TRIBUTE TO SENATORS -- (Senate - October 02, 2008)
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Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, I thank my partner and colleague from Idaho, soon to become Idaho's senior Senator, Mike Crapo. Mike and I have had a working relationship and a friendship for literally decades, and it is one I have greatly appreciated over the years because of his consistent and wise counsel.
While I came to the Congress before Mike, Senator Crapo was in the legislature during a period of time after I was there, and so he brought with him, first to the House and then to the Senate, the very similar experiences I had as a State legislator. I highly recommend that to anyone who wants to serve in the Senate, that they have that experience on the ground in their home State in a way that brings the reality of State governments and the Federal Government together. Certainly, over the years Senator Crapo has had that experience and has shared it with me. Together, I think we have made a very valuable team for our State.
There is another aspect of Senator Crapo I have so highly regarded over the years, and certainly the Presiding Officer from Colorado would appreciate it.
there is probably one single most valuable commodity in the high deserts of the West--such as many parts of the Colorado and the State of Idaho--and that is water. There is an old phrase that many have heard over the years, which is that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over. And there is a lot of truth to that. Our States historically have that in their background as we sorted out our water problems and began to recognize these phenomenally valuable commodities.
Mike Crapo, in his other life, spent a lot of time with water law. I always said that when it came to water issues here in Washington, while they best be fought out in the State Capitol in Boise, I wanted Mike Crapo by my side
as we worked through water issues that were for our State and certainly for the Nation. Not only does he know the law, coming out of a high desert environment of the kind that is in southern, southeastern, and southwestern Idaho, he knows the reality. He knows the importance. He knows that water is life and death. It is economy or no economy based on its value. That is the kind of partnership we have had over the years.
I will be replaced by Idaho's lieutenant governor, Jim Risch. I am confident he will be elected, for a lot of reasons. First, he is a highly competent person. Idaho knows him well and respects him. He has served Idaho well and he will serve us very well here. He will become the junior partner of the soon-to-be senior Senator, Mike Crapo. That teamship, that organizational effort, that combining of forces on by far a majority of issues will be held for Idaho's interests.
Mike and I rarely split our votes. When we do, we talk about them, we know our differences and we understand them. But we have realized over the years that the team approach for Idaho and the Idaho delegation is very important for a small State--small by population, at least, certainly not small by geography. So the friendship and the relationship I have had with Senator Crapo over the years has been personally very valuable to me, but I trust it has been very valuable to the State of Idaho. But that kind of working, teaming partnership is going to continue as I step down and Jim Risch is elected in November to continue to work with Mike Crapo.
So I say to my colleague, Senator Crapo: Thank you. Thank you for the kind remarks and the working relationship and friendship we have had over the years.
And to the presiding officer, while he has not served here as long as either of us, I would say to him that he fits in immediately, because he is a westerner who understands our issues, because they are his issues, and we have already begun to work those kinds of partnerships and relationships that are very valuable to the West, to the public lands, and to the interests of our States' people.
I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor.