TRIBUTE TO SENATORS -- (Senate - October 02, 2008)
Mr. ALLARD. Mr. President, I wish to make a comment about the Senator from Rhode Island before he leaves the floor. I have had the distinct privilege of serving with my colleague on a number of committees during my tenure in the Senate. I want the people of Rhode Island to know what a class act he is in representing their State in the Senate. It has been a thrill to be able to work with him on issues. We were on a couple subcommittees together and actually shared the chairmanship and ranking position depending on who was in control of the Congress at that time, whether it was Republicans or Democrats: the Personnel Subcommittee and the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, both very important subcommittees in the Armed Services Committee. Then we found ourselves on the Banking Committee. We found ourselves again working as the top Republican and top Democrat on housing and mass transit issues. We worked together on transit security issues. And now we are together on the Securities, Insurance and Investment subcommittee.
Senator Jack Reed from Rhode Island comes from a different part of the country. He has different issues that are important to him. I come from the West. I have different issues that are important to me. But we were able to find a lot of commonality and work together in a professional way. I attribute a lot of that to the high moral standards, dedication, and ability to work with others of my good friend from Rhode Island, Jack Reed.
I want him to know what a pleasure it has been for me to be able to serve on the various committees with him through my tenure in the Senate.
I am getting ready to retire with the close of this session. So I wished to make a few comments and to recognize a few people whom I have appreciated working with, and particularly I wish to recognize Senator Jack Reed from Rhode Island because he is a topnotch Senator and somebody I have enjoyed working with.
Mr. REED. Mr. President, if the Senator will yield, I say to him, thank you very much. Let me express my appreciation for your extraordinary assistance and help and collegiality. I wish you well. You represent the very highest traditions of integrity, dedication and decency and I wish you well. Thank you.
Mr. ALLARD. I thank the Senator very much. The Senator from Rhode Island is one individual I am going to miss being able to work with.
Mr. President, I wish to make some remarks about leaving the Senate, but I do see the top Republican is here.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, will my friend yield for a question?
Mr. ALLARD. Yes.
Mr. McCONNELL. I was wondering: I came to speak on behalf of my good friend, our senior Senator from Colorado. I wonder if he would object to my going ahead and making my comments about him prior to his speech? Or would that create a scheduling problem for the Senator from Colorado?
Mr. ALLARD. Mr. President, that does not create a problem for me and, I say to the Senator, I appreciate your willingness to come down and say a few words. When you are finished, I also would like to say how much I have appreciated your leadership on the Republican side. I think you have been a superb leader. I think we have been fortunate to have your leadership in the Senate during some very tough times. A lot of leaders have come and gone. I have always felt comfortable in supporting you all along. Sometimes I can be frustrating because of my commitments to my constituents and maybe my commitment to my issues, but you have been very tolerant of me, and I appreciate that very much.
I yield the floor to the top Republican.
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MITCH MC CONNELL
Mr. ALLARD. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Kentucky for his more than generous remarks. Joan and I have been thrilled to have been able to work with you and your lovely wife on many issues. The people of Colorado need to know I got things done in this body because of your help and your assistance. Many times we shared common issues that we wanted to see move forward. But lots of times you were more than generous in giving me an opportunity to put forth my bills and my arguments on various bills, and I will forever be thankful for that.
I think the country needs to know that in your wife and you we have two great leaders in this country. I brag about both of you when I get back to Colorado and talk about those people who I think have made a huge influence on this country and have set a great example for Americans.
So I thank you. I thank you for your continued leadership. I look forward to your continuing to serve in this body. America needs you, and the people of Kentucky ought to be thankful they have such a fine Senator.
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I thank my good friend from Colorado.
Mr. ALLARD. I thank the Republican leader.