A picture of Senator Amy Klobuchar
Amy K.
Democrat MN

About Sen. Amy
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  • Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act of 2014—Continued

    by Senator Amy Klobuchar

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    Read More about Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act of 2014--Continued

    KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, you can see that Mary Landrieu has a lot of friends on both sides of the aisle, and that is because Mary has stood up and been a mentor to so many of us. She taught us how to fight for our own States because that is what she has done every day for Louisiana.

    I was thinking about our States earlier. Mary mentioned in her talk about how Minnesota is at the top of the Mississippi and Louisiana is at the bottom and how hard we fought for river issues and barges and locks and dams. We will actually have success at the end of the year with the ABLE Act, which is really important for other reasons, but we are going to finally start the funding for lock and dam improvements, and that kind of work would not have happened without Mary and the work and support she has provided with the RIVER Act. So a river doesn't divide us, it unites us, and Mary is a uniter and brings people together on so many issues.

    She said before that she was going to put some things on the Record about adoption, but I thought I would take the opportunity to fill people in.

    First of all, Mary established the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. If you have not gone to some of the events where she literally brings the angels--people who have adopted children in the most dire circumstances--to Washington to celebrate these adoptions and talk about the policy changes that need to be made.

    Anyone who has adopted one of the foster kids or brought them into an office and adopted them--the reason you can do that is because Mary Landrieu started that program so that foster children, who otherwise would not have the connections and wherewithal to be able to get a job for the summer, spring, or fall in Washington, DC, would be able to work, and then she has all of these kids to her house every single year.

    Mary doesn't just fight for adopted kids at home, she fights for them all over the world. I would hate to be the bureaucrat in Guatemala when Mary Landrieu shows up to fight them off. I see her staff, and some of them were probably with her on that trip. I think she knew the name of every child who was waiting to be adopted in Guatemala.

    How can we forget the meeting with the Russians when they started to use these poor little children as pawns in a political game? Mary stood up to them. As a result, as many of us know, she has now been banned from the country of Russia. I don't think everybody knows that the reason she was banned was because she was fighting for these kids who were waiting to be adopted. Many of the parents are in my State, and they actually have siblings and they are trying to adopt the other sibling. That is a very sad story and Mary stood up for them. In the words of her dad, Putin didn't like it, and so Mary was banned. I guess that is not where she is going on vacation after we are done here.

    The other thing about Mary I will never forget--how kind and sweet and fun she is for her friends in the Senate--is the time when we had a bet on the Saints-Vikings game in the playoffs. We bet some food from our States. If anybody remembers that amazing playoff game, the Vikings lost, and I had to wear a Drew Brees jersey and walk over to Mary's office with a pot of gumbo, which is really hard to make. When I got to her office, all of her New Orleans press was there, and when she tried that gumbo, she said, this is Minnesota gumbo. This gumbo just needs something special. She got out an enormous bottle of hot sauce from her desk drawer--as only a Louisiana Senator would have--and dumped it in my Minnesota gumbo. That is the spice that Mary has added to all of our lives.

    What we have learned from her we will never forget. As I said, she is a role model for so many of us on how to fight for our States.

    We see it in the eyes of those little adopted children and the great success we are starting to see on the coast because of all the recovery you brought to your State. We know you will never be forgotten and we want you to keep fighting.

    Thank you, Mary.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.

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