Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act of 2014—Continuedby Senator Benjamin L. Cardin
Posted on 2014-12-11
CARDIN. Mr. President, one of the truly nice things about serving
in the Senate is the people we meet. Myrna and I consider Frank and
Mary to be our friends. She is an incredible person and has given
incredible service. I am sorry the people of Louisiana could not see
Mary in our caucuses as she fought on different issues for the people
of Louisiana and what she did as an advocate on behalf of people who
otherwise would not have had their voices heard. She did it in a very
I heard some of the conversations about what happened with Katrina and the people of New Orleans. Mary Landrieu brought us down to Louisiana for us to see firsthand. It was incredible for me, not to just see the physical devastation, but thanks to Mary Landrieu, we saw the people. We saw the spirit in the people, but we saw people who needed help. It is that type of emotional involvement that Mary gives to every cause she believes in.
So I want the Senator from Louisiana to know how much I deeply respect your model of public service and the people you stood up for.
Senator Landrieu spoke about the adoption issue. She got into it because she has such a big family. I think I got into it because of her. She is pretty persuasive. We all feel better because of that. Senator Landrieu is the one who really led us in those efforts. What an incredible legacy.
I want to speak a minute about small business issues. Senator Landrieu chaired that committee during a particularly important time. I want to relate a couple of stories to my colleagues. There are many times I was in the Democratic caucus and we would be talking about an issue and Senator Landrieu would stand and say, Well, how about small businesses? Under her leadership we brought some major initiatives to the floor to help small businesses because of Mary Landrieu and her ability to put together a commonsense package. She understood small businesses are the growth engine of America. That is how jobs are created and that is where innovation takes place. I can tell my colleagues--I worked with her. I know what we got done. I know how we took on our own governmental agencies to make sure they did right for small businesses and how we fought the bundling. Contract officers love to take small contracts and make them into big ones because it is less headache for them but less opportunity for small businesses. Mary Landrieu stopped that practice and put a spotlight on it. It was an incredible experience for me because it showed me that each of us can make a difference.
I knew what I was trying to do. One of the issues I got involved with was to raise the surety bond issues and I didn't see much chance of getting it done and Mary gave me the opportunity to get it done. She coached me on how to get it done, and that is now a permanent law of the land.
She made us all relevant on the committee, individually and collectively. We have a great legacy to help small businesses in this country, thanks to the leadership of Senator Landrieu.
To the people of Louisiana, they could not have had a stronger advocate, a stronger friend, a person who accomplished more for that State during some extremely challenging times. To the people of this country and the work Mary Landrieu did on the Appropriations Committee for our national security and standing up for and protecting and defending our own country, the record of Senator Landrieu is incredible. To those who are voiceless but had Mary Landrieu to speak for them, the disadvantaged; to small businesses--and the list goes on and on and on--this is one incredible legislator. She is a model to many of us. I thank her so much for her service and her commitment to public life. It will always be an inspiration to me, the fact that I was given the honor to serve with you in the Senate of the United States.
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Walsh). The Senator from Massachusetts.