Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act of 2014—Continuedby Senator Edward J. Markey
Posted on 2014-12-11
MARKEY. Mr. President, I rise to add my words of admiration for
this great person, for this great legislator. Just to tell a brief
story, it was back in 2006, in a lameduck session just like this. The
Democrats had won and were about to take over the Senate. The Democrats
had just won and were about to take over the House--a different passage
in time. But throughout all of 2006, even in the minority, Mary
Landrieu was moving a bill to open up a vast new area in the Gulf of
Mexico for drilling for oil and natural gas.
I was over in the House. I was from Massachusetts. I did not want this bill to pass. I wanted to actually save it for 2007 when the Democrats were in control. We could pass it in an energy bill by the end of 2007, which would have included this provision. Mary passed it through the Senate--bipartisan, as usual. If we look up bipartisan, if we Google it, Mary's picture actually comes up.
[[Page S6653]] Over in the House, because of all of her momentum, I lost and that bill passed. Again, tens of thousands of new jobs fell to Louisiana through Mary Landrieu.
It was about a week later when I was out shopping and here comes Mary right toward me with her daughter in her riding outfit.
Mary said: I want to introduce you to Congressman Markey.
I said to her daughter: Well, you have to add a few additional words because your mother just defeated me quite badly just last week and passed a big bill for Louisiana, for whom your mother always calls her people, the people of Louisiana.
There isn't anybody who understands better the spirit of legislating, about protecting your home State and respecting those who are maybe not in agreement with you but are not your enemy but somebody whom you try to work with.
After the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico I was the lead Democrat in the House on the Natural Resources Committee with jurisdiction over that, and Mary again was outraged that such damage could be done to her fishermen, to her tourism industry, to her people in Louisiana. She worked hard to make sure billions of dollars would ultimately go back into the gulf to ensure that her fishermen, her tourism industry, and her people were protected.
Then, after having served in the House for 37 years, I arrived in the Senate with a great concern that a bill I had been working on in Massachusetts, which was the dramatic rise in the insurance rates for homeowners and businesses right along the coastline of Massachusetts, and I had to introduce legislation not only to work on the issue, but when I arrived in the Senate, Mary Landrieu was already here, already working on that bill, all ready to protect her homeowners, her small business people from outrageous increases in insurance rates that would have basically made their homes unaffordable.
Throughout my career, all I can tell my colleagues is one constant is this great, legendary legislator, somebody who embodies all the best of what this institution stands for. I just want to let her know how proud I have been to be able to serve with her here and how proud I am to be able to tell a story of the time when she just beat me flat-out because that is just how she plays. She plays it for her State every time, and no waiting if it is Louisiana. I know all the people of Louisiana know that about her.
So congratulations on your great career.
I yield the floor.