Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Orrin Hatch Tribute to Jim Lyon (12/6/16)

On December 5, 2016, from the Senate floor, Senator Orrin Hatch gave a tribute to Jim Lyons for his service to the Senate Finance Committee. The  CSPAN video of the tribute to Jim Lyons is here with the tribute starting around 23:45.  The following was a release with the prepared remaks:

Hatch Tribute to Jim Lyons:
'A Fixture in the Tax Policy World'

Utah Senator Says Lyons was "an essential and indispensable part of our efforts on the Senate Finance Committee for close to a decade."

WASHINGTON - In a speech today on the Senate floor, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) paid tribute to former Finance Committee staffer Jim Lyons, who passed away on September 29th of this year.

"Jim Lyons led a life that touched many others for the better," Hatch said. "His positive influence has been felt by countless people. While tears have been shed and great sadness has been felt, the remembrances we've had of Jim's life and our interactions with him have given all us reason to smile and even laugh."

Hatch went on to note Lyon's invaluable contribution to the Finance Committee.

"Jim was smart as a whip.  He had both a remarkable understanding of tax policy and an uncanny ability to see all the traps and pitfalls that stood ahead for any particular proposal or piece of legislation," Hatch said. "In his eight years on the Finance Committee, he made a mark on every major tax bill that went through the Senate, including many tax extenders bills, some of which he seemed to be able to cobble together singlehandedly."

The complete speech as prepared for delivery is below:
Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to Jim Lyons, a longtime staffer on Capitol Hill and a fixture in the tax policy world here in DC, who passed away on September 29th of this year.

James Tancill Lyons was born on March 7, 1973 to Stephen and Ann Lyons, both natives of the DC-Virginia area with long-standing ties to the local community.

Growing up in Springfield, Virginia, Jim was an accomplished athlete, excelling in both baseball and basketball.  Oddly for a sports fan in the DC area, his favorite football team was the Dallas Cowboys, a decision he made consciously because his older brother, Stephen, was a big Redskins fan.

Jim was also a great student, eventually graduating summa cum laude from James Madison University.  He went to law school at the University of Texas, where he made the Editing Committee of the Texas Journal of Business Law and won a scholarship for being the best tax law student in his class after pulling the top grade in his Business Associations, Income Tax, International Tax, Corporate Tax, and Estate and Gift Tax classes.

After law school, he earned a clerkship at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then got a job working for Cleary, Gottlieb, one of the finest law firms in the country.

Of course, you'd never guess any of this if you knew Jim.

While he was always an incredibly valuable - and often brilliant - attorney and congressional staffer, he talked about his college and law school days as though he spent most of his time having fun and just barely skating by.

That, of course, was vintage Jim Lyons - incredibly outgoing, but unbelievably humble.  Jim could have a long conversation with anyone about pretty much anything, but he was never one to spend all that much time touting his own accomplishments.

And, make no mistake, Jim Lyons was very accomplished.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Murray Horwitz Death (12/5/16)

Murray Horwitz died on December 3, 2016.  The obituary is here.  The obituary is short, so I just cut and paste it:
Murray Stephen Horwitz (Age 73)   
Of Fairfax, VA, passed unexpectedly on Saturday, December 3, 2016. Beloved husband of 50 years to Janet Sandberg Horwitz; loving father of Andrew H. Horwitz (Christy) and William A. Horwitz (Chrissy); adoring grandfather of Eddie, Sintra, Leah, Ashley, and Julia; Cherished uncle of Rona Karacaova (Andrew) and their children, Leyla and Aydin. Murray was an amazingly considerate and generous man, a true mensch, who will live on forever in our hearts. A funeral will be held at Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304 on Monday, December 5, 2016 at 1PM. Interment King David Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, Janet and Murray Horwitz Fund, 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031.
Murray was a long-time attorney in the Appellate Section of the Tax Division.

Note that his funeral is at 1 pm today.

If I receive more information, I will post it, but readers are encouraged to post appropriate comments.