He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 through 2006, serving on the House Judiciary Committee throughout his entire time in Congress. He chaired the Judiciary Committee from 1995 to 2001 and also served as Chairman of the House International Relations Committee from 2001 until his retirement last year. On November 5, President Bush awarded Hyde the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the very highest honor the President can bestow on an American citizen.
He was especially known for the Hyde Amendment of 1976 which banned federal funding of abortions. Even when the Supreme Court was overrulling states' rights to restrict abortion providers, it left intact the restrictions on federal funding.
From Minorty Leader Boehner:
“I have long included Henry Hyde among my heroes, and for the 16 years I served with him in the House, I was honored to call him a mentor, a colleague, and a friend. Henry was a student of American history, a constitutional scholar, a thoughtful legislator, and a passionate orator. But above all, he will be remembered as a gentleman who stood as a beacon for the bedrock principles of liberty, justice, and, above all, respect for life. His work in crafting the Mexico City policy, for example, remains among his most significant accomplishments in Congress, and it will forever be remembered as a defining moment for the pro-life cause."