document.write(''); Former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. Marion Berry, who served 7 terms, dies at the age of 80 - Simo Baha

Former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. Marion Berry, who served 7 terms, dies at the age of 80

Former US deputy. Arkansas Democrat Robert Marion Berry, who served seven terms in Congress and was known for his blunt rhetoric and advocacy for farmers and senior citizens, has died. He was 80 years old.

Berry, who was known as “Marion,” died Friday, her family confirmed in a statement Saturday. No cause of death is given.

“With his signature quick wit and words, he lived his life serving others,” says Berry’s son Mitch. “He truly believed that the role of government was to help people, and that was a charge he took very seriously. . He was generous with his time and talents, as his dozens of mentees can attest.”

Berry was first elected to Congress in 1996, but decided not to seek re-election in 2010 due to health reasons. In July 2011, he underwent an operation to remove a brain tumor.

Berry, a licensed pharmacist and farmer, was elected to represent East Arkansas’ 1st District after serving in President Bill Clinton’s administration as special assistant for agricultural trade and food assistance. He quickly focused on the issues most likely to affect his particularly poor district, including agriculture.

On Saturday, Clinton praised Berry as a man who “never forgot where he came from.”

“Marion Berry was a great leader, a completely genuine person and a great friend,” Clinton said in a statement. “For more than 40 years, Hillary and I appreciated her support, appreciated her no-nonsense advice, and loved her amazing sense of humor.”

Berry was known as much for his folksy manner and verbal destruction of his political enemies on both sides of the aisle as he was for his defense of the countryside. He once called a Republican congressman from Texas in the House of Representatives “Hello, miserable-looking Nimrod.”

Frustrated with the George W. Bush administration’s response to the disaster in Arkansas, he called the Federal Emergency Management Agency “a bunch of incompetent people who just can’t run their own.”

His congressional district was a major producer of soybeans, rice and cotton, and Berry pushed aggressively to end the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba, which could have boosted exports of those products. Berry has also advocated reducing prescription drug costs for seniors and criticized the former Bush administration’s prescription drug program as a “disastrous mess” and a “true legislative disaster.”

Berry, a member of a coalition of moderate and conservative lawmakers known as the Blue Dog Democrats, was unapologetic about his rants, saying it reflected his passion for representing his district. He said he would criticize anyone “when I think they are making a serious political mistake.”

“I don’t see anything wrong with what I’m doing,” he said.

Certainly, Berry has not spared criticism of President Barack Obama. Shortly before announcing his retirement, Berry said he was disappointed by Obama’s “lack of leadership” on key issues such as health care and climate change.

Berry voted against the Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law also known as Obamacare. Berry complained that the measure did not provide enough protections against federal money going to abortions and tried to offer an alternative before the measure passed.

“Delta’s son Marion was a farmer and statesman whose blend of domestic wisdom and hard-won political knowledge has always made him a formidable representative of our state,” he said. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Berry was born in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and grew up in Bayou Metto, near DeWitt. In 1965, he graduated from the University of Arkansas College of Pharmacy.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of more than 60 years, Carolyn, a daughter, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A memorial service will be held on June 24 at the United Methodist Church in Gillette, Arkansas.

Source link