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Public Statements

Honoring the Life of Donald Payne

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MEEKS. Madam Speaker, I am here this evening to thank God for the life of Donald Payne--to thank God for a man who was focused, for a man who was a trailblazer, for a man who when he came to Congress knew what he wanted to do. People sometimes do not know what their purposes are in life. Sometimes folks get here, and they wander all of their lives to find that purpose. Donald Payne knew what his purpose was. He fought and was determined to get to this House of Representatives so that he could make a difference in so many lives.

Once he came here, he never changed his focus, and he never changed his purpose. He knew that he wanted to deal on the international scale. He knew he wanted to take care of the people of Newark, and he knew he was focused on education. So when he had the opportunity to go on the powerful Appropriations Committee, he was so focused on what his mission was that he said ``no'' to Appropriations and stayed on Foreign Affairs and stayed on Education because that is what he wanted to do.

He paved the way for someone like me so that, when I came to Congress, I looked to him. It wasn't popular to be on Foreign Affairs when Donald came.

Donald did what he knew his purpose was.

So I want to just say, thank you, Donald Payne. Thank you for your work and for your mission and for paving the way for someone like me so that I now don't have to have a machete to cut away the grass. You've done it for us.

Thank you, staff. Thank you, family.

Thank You, God, for sending us Donald Payne. I can see You now just saying to him, Well done. Job well done, my good and faithful son.


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