Ed Markey, Richard Neal mourn former House Speaker Tom Foley’s integrity, civility

WASHINGTON—The two members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation who served with former House Speaker Thomas S. Foley praised him as a man of integrity who brought civility to Congress.

Foley, who died Friday at 84, served as Speaker of the House from 1989 through 1994. Edward J. Markey, a Democrat who served in the House from 1976 until he was elevated to the Senate in July, is one of only two members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation who served with Foley, a Democrat. The other is Representative Richard E. Neal, a Springfield Democrat, who entered Congress in 1989.

In a statement, Markey said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of Foley’s death.

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“I remember working closely with Speaker Foley on a wide variety of issues over the nearly 20 years that I served with him,” Markey said. “But I remember him most for our work together on arms control and defense matters. We worked together on legislation to create a moratorium on underground nuclear testing, as well as bills to limit U.S. military involvement in the conflict between the Nicaraguan government and the Contra rebels.”

“Tom Foley was a man of great intelligence, integrity, and purpose,” Markey continued. “He will be sorely missed by all of those who had the pleasure to serve with him. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Heather.”

Neal called Foley “my great friend” who passed “some of the most important legislation of his time.”

“He was a true gentleman who brought decency, civility and integrity to the United States Congress,” Neal said in a statement. “He served in an era where bipartisanship was encouraged, and strident ideology was virtually non-existent. That spirit of cooperation was due, in large measure, to his fair and principled leadership.”