Mourning the Passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg

Floor Speech

By:  Frank Pallone, Jr.
Date: June 11, 2013
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I rise to honor the life and accomplishments of Senator Frank Lautenberg. I have known Senator Lautenberg for decades and I have been honored to call him a colleague and friend. My heart and thoughts go out to his wife Bonnie, his children and grandchildren.

Senator Lautenberg always believed that the Congress should be there for people in need and that there were a lot of problems out there, but Congress needed to work together on a bipartisan basis to solve those problems. In this era of partisanship, it was always refreshing to have Senator Lautenberg there to bridge gaps and get things done.

Over the years I had the pleasure of working with him on a number of critical issues that helped people in New Jersey and across the country. For example, when I first came to Congress in 1988, Senator Lautenberg and I worked together to close ocean dumping sites off the Jersey coast so the water millions of people swim in would be cleaner.

We also worked together on Superfund and Brownfields issues. The Senator always fought to ensure that polluters, and not taxpayers, would foot the bill when it came to cleaning up toxic waste sites in New Jersey. Through his advocacy, numerous toxic sites in New Jersey have been cleaned up and redeveloped, creating jobs and cleaning the environment.

I always admired Senator Lautenberg's commitment to helping 'the little guy' and the way he fought to make sure all Americans were on an equal ground to work toward the kind of success he achieved in his life. I particularly respected his tireless efforts to improve the safety and security of all Americans by working to end gun violence. I was proud to stand with him in that effort and supported his initiative to keep our communities safe.

I enjoyed working with him to provide health care for 9/11 first responders. We both worked hard to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, which pays for the monitoring and treatment of health conditions that resulted from the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks for first responders and community residents.

And most recently, he worked tirelessly to advocate for rebuilding our state after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. He fought hard to make sure New Jersey got the disaster relief funding it deserved so that we could rebuild and recover. He was able to accomplish all of these things because of the hard work that he put into everything he did.

Like all New Jerseyans, I am grateful for Senator Lautenberg's service to our state and our nation. I will miss him dearly and will do my best to continue working on the issues that were so important to both of us.

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