Tom Foley, former House speaker, dies at 84

October 18, 2013 (WASHINGTON)

That's according to House Democratic aides who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Foley was a Washington state lawmaker who became the first speaker since the Civil War who failed to win re-election in his home district.

The courtly politician lost his seat in the "Republican Revolution" of 1994. The Democrat had never served a single day in the minority. He was defeated by Republican Spokane lawyer George Nethercutt.

Foley served as U.S. ambassador to Japan for four years during the Clinton administration. But he spent the most time in the House, serving 30 years including more than five as speaker.

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be quoted by name.

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