Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act of 2014—Continuedby Senator Joe Manchin, III
Posted on 2014-12-11
MANCHIN. All of us came here at one time or another, and the
first impression you have is how they kind of ingratiate you and bring
you into the
fold. I am often asked--I am sure most of our colleagues are asked the
same question--whom do you consider your best and closest friend and
whom do you associate with and whom do you feel comfortable with? In
any category, without a doubt, it is always Mary Landrieu. We come from
a similar background--rural States. We come from the same culture--
hard-working people who basically don't ask for an awful lot and give a
lot more back. Both of us come from large Catholic families, and we
have an awful lot in common. We and our spouses have bonded, and we
have done things together. That was the way I heard the place used to
work, that you build relationships and there is camaraderie and you
share dinners at people's homes. It is such a different atmosphere when
that happens because you really do forge a bond that is so much missing
in this body.
Let me say one other thing. The great losers in this whole election process we just had were the great people of Louisiana. They lost a champion. They lost a fighter. That is what Senator Merkley said. There is nobody who said: I think you ought to be careful about that because I think Mary is interested. We knew there could be problems.
With that being said, the best thing to do is to go talk to Mary on this subject or issue, and we would work through it. How do we compromise and bring everybody together? And Mary would say: We will work through it.
Coming from an energy State and Mary having an energy State and the two of us being Democrats, on our side sometimes our individual caucus is not as large as we would like for it to be--let's put it that way-- but we talk an awful lot about how we are moving an energy policy. As Mary said, we need it all in this country. We should be totally energy independent. We shouldn't be looking to other countries and buying their products and giving them the resources to be used against us, and we don't have to do that. We can do it in a sensible and balanced way with the economy and the environment. Mary has always had the economy and environment first and foremost. That type of balance is hard to find, and it is definitely hard to find in Washington.
So I just want her to know that there is nobody who is going to miss Mary Landrieu more than I, being in this body, going shoulder to shoulder with her and trying to bring an even keel to this whole process.
Mary, I feel for the people of Louisiana. I truly do. I am hoping somebody can come along and have the same spirit and fight that you have, but no one is going to be able to replace you and what you have been able to do and what you have been able to make us aware of.
My little State was involved in helping Katrina, helping the State of Louisiana. The State of West Virginia came immediately. When that happened, we were so proud to be part of that, and we now have a lot of people from Louisiana living in West Virginia today because of that effort.
There has been a wonderful relationship and a wonderful friendship, but more importantly, there has been a wonderful person who has graced the Halls in this tremendous body for 18 years who will not be replaced in this Senate and this body. Again, the people of Louisiana should be extremely proud to have someone who is a fighter, who gave every drop she had of public service for her State and never forgot where she come from. So with that, that is a tremendous tribute in itself.
I say to my dear friend, thank you for your service on behalf of the great State of Louisiana. Thank you for all the important work you have done for our country. God bless you, and I love you.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.