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House pays tribute to Walter Jones

Members of the House commemorated the life of Rep. Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesSupreme Court declines to hear case challenging unlimited super PAC fundraising Experts warn Georgia's new electronic voting machines vulnerable to potential intrusions, malfunctions Georgia restores 22,000 voter registrations after purge MORE (R-N.C.), who died Sunday, giving tribute speeches and holding a moment of silence on the House floor on Wednesday. 

Jones, who first came to Congress in 1994, passed away on his birthday at age 76.

Rep. David PriceDavid Eugene PriceHouse panel approves measure requiring masks on public transport Overnight Energy: 350 facilities skip reporting water pollution | Panel votes to block Trump's 'secret science' rule | Court upholds regulation boosting electric grid storage Committee votes to block Trump's 'secret science' EPA rule MORE (D-N.C.) reflected on his time getting to know Jones while working on former President Jimmy Carter's campaign in 1976, saying that while they may have gone on to support different parties, he respected him as a colleague for his willingness to work across the aisle.

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"While Walter went on to chart a different course politically, of course, that was uniquely his own. In fact, he found himself frequently at odds with if not one party than the other. But by the same token, he found possibilities for alliances and cooperation in unexpected places and did not hesitate to take those opportunities," Price said. 

"This approach was rooted in Walter's strong conscience and his personal sincerity. He stood out in an age when sincerity is in short supply in politics, earning respect and admiration from both sides of the aisle."

Price highlighted Jones’s commitment to reaching out to Iraq War veterans and the families of fallen soldiers, noting the impact those interactions had on his policy stances. 

"Walter's determined and effective voice for our military, the Marines especially, and his deep love for his home state of North Carolina will be missed in these halls and in the coastal, farming, military communities that make up the 3rd congressional district," he said.

Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieCheney seeks to cool tensions with House conservatives House in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power Ron Paul hospitalized in Texas MORE (R-Ky.) applauded Jones for his humility and willingness to admit when he was wrong, citing his reversal on his position on the Iraq war as an example of his commitment to "the type of courage we could all hope to possess."

"Walter's chief, Josh, who has been with him for 16 years reminded me that people in Washington, D.C., kiss up and punch down," he said.  "Walter often did the opposite, he would kiss down and punch up. He was a true southern gentleman who followed his heart while fighting for his constituents."

Jones’s funeral is slated to be held in Greenville, N.C., on Thursday. 

A special election will be held later this year to fill his seat.

— Updated 10:00 p.m.