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Public Statements

Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse

Location: Washington, DC

ROBERT T. MATSUI UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE -- (House of Representatives - April 13, 2005)


Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Madam Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding me time.

I just wanted to come and pay tribute to this legislation and speak in favor of this tribute to Bob Matsui, and it is very fitting legislation to designate this courthouse.

I wanted to speak personally as a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, as a younger member of the Committee on Ways and Means, who had the opportunity to serve with Bob Matsui for 4 years. I have not served with Bob for the decades that many have in the past, but the Bob Matsui that I got to know in the Committee on Ways and Means was a very special man and person.

Bob Matsui was intellectually on the top of his game and was one of the best intellectual debaters and sparring partners we had, especially when it came to the issue of Social Security.

My favorite kind of people in the world and in this body are those who are passionate about their beliefs, whether or not we agree on those beliefs, and Bob Matsui had a great lesson for those of us younger Members and it was that you can be as strong and tough in debate when the microphone's on, but when it is turned off, you can be good human beings to one another.

Bob Matsui was a very kind gentleman. I was half his age, about the age of his kids, and I always just felt that he gave me sort of a mentoring-ship kind of relationship and role. Because every time I had a conversation with Bob Matsui, he had this nice glint in his eye, and he was always a person offering a kind word of advice or a kind word of friendship. That is something that I do not think we have enough of in this institution. It is something that I thought was a great lesson on how to conduct yourself among your colleagues, especially across the aisle.

So I am really sad to see Bob leave us here, but I think this is an extremely fitting tribute. I wish that more of us conducted ourselves in the way that he did, and I just want to lend my word of support to this fine legislation for just an outstanding and fine man who taught us a lot on how we can be civil with one another.


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