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Pelosi mourns Hastings as 'champion for the most vulnerable in our nation'

Pelosi mourns Hastings as 'champion for the most vulnerable in our nation'
© Stefani Reynolds

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Republican proposes constitutional amendment to prevent Supreme Court expansion Business groups oppose Paycheck Fairness Act, citing concerns it could threaten bonuses and negotiating New US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations MORE (D-Calif.) honored Rep. Alcee HastingsAlcee (Judge) Lamar HastingsJulia Letlow sworn in as House member after winning election to replace late husband Black lawmakers press Biden on agenda at White House meeting The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Congress returns; infrastructure takes center stage MORE (D-Fla.) who died on Tuesday at the age of 84 due, praising him as a “champion for the most vulnerable in our nation.”

“Today, our Congressional community has been devastated by the passing of a cherished colleague, the Dean of the Florida Delegation: Congressman Alcee Hastings. Congressman Hastings was a beloved son of Florida, a respected leader in our Democratic Caucus and in the Congress,” Pelosi said in a statement. “As an icon of the Congressional Black Caucus, he was an historic force in our nation’s politics.  His passing is a great loss for America.”

As a civil rights attorney, Hastings fought against segregation and poverty. He was appointed a Circuit Court judge in 1977 by former President Carter and two years later he was appointed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He won a House seat in 1992.

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"As an attorney, civil rights activist and judge, and over his nearly thirty years in Congress, he fought tirelessly to create opportunities to lift up working families, communities of color, children and immigrants. From his position as Vice Chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, he was an effective force in ensuring that the voices of the American people were heard in the halls of the Congress," Pelosi said.

Hastings was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2019 but remained active in his committee duties while undergoing treatment. His treatment had caused him to miss a few votes in the past few months.

“Congressman Hastings leaves behind a powerful legacy of activism and action on behalf of Floridians and all Americans. His leadership and friendship will be missed by his many friends in Congress," Pelosi added, offering condolences to Hasting's wife Patricia Williams and his three children.