Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) released the following statement on the death of Senator Edward Kennedy:
"I was deeply saddened this morning when I learned of the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. Americans have lost a giant in public service, someone who was never too big to reach out and lift someone else up.
"For me personally, this occurred when as a freshman in the House of Representatives, Senator Kennedy graciously gave me words of encouragement when I was asked to testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing of Justice Samuel Alito. Later that year, he took the time to counsel me on the best way to move my pool safety legislation through the Senate. I was grateful and personally moved that this pillar of the Senate would take the time to help a brand new member of the House of Representatives get her bill passed and save the lives of young children.
"Senator Kennedy dedicated his life to improving the lives of others, and dedicated his entire career and his final months of life to crafting health care legislation that he described as 'the cause of his life,' so that 'every American -- north, south, east, west, young, old -- will have decent quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.' When the time comes that each of us approaches the end of our time here on Earth and we look back over what we've done for others and how we've made the world a better place, we can only hope to come close to the record of selflessness and dedication that Senator Kennedy showed during his own life.
"Our country has lost one of its brightest stars. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family--to his wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family."