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Mr. ISAKSON. Madam President, I consider it an honor and a privilege to rise for a moment to pay tribute to Senator Mikulski from the State of Maryland, And in so doing, I think it is only appropriate that I quote from a speech made on November 22 in 1922 by the first woman ever to serve in the Senate.
Rebecca Latimer Felton was the first woman Senator. She was appointed for 1 day. Governor Brown had run against Walter George for the Senate. Walter George won. And because of Ms. Felton's unending help to him in his race, he asked the Governor if he would appoint her for a day to his seat before he took it and was sworn in.
She came to Washington, DC, to serve for 1 day and she made one speech. In that speech she had a paragraph that to me exemplifies Barbara Mikulski. She said, ``Let me say, Mr. President, that when the women of the country come and sit with you, though there may be but very few in the next few years, I pledge you that you will get ability, you will get integrity of purpose, you will get exalted patriotism, and you will get unstinted usefulness.''
That was Rebecca Felton in 1922. Today, in March of 2012, we honor a Senator who has lived up to every one of those promises Ms. Felton made almost 100 years ago. I have had the privilege to serve on the HELP Committee with the Senator, worked very closely on the Alzheimer's legislation which she has been such a leader on, worked with her on many other projects, including one I am happy to remind her about, and that was the confirmation of Wendy Sherman a few months ago when together on the floor of the Senate, we worked together to see that she was appointed and named and confirmed Under Secretary of State for the United States of America, serving under Hillary Clinton.
On that night when we worked on getting that UC done, and it was not easy, I saw the tenacity, I saw the grace, I saw the patriotism, and I saw the integrity of Barbara Mikulski. It is an honor for me to rise today and commend her on a great individual achievement, not just for herself but for all of the women who have gone before her and all the women who will come later on, and to my five granddaughters and my daughter.
She has led the life in the Senate exemplary of the contributions that all women can make to our society. I commend her on her service, her compassion, her integrity, and all that she has done for the State of Maryland, the United States of America, and peace on this Earth.
Barbara, congratulations to you on a great achievement. It is an honor for me to be here.
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