WASHINGTON -- Speaker John Boehner says he's sending a three-member House delegation to London for the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Boehner said in a statement on Monday that Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn will lead the delegation. Joining the Tennessee lawmaker will be fellow Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and George Holding of North Carolina.
The speaker called Thatcher one of the greatest champions of freedom that the world has ever known. The funeral for Thatcher, who died last week, will take place Wednesday at St. Paul's Cathedral.
The House delegation will fly commercial to London. In February, Boehner suspended the use of military aircraft for official trips by House members, part of the belt-tightening by Congress in response to automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that kicked in March 1.
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Statement from the President on the Passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher With the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty, and America has lost a true friend. As a grocer’s daughter who rose to become Britain’s first female prime minister, she stands as an example to our daughters that there is no glass ceiling that can’t be shattered. As prime minister, she helped restore the confidence and pride that has always been the hallmark of Britain at its best. And as an unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance, she knew that with strength and resolve we could win the Cold War and extend freedom’s promise. Here in America, many of us will never forget her standing shoulder to shoulder with President Reagan, reminding the world that we are not simply carried along by the currents of history—we can shape them with moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will. Michelle and I send our thoughts to the Thatcher family and all the British people as we carry on the work to which she dedicated her life—free peoples standing together, determined to write our own destiny.
“The greatest peacetime prime minister in British history is dead. Margaret Thatcher, a grocer’s daughter, stared down elites, union bosses, and communists to win three consecutive elections, establish conservative principles in Western Europe, and bring down the Iron Curtain. There was no secret to her values – hard work and personal responsibility – and no nonsense at all in her leadership. She once said, ‘Defeat? I do not recognize the meaning of the word.’ Now this lady who was never for turning goes to rest as grateful friends and allies around the world mourn her passing and pray for her loved ones. Americans will always keep Lady Thatcher in our hearts for her loyalty to Ronald Reagan and their friendship that we all admired. At this difficult hour, I send the condolences of the U.S. House of Representatives to Prime Minister Cameron and the British people.”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding the loss of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “I join Margaret Thatcher’s family and the British people in mourning the loss of one of the 20th century’s most consequential leaders. “From a young age, Margaret Thatcher understood what limited government and free enterprise could do for people and helped modernize Great Britain’s economy. Her passion for freedom and in advocating for the dignity of people trapped behind communism’s Iron Curtain helped bring about the Soviet Union’s end. “As someone who grew up in the Ronald Reagan era, I admired the special bond he had with Margaret Thatcher. Through her work with Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher helped deepen and solidify the special relationship between our two countries, which continues to benefit both nations to this day. “We have lost a great leader, but Margaret Thatcher’s memory and legacy will always live on through the leadership lessons that defined her career. May God bless Margaret Thatcher and provide comfort to her family and those who admired her in Britain and around the world.”
George W. Bush
President George W. Bush issued the following statement on the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. “Laura and I are saddened by the death of Baroness Margaret Thatcher. She was an inspirational leader who stood on principle and guided her nation with confidence and clarity. Prime Minister Thatcher is a great example of strength and character, and a great ally who strengthened the special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States. Laura and I join the people of Great Britain in remembering the life and leadership of this strong woman and friend.”
Statement by Condoleezza Rice on the passing of Baroness Thatcher: I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Baroness Thatcher. There was no more potent force in the defense of freedom than this remarkable woman. Her unshakable belief in the universal appeal of liberty helped to steer the free world through treacherous times until communism was defeated and Europe emerged whole, free and a peace. I was honored to know her and to be inspired by her. Baroness Thatcher will be missed but generations will draw strength from the memory of her passion for freedom.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) today released the following statement regarding the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: Today the world mourns the loss of an extraordinary leader, the great Margaret Thatcher. Utterly fearless, she never once went wobbly. Rejecting the failures of socialism, she won the argument for liberty, and her name is synonymous with the policies that restored peace, prosperity, growth, and stability at a time when it seemed like the United Kingdom had none. It was truly a Providential blessing that she served alongside President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II -- together the three of them stood unshakable, defended humanity, and won the Cold War without firing a shot. Her magnificent intellect and unwavering work ethic helped her become Britain's first and only female prime minister -- an ascent that wasn't a matter of breaking through the glass ceiling, but simply refusing to acknowledge its existence. The world will forever be in her debt; Lady Thatcher was one of kind. Long live the memory of our dearly departed Iron Lady.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the first woman to serve as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister: “Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was a commanding political figure, a leader of uncompromising strength, and a public servant who never failed to break down barriers. As the first woman—and longest-serving—British Prime Minister, she possessed a singular resilience that commanded the respect of her colleagues, the attention of a nation, and the awe of women and men across the world. “She was a relentless force and a steady hand in our fight to win the Cold War, helping to bring down the Berlin Wall brick by brick. She led her country with poise, grace, and an unmistakable iron will that will forever stand as a true testament to her unwavering commitment to public service. We only hope it is a comfort to her daughter Carol, her son Mark, and the entire Thatcher family that so many share in their grief at this sad time.”
“I was saddened to learn of the death of Lady Margaret Thatcher. The United Kingdom has lost its first woman Prime Minister, an iconic stateswoman, and a fearless leader. The United States has lost one of its dearest friends and most valued allies. Lady Thatcher understood that the special relationship which has long united our two nations is an indispensable foundation for peace and prosperity. Our strong partnership today is part of her legacy. Like so many others, I respected the conviction and self-determination she displayed throughout her remarkable life as she broke barriers, defied expectations, and led her country. Hillary, Chelsea, and I extend our condolences to her family and to the people of the United Kingdom.” (via <a href="http://nbcnightlynews.tumblr.com/post/47464173345/president-clinton-on-passing-of-margaret-thatcher" target="_blank">NBC News</a>)