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November 29, 2007

Henry Hyde

Henry Hyde, the veteran Congressman who steered the impeachment proceedings of Bill Clinton, has died. His leading the charge at that time was enlivened by the revelation that he himself had had an affair when in his 40s: although, to be fair, no one claimed that he had lied on oath about it.

Former Rep. Henry Hyde, the Illinois Republican who steered the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton and championed government restrictions on the funding of abortions, died Thursday. He was 83.

The death of the Illinois Republican was announced by House Minority Leader John Boehner's office on Capitol Hill.

Mary Ann Schultz, a spokeswoman for Rush University Medical Center, said Hyde died Thursday at 3 a.m. CST at that hospital. There was no immediate word on the cause of his death, although Hyde underwent open-heart surgery in July.

Hyde retired from Congress at the end of the last session. Earlier this month, President Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The White House praised Hyde, a leading foe of abortion, as a "powerful defender of life" and an advocate for a strong national defense.

"He was a gallant champion of the weak and forgotten, and a fearless defender of life in all its seasons," Bush said of Hyde that day.

The Guardian doesn't offer all that much information: but then they wouldn't about an American Conservative:

Henry Hyde, whose 32 years in Congress was highlighted by his unbending opposition to abortion and his key role in impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, has died, the office of the House Republican leader said Thursday.

The Illinois Republican, whose long tenure in the House included stints as chairman of the Judiciary and International Relations committees, was 83.

The remembrance from the avowedly conservative Red State is as brief, but more heartfelt:

Henry Hyde has passed away. Hyde served for 32 years as a Congressman from Illinois, and retired last year.

The Corner correctly notes that the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited the public funding of abortions through Medicaid, is the most important and longest-lasting piece of pro-life legislation to ever pass through Congress. Hyde was also a key proponent of the FMLA, the House manager of the Clinton impeachment, and legislation providing redress for citizens who are the victim of unjust prosecution. Hyde was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this month, but his health prevented him from attending the ceremony.

November 29, 2007 in Politics | Permalink


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