(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this blog described the late Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) as the longest-serving speaker of the House. Although O’Neill had the longest consecutive tenure (10 years), the late Sam Rayburn (D-Tex.) served for more than 17 years in his three stretches as speaker. The post has been updated.)
The House on Wednesday will consider a proposal to name a Capitol Hill office building after the late Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill, the Massachusetts Democrat and congressman who had the longest consecutive tenure of any Speaker of the House.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) don’t agree on much these days, but the two lawmakers released statements Tuesday supporting the measure. Boehner called O’Neill “a giant in the history of the House,” while Pelosi described him as “a legend in the Congress and a bona fide American hero.”
The proposed “Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Federal Building,” which sits vacant on 2nd Street SW between C and D Streets SW, previously housed agencies of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A mix of executive and legislative branch employees will occupy the building when the building reopens in late 2013, following a full-scale renovation that is taking place.
O’Neill, who represented Boston-area congressional districts from 1953 until 1987 and served from 1977 until 1987 as the most powerful member of the House, died in 1994 at the age of 81.
A federal building in Boston already bears his name. The complex, comprised of an 11-story high rise and a five-story low rise, houses more than 15 New England regional offices of federal agencies.