Mr. NELSON of Florida. Mr. President, with all of the very well deserved statements that have been made about our colleague Senator Barbara Mikulski, I wanted to raise my voice in support of the milestone she recently achieved as the longest-serving woman in congressional history.
A personal word I want to add about Senator Mikulski is that she has been so supportive and such a leader of our Nation's space program. As the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, she has to be intimately familiar with the details and the appropriate way to allocate funds that are vital for our civilian program to go forward in the visionary and frontier breaking manner that it always has and I am grateful for her leadership. I wanted to add this to the accolades that she so well deserves and has already heard from so many of our colleagues.
Senator Mikulski began her tenure in Congress in 1977 as a member of the House of Representatives. She represented Maryland's Third District for ten years before moving to the Senate in 1986.
During her time in the Senate, Senator Mikulski has been a champion for many of the issues that are particularly important to my fellow Floridians and me. She is a strong supporter of veterans' and seniors' issues.
Senator Mikulski has also worked to protect our oceans by supporting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, especially during one of the worst environmental disasters we've seen. In 2010 she conducted a subcommittee hearing to explore the use of dispersants in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf, helping us to better understand the long-term consequences of that environmental tragedy.
Senator Mikulski also serves as Chairman for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families. In December, she chaired a hearing on child abuse, casting light on this issue and urging her colleagues to take greater steps to combat it.
I am honored to have served with Senator Mikulski for the past decade, and I look forward to continuing to work with her on matters of great importance to Maryland, Florida, and the rest of the country.
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