WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn issued the following statement on the passing of U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings:

“Today Florida lost a committed public servant and the nation lost a passionate patriot. We in the Congressional Black Caucus have lost a giant and I have lost a dear friend of more than 60 years.

“Alcee Hastings was a trailblazer throughout his career serving as Florida’s first Black federal judge and one of the first African Americans elected to Congress from Florida since the post-Civil War period.

“For nearly three decades, he represented his constituents with dignity, grace and an unwavering commitment to the fight for justice.

“I knew on the day we met as college students that he would make an indelible impact and I was right. It has been a privilege to know him as a trusted colleague, confidante and an invaluable member of our Whip organization.

“My sincerest thoughts and prayers are with his family, constituents and staff.”