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Washington, D.C. – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on the death of Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX), an irreplaceable public servant:

“Over the years in this body, hundreds of members come and go. Many good, honorable men and women have served our country in the House. But I don’t believe anyone embodies service and love of country like Sam Johnson. As an Air Force pilot, he flew missions in Korea and Vietnam. As a prisoner of war, he suffered seven years of brutality and deprivation in the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ in Vietnam. What he experienced would have broken and bred bitterness in other men. But in the 13 years I knew him, Sam was always strong and joyful. His courage, and most of all his patriotism, never left him. And here in Congress, where he served for 28 years, he always took the time to counsel, mentor, and share his wisdom, especially with new members. That is why I made it a point to bring the freshman members to dinner with him every Congress so they could learn from his life and example.

“Sam represented his constituents with principle, strength, and purpose. He leaves behind a rich and honored legacy in Congress as a proud advocate for all veterans, a staunch leader for conservative principles, and a defender of the American taxpayer through his tenured service on the Ways and Means Committee. This House has not only lost an irreplaceable public servant, but a true American hero. It was an honor of my life to call Sam a friend. I admired him and I will miss him. Judy and I are praying for Sam’s family.”