HONORING REPRESENTATIVE WALTER B. JONES, JR.

March 5, 2019
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the life of my friend and colleague, Walter Beaman Jones, Jr., who passed away on February 10, 2019 at the age of 76. His passing is a deep loss to this institution, and we miss him dearly in the House of Representatives. Walter was proud to represent North Carolina's 3rd congressional district, a geographically diverse district, for over 24 years and always found a way to address the concerns of his coastal constituency as well as his rural inland residents.

   Those who knew Walter remember a tenacious, earnest and passionate Member of Congress, who tirelessly fought for what was right. Throughout his 24 years in Congress, Walter represented his district and constituents with a passion and intensity that I think we each strive to emulate. He followed a moral compass that rarely took him off course. In the rare event that it did, he did not let himself off the hook and dedicated his life and career to right any wrong. Walter was known for saying: ``I would rather do what I think is right than to sell my political soul.''

   Walter spent much of his career in Congress serving on the Armed Services Committee. In this capacity, he stood up for military families, investigated corruption within the Department of Defense, and was relentless in his pursuit to bring our troops home from Iraq. Walter sent over 12,000 letters to families who had lost loved ones overseas and gave over 150 floor speeches to clear the names of two Marine Corps pilots who were unfairly blamed for a deadly military accident. He was also passionate about renaming the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps to better reflect the service and sacrifice of our Marines. Walter was one of the most independent voices in Congress. He was never afraid to vote against his party or President if it was what he thought was best for his constituents, his district, and the nation.

   I had the opportunity to work closely with Walter on several legislative initiatives. He was the lead Republican cosponsor of the Youth Promise Act, a comprehensive juvenile justice bill that I first introduced in 2007. We were proud to have core provisions of the Youth Promise Act included in the Juvenile Justice Reform Act passed by Congress and signed by President Trump late last year. We also worked together on legislation to protect the mid-Atlantic coast from offshore drilling.

   Madam Speaker, the House of Representatives lost one of its most dedicated public servants last month. We were all lucky and privileged to know and work with Walter Jones. I join my colleagues in expressing our sympathy to Walter's wife Joe Anne, his family, many friends, and constituents for their loss.