House holds moment of silence for late Rep. Donald McEachin

The Hill
The Hill
Greg Nash

Lawmakers held a moment of silence in the lower chamber on Tuesday to honor the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), who died on Monday night after a long battle with cancer.

House members stood on the floor between votes for roughly 40 seconds to honor McEachin, who had served in the lower chamber for nearly six years. Virginia Sens. Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) were present for the moment of silence.

McEachin, who has represented Virginia’s 4th Congressional District since 2017, died from “secondary effects of his colorectal cancer from 2013,” according to his office. He was 61.

“Valiantly, for years now, we have watched him fight and triumph over the secondary effects of his colorectal cancer from 2013,” the congressman’s chief of staff, Tara Rountree, said Monday in a statement. “Tonight, he lost that battle, and the people of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District lost a hero who always, always fought for them and put them first.”

The congressman had two surgeries in the summer of 2019 following “ongoing complications” connected to treatment he received for his cancer, according to ABC 8News. The operations kept him outside Washington for roughly three months to recover, per the Virginia Mercury.

McEachin was first elected to the House in 2016. Prior to that, he served in the Old Dominion’s state Senate and House of Delegates.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ordered that all flags at the Capitol be flown at half-staff in honor of McEachin. The White House did the same.

Before the moment of silence, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), surrounded by members of the Virginia delegation, called the late congressman “a thoughtful and principled legislator respected by members on both sides of the aisle.”

“This body has lost one of its most dedicated public servants and fiercest advocates for justice and equality, and he will be deeply missed,” he added.

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) said McEachin was “an incredible leader” and “loved serving others.”

He said he first met McEachin “in passing” when the two were in high school because they were students at rival schools. They went on to serve together in the Virginia state House of Delegates.

“What an individual. A person of integrity, a person of passion, dedicated to the people that he served,” Wittman said. “He loved being a legislator. He loved solving problems for people. He loved interacting with people. He just loved the whole idea of giving of of himself and putting others first.”

“That truly was what Donald was about,” he added.

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