A picture of Senator Tom Harkin
Thomas H.
Former Democrat IA
About Sen. Thomas
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    Tribute to Robert F. Heil, Jr.

    by Former Senator Tom Harkin

    Posted on 2014-12-12

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    HARKIN. Madam President, I salute an unsung hero in our government, Mr. Robert F. Heil, Jr. Bob, as he is known to his friends, is retiring as the budget director at the Health Resources Services Administration after 42 years of service to the Federal Government.

    To be honest, I don't know Bob Heil but I have heard about him and his work for years. Bob isn't the guy who stands up and gives speeches, he's the guy that quietly makes things happen. Whenever there was a problem with one of the community health centers in my State, my staff would say ``I'll call Bob'' and I knew it would get straightened out. Bob would always call to let us know when something good might happen, and if something bad was coming, he would call with a solution before we knew there was a problem. He's a man you can trust.

    In a town where political winds blow, Bob has won universal praise from both sides of the aisle for years. That's because he always answers the phone, if he knows the answer he gives it, and he treats everyone with the same respect--no matter who is in the White House or who is in control of Congress.

    As Bob moves into another phase of his life, I thank him for his years of work expanding access to health care for the least fortunate among us. Hubert Humphrey once said, ``the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.'' By that measure, Bob has made our society and our government a much better one. Thank you Bob, on behalf of myself, my staff, and all those who will never know who to thank. I wish you all the best. ____________________

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