TRADE LAWS MODIFICATION -- (House of Representatives - December 08, 2006)
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Ms. PELOSI. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to salute Dennis Hastert, Speaker Dennis Hastert, the longest serving Republican Speaker in history.
And long may that record stand.
This record is a testament to Dennis Hastert's leadership within the Republican Conference, in this Congress and in this country.
But Dennis's public service began long ago. He spent 16 years as a teacher and a coach at Yorkville High School in Illinois, and that is the best kind of public service, shaping the minds of our young people. Then he went into politics, and after 6 years in the Illinois State House, he came to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986. In 1999, Dennis Hastert's colleagues elected him Speaker of the House, the third highest official in the United States of America.
While we have often, from time to time, disagreed on issues, we agree on the importance of public service, the kind of public service that has been the hallmark of Speaker Hastert's career, whether in the classroom or in the House.
Mr. Speaker, I know I speak for many people in this room and across the country when I thank you for one thing in particular: Rosa Parks made history a long time ago and changed America. She also made history when she was the first African American woman to lie in state in the Capitol of the United States. That honor would not have been possible without your leadership, and we are very, very grateful.
I, too, want to join the Speaker in acknowledging the Hastert family, Jean and Ethan and Joshua, and the entire family for sharing Dennis with us. We know the sacrifices are great, and I want to acknowledge them as well.
My colleagues in Congress, we hold the title of ``Honorable'' because we serve in Congress. We hold the title of ``Honorable'' by virtue of our office. Dennis Hastert holds it by virtue of his character. I salute him for service to our Nation and look forward to many more opportunities. Happily, he is staying with us for us all to work together.
In your remarks, Mr. Speaker, you referenced that very sad evening when we joined together on the steps of the Capitol and sang ``God Bless America.'' Among God's many blessings to this country, to America, is the service and leadership of Speaker Dennis Hastert.
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