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Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KILDEE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude to all of the pages for what they have done to serve this House of Representatives.

These groups of young people who come from all across the Nation represent what is good about our country. To become a page, Mr. Chairman, these young people have proven themselves to be academically qualified. They have ventured away from the security of their homes and families to spend time in an unfamiliar city. Through this experience, they have witnessed a new culture, made new friends and learned the details of how our government operates.

As we all know the job of congressional page is not an easy one. Along with being away from home, the pages must possess the maturity to balance competing demands for their time and their energy. In addition, they must have the dedication to work long hours and the ability to interact with people at a personal level. At the same time they face a challenging academic schedule of classes in the House page school.

The pages have witnessed the House debate issues of war and peace, hunger and poverty, justice and civil rights. You have lived through history. You have seen Congress at moments of greatness, and you have seen Congress with its frailties. You have witnessed the workings of an institution that has endured well over 200 years.

No one has seen Congress and Members of Congress as close up as have you, and I am sure that you will consider your time spent in Washington, D.C., to be one of the most valuable and exciting experiences of your lives. With this experience, you will all move ahead to lead successful and productive lives.

I would like to thank the members of the House Page Board, who provide such a service to this body: Congressman Rob Bishop, not only a member of the board but a dear friend; Diana DeGette, also a very good friend; and my good friend on the other side of the aisle, Virginia Foxx.

I don't think we have ever had a disagreement in the page board. We reach unanimity there.

I also thank the Clerk of the House, Karen Haas; the Sergeant at Arms, Bill Livingood; and Ms. Lynn Silversmith Klein. I want to thank them for their service on the House Page Board. And I thank all our departing pages.


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