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Patrick M.
Republican NC 10

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  • Paying Tribute to the Honorable Howard Coble

    by Representative Patrick T. McHenry

    Posted on 2014-11-12

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    McHENRY. I thank the secretary of the Republican Conference, my colleague and classmate from North Carolina, Virginia Foxx.



    Mr. Speaker, today, I stand in tribute with the fine threads of a man named Howard Coble. Congressman, State representative, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Revenue, captain of the United States Coast Guard, school bus driver--that is where it all began, in high school. That was his first public service.

    John Howard Coble has held a variety of titles during his time and during his years, but to me, he has always been known as the dean, the dean of the North Carolina delegation, which he has been, for the last 15 years, the longest-serving Republican Member of this body in the history of the State of North Carolina, and my friend.

    I am here to pay tribute and to thank him for his time in public service. He is what a Member of Congress should be, and that is concerned for his constituents and being their voice here in Washington and having an impact.

    You certainly, my dean, have had a huge impact on my life, those that are paying tribute to say thank you tonight, but also your constituents and the American people, and we thank you.

    Now, there are a number of stories about the dean, a number of them I would like to tell over the years, and most of them are, in fact, true.

    This one story I want to tell tonight--actually, two, if I may. It goes back to the first time Howard ran for Congress in 1984. The campaign committee for the Republicans brought up folks in tough, challenging races to have some video and film shot with President Ronald Reagan. He helped with his popularity to help get some folks across the finish line in 1984.

    Howard was so nervous that he forget to shake the Gipper's hand, so one of the campaign committee staff, they were coming to Coble's district, and Howard said, ``Where were you?'' And he said, ``Well, I was just in Alabama with President Reagan.'' ``Oh, really?'' He says, ``Yeah. I told him I was going to Greensboro, and President Reagan looked at me and said, 'Well, tell that son of a gun that didn't shake my hand I said hello.''' So Howard got a little flustered and was a little embarrassed and everything else until everybody started laughing, but Howard has had a great sense of humor, and that shows the real testament to Howard's integrity.

    The other thing about Howard is fiscal conservatism. It goes back to what he said in his first campaign, he is going to bring a sharp pencil to the Washington budget, and he, in fact, has.

    In fact, it wasn't very well-appreciated during his early service in Congress. There was a Member of Congress who was furious, who said, ``That sharp pencil might actually get your ticket written out of Congress.'' And Howard told him that he thought, ``Well, I believe there is life after Congress,'' and let the guy go on his way.

    Well, that guy was not reelected, and Howard has been reelected 14 times during his time here, so true proof that fiscal conservatism can still win.

    There are a number of other stories that we will talk about over perhaps a drink afterwards, but the one thing is everybody from his district knows and those of us from North Carolina know that he knows every high school mascot in the State of North Carolina.

    Every child that I see that comes through Congress is simply amazed that their dean knows where they are from and knows their high school and their high school mascot.

    {time} 2000 It is because he cares. So we are grateful tonight, and we want to say ``thank you'' to our friend, our dean, our leader--John Howard Coble.

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