Funeral Set For Former House Speaker Carl Albert

July 7, 2008 - 8:25 PM

(CNSNews.com) - The House of Representatives will not conduct any legislative business on Wednesday in order to allow Members to attend the funeral of former Democrat House Speaker Carl Albert who died over the weekend at the age of 91.

A spokesperson for House Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) told CNSNews.com that no votes will be cast on Wednesday but the House will return to work on Thursday.

Albert died over the weekend in Oklahoma after a long illness. The funeral service will be held Wednesday afternoon at the Pittsburg County Exposition Center in McAlester, Oklahoma, Albert's hometown. A spokesperson for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told CNSNews.com no Washington memorial service for Albert has been scheduled.

Albert was elected 46th Speaker of the House in 1971 and served until 1976. He had previously been Majority Leader for the Democrats. Albert was first elected in 1946 in the same freshman class that included future presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

In 1955, Albert was chosen House Democratic Whip during the Speakership's of Sam Rayburn and John McCormack. Albert succeeded McCormack as House Democratic Majority Leader in 1962 and as Speaker in 1971.

During Albert's term he navigated Congress through Vietnam and Watergate and in October 1973 found himself second only to the president in the line of succession following the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew.

Albert won his last election in 1974 and retired at the end of the congressional session in 1977.