WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement upon the news of former Representative Sam Johnson’s (R-Texas) death:

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the news of Sam Johnson’s passing. Sam was larger than life — a true American patriot and a great man. He served bravely in two different wars, including a harrowing seven years as a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton. He was called to serve throughout his entire life and did so with dignity, kindness, and humor. I will always have fond memories of racing our scooters around the Capitol Rotunda after I returned to Congress from the hospital. Everyone who met and worked with Sam was better for it — he had such a deep, positive impact on all those who knew him, and he had a roaring laugh that would light up a room. My prayers are with his family.”