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Barbara B.
Democrat CA

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  • Tributes to Departing Senators

    by Senator Barbara Boxer

    Posted on 2013-01-02

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    BOXER. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to my colleagues, Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and Olympia Snowe.



    We have served together in the Senate for two decades and I will dearly miss their grace and their friendship. I know that whatever the next chapter brings, both Senator Hutchison and Senator Snowe will leave a lasting and important legacy.

    Both of these Senators are true pioneers. When she first entered Congress, Senator Snowe was the youngest Republican woman ever to serve in the House of Representatives. Senator Hutchison graduated law school in 1967 as one of only 5 women in a class of 445 men. When she arrived in the Senate in 1993, she became the first woman to represent Texas in this Chamber.

    Throughout her career, Senator Snowe has been a strong advocate for the people of Maine. Whether they were children, families, consumers, or small business owners--the people of Maine knew they had a great champion in Senator Snowe.

    Senator Snowe always worked across party lines to get things done for the American people. During her time in the House, she worked with Senator Mikulski to lead the fight to end the exclusion of women in health trials at the National Institutes of Health. She worked with Senator Rockefeller to help bring the internet to America's libraries and classrooms. She worked with Senator Ted Kennedy to pass the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act.

    Senator Snowe and I worked together on many, many bills over the years, but I will especially remember our work on the passengers' bill of rights to provide basic protections for airline passengers. I will also remember the many times we fought together to ensure equality for women around the world.

    Senator Snowe was a true leader and her presence in the Senate will be greatly missed.

    Senator Hutchison was a strong and passionate voice for the issues important to her beloved State of Texas.

    She played an critical role in so many of the important issues facing our country over the years, from her work ensuring the safety of our Nation as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to her leadership on the Senate Commerce Committee.

    We worked together to promote safety and security for Afghan women and girls, and she played such a key role last during consideration of the transportation bill. I am so grateful for Senator Hutchison's bipartisan efforts to preserve and protect our critical transportation infrastructure.

    Senator Hutchison has always noted that we women Senators have repeatedly come together across party lines to achieve action on women's issues: things like pay inequality and creating tax-free individual retirement accounts for spouses who work at home.

    I will miss my colleagues, both on the Senate floor and at our monthly women Senators dinners.

    I wish them both well in all their future endeavors.

    Kent Conrad Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to my colleague, Senator Kent Conrad, whom I have been fortunate to call a colleague and a friend. I have served with Kent for 20 years and my husband Stewart and I have valued the friendship of his and his wonderful wife Lucy Calautti.

    From helping North Dakota recover from devastating natural disasters to promoting North Dakota agriculture as a key member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Kent Conrad has been a leader for North Dakota for more than 30 years.

    No Senator knows budget and economic issues better than Senator Conrad and he used his knowledge to great effect as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. His exacting and precise assessments of our Nation's fiscal health added wisdom and maturity to a debate that was often difficult and divisive. His many budget charts alone are famous in the Senate--in fact, he uses even more charts on the floor than I do, which is saying something.

    He refers to his policymaking approach as ``extreme moderation''--an approach that perfectly sums up Senator Conrad's philosophy and demeanor. Senator Conrad is one of our most respected members, for his steady temperament, his open mind, and his willingness to reach across the aisle in search of policy solutions.

    The Senate is losing a powerful voice, and great friend to us all in Kent Conrad.

    ____________________

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