Longtime Senate Finance tax counsel Jim Lyons died Thursday, the committee confirmed Friday morning.
"Smart as a whip, Jim was a tough but fair negotiator during some of Congress's most consequential economic debates and a dogged defender of pure, sound tax policy. His quick wit brought ease during times of gridlock," Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, said in a statement. "His keen political sense often put naysayers back on their heels during the toughest of tax debates. Even more, Jim had the heart of a lion."