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Honoring The Service Of John V. Sullivan, House Parliamentarian, Upon His Retirement

Rep. David E. Price

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Mr. Speaker thanks to Mr. Dreier, Mr. LaTourette and Mr. Dingell for organizing this special order in recognition of John Sullivan, the House's Parliamentarian since 2004, and Deputy or Assistant Parliamentarian since 1987.

For these 25 years, John has been a familiar face on the floor of the House of Representatives, helping presiding officers maintain order and the flow of business. He has done his work with reassuring steadiness and competence, impartiality and fairness, even when tempers were flaring and ingenious, sometimes disingenuous, arguments were flying all around him.

John and the parliamentary staff he oversees have also been invaluable sources of advice and counsel for this institution's members, officers, and committees. Their institutional memory--both in their personal capacity and in the reference and retrieval system they have developed--is beyond compare. John perfected his own skills under illustrious predecessors--Charles Johnson and Bill Brown--and has administered and advanced the office superbly. This institution is currently facing serious strains and challenges. But in the area of parliamentary experience and control, we are operating from a position of great strength, thanks to the work of John and his colleagues.

John Sullivan's work is enhanced by his historical and comparative parliamentary knowledge, and I want especially to commend him for his willingness to share that knowledge with our colleagues in parliaments with which we cooperate around the world. I particularly remember his participation with the House Democracy Partnership in a mission to two partner legislatures, Liberia and Kenya, in 2010. He engaged enthusiastically and helpfully with these parliaments as they developed their own parliamentary rules and standards under trying conditions. John has done this repeatedly, meeting countless times with visiting parliamentary and staff delegations and generously extending his counsel and encouragement.

In short, John Sullivan has been an exemplary public servant and an invaluable resource for this institution and our sister institutions around the world. I am happy to join with colleagues in thanking him for his service and wishing him well in retirement.