Solemn public pays tribute to Bush before dawn in Rotunda

George H.W. Bush

Bush family spokesman Jim McGrath shared a photo of Sully earlier this week lying in front of Bush's casket, which was draped with an American flag.

"He was the first president I voted for", he said, calling the late president someone who felt "public service is more important than politics".

"Today, this hero has returned to the Capitol a final time", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.

As official Washington paid its respects inside the Capitol, Americans queued up outside the Capitol Visitor Center for their chance. The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Exchange and USA bond market will all close in honor of former President George H.W. Bush.

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Pelosi, who is vying to become House speaker when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in the new Congress, stood next to Kevin McCarthy, who will serve as the House Republican leader in the next Congress, as lawmakers filed in at the start of the event and the two could be seen speaking to one another. Former President George W. Bush and his wife greeted the Trumps outside before everyone went in for the private, 20-minute visit.

Bush's casket will be transported by a motorcade Wednesday morning to the Washington National Cathedral, where a state funeral will be held at 11 a.m.(1600 GMT) and be attended by Trump and the first lady.

Sully H.W. Bush, a yellow Labrador service dog who worked with the late former President George H.W. Bush, will be traveling with Bush's casket on his flight to Washington, DC, according to a source familiar with the plans.

"I have to imagine he was thinking, 'how much longer do I have to stand here?'" CNN panelist Jeffrey Engel said.

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Trump's relationship with the Bush family has been tense.

The Texas Republican, who served as the 41st USA president from 1989 to 1993, died Friday at age 94.

Bush's body was flown to Washington, D.C., on Monday.

Trump has ordered the federal government to close on Wednesday and both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will be closed in observance.

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Bush served two terms as vice president under Republican President Ronald Reagan before his own stint in the Oval Office from 1989 to 1993, a time that saw the end of the Cold War as well as the United States routing of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's army in the 1991 Gulf War.

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