military and diplomatic figure who died after contracting COVID-19 while undergoing treatment for blood cancer.

Praise for Powell's service came from both sides of the aisle after news of his death broke. Progressive and moderate Democrats spoke of his legacy, and pro-Trump Republicans and more establishment GOP figures expressed gratitude for his work.

"He was highly respected at home and abroad. And most important, Colin was a family man and a friend," former President George W. Bush said in a statement regarding his onetime secretary of State.

ADVERTISEMENT

Former Vice President Dick Cheney hailed Powell, who was 84, as a "trailblazer and role model for so many: the son of immigrants who rose to become National Security adviser, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State."

Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikGOP beginning to jockey for post-election leadership slots Mace fires back at Greene: 'Bat---- crazy' Republicans eager to take on Spanberger in Virginia MORE (R-N.Y.), an unabashed Trump supporter who rose to House leadership this year, said she was saddened by Powell's death.

"America has lost a true leader and American patriot, but we will always remember his service to the United States of America!" she tweeted.

"Colin Powell was a soldier, diplomat & statesman of the highest order. His life embodied the American dream," former Trump national security adviser Robert O'BrienRobert O'BrienWatchdog cites 13 Trump officials who violated Hatch Act before 2020 election Lawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Trump's last national security adviser endorses JD Vance in Ohio Senate race MORE tweeted. "The 16th Nat’l Security Advisor, he set a standard of integrity & professionalism for all of us who succeeded him. Requiescat in pace, General & may God bless your family."

In the Senate, there was largely uniform praise for Powell and his legacy.

ADVERTISEMENT

"A gr8 general & public servant passed away God bless Colin Powell & his family," tweeted Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGOP blocks bill to expand gun background checks after Michigan school shooting GOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (R-Iowa), the longest serving member of the Senate.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who leads the GOP Senate campaign arm, said Powell "broke barriers and helped lead our nation through some of its darkest days. Ann and I are praying for Secretary Powell’s family and loved ones."

Remembrances for Powell crossed ideological lines in the Democratic Party, with moderates and progressives alike citing his service and contributions to the country.

"I’m saddened to learn of the passing of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. A trailblazer & dedicated public servant, he committed his life to serving our country. His calm and steady leadership will be missed," House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) tweeted.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), a progressive who defeated longtime Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell NYC snafu the latest flub from a broken elections agency Cynthia Nixon backs primary challenger to Rep. Carolyn Maloney MORE (D-N.Y.) in a primary last year, called Powell an "inspiration."

ADVERTISEMENT

"He was from NYC, went to City College, and rose to the highest ranks of our nation," Bowman tweeted. "Sending love, strength and prayer to the family and friends of Secretary Powell. Rest in power sir."

Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaBiden should seek some ideological diversity Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Pence-linked group launches 0K ad campaign in West Virginia praising Manchin MORE (D-Ariz.), who was an anti-war activist in the early 2000s, called Powell a "tested and historic leader who will inspire future generations of Americans."

Powell shaped U.S. policy across multiple administrations. He served as national security adviser to former President Reagan, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the George H.W. Bush administration and as secretary of State during the George W. Bush administration, where his role in building international support for the invasion of Iraq drew criticism. 

Though he served under Republican presidents, Powell backed Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPolitics must accept the reality of multiracial America and disavow racial backlash To empower parents, reinvent schools Senate race in Ohio poses crucial test for Democrats MORE, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE and Joe BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE in their respective presidential contests. His endorsements in 2016 and 2020 prompted backlash from Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE and his allies, but even some of those figures offered praise for Powell on Monday.

"Colin Powell was a great American and a good friend," Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRudy Giuliani becomes grandfather after son welcomes child Press: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Former NYC police commissioner to testify before Jan. 6 committee, demands apology MORE, who has parroted Trump's election lies, tweeted Monday. "I was one of a small, but determined group, that urged him to run for President in 1996. What if???"