Monday, October 11, 2021

Former House speaker’s office: Sherwood Boehlert died Friday at 84

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Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., died Friday in Voorheesville, N.Y., after battling pancreatic cancer, his office announced Friday. He was 84.

Boehlert, who represented New York’s 19th Congressional District since his election in 1982, had long distinguished himself on the House Financial Services Committee, often playing a behind-the-scenes role in steering through legislation. He also worked as a senior policy adviser to House Speaker Jim Wright.

But in the beginning of his career, he served on the Banking Committee, which he co-chaired from 1979 to 1983. And some colleagues remembered him as a conservative who voted with Republicans on many issues.

“He was always a Republican,” said Norman Ornstein, the resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

Boehlert served as part of an unsuccessful GOP effort to impeach President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, an episode that became a punchline for party comedians.

“We couldn’t send our money to indicted politicians,” he said of his impeachment defeat, according to John Hall’s biography of Boehlert in the Congressional Quarterly.

In his early years in the House, as chairman of the House Administration Committee, Boehlert clashed with House Speaker Wright, but eventually worked his way to Wright’s side.

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