Tributes to Departing Senatorsby Senator Mazie K. Hirono
Posted on 2015-01-02
HIRONO. Mr. President, I wish to recognize the many
accomplishments of my friend, Senator Mary Landrieu, my colleague from
Louisiana, during her 18 years here in the U.S. Senate.
Senator Landrieu was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996. Prior to serving in the Senate, she had already served the people of her State for 16 years--first as a State legislator, and later as a State treasurer. Altogether Senator Landrieu's service to the people of Louisiana has spanned nearly 34 years of commitment to the people of Louisiana.
Mary served her constituents with utter conviction, dedication, and persistence--qualities that her colleagues in the U.S. Senate use to describe her.
However, Senator Landrieu's dedication can be described in other ways as well.
In her farewell remarks last week, Senator Landrieu discussed how faith and family helped drive her. She draws tremendous strength from her faith, and also her large and supportive family--a family that knows a thing or two about the ups and downs of politics.
Her father, Moon Landrieu, served as a judge, State representative, New Orleans city councilman and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her brother, Mitch Landrieu, was Louisiana's Lieutenant Governor, and both her father and brother have served as mayors of New Orleans--her father during an era of renewal, and her brother during an era of rebuilding.
Mary has clearly stepped up to the plate during the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the horrendous BP oil spill. Those are the kinds of challenges that none of us expect when we enter public life--but they are the challenges which show our communities what we are made of.
Senator Landrieu rose to both challenges. She has worked as hard as any Senator has ever worked to see that her constituents were taken care of. She has pushed hard on Federal agencies to help rebuild, and passed legislation to help with Gulf restoration. She has also fought to see that flood insurance rates remain affordable--not just for those in Louisiana, but across the country.
Her efforts have earned the respect of everyone she has worked with, and she earned the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. I know that the issues she championed on these two committees were important to her constituents and I admire her advocacy for jobs in her State and more opportunities for small businesses.
Of course, Senator Landrieu's work extended beyond these two committees. For years, she worked on adoption, education, conservation, and other issues that were near and dear to her heart.
All of us will miss Mary's drive, tenacity, and willingness to work with others to get things done. She will continue to be a tough and relentless fighter for Louisiana no matter what her next challenge will be.
Aloha, Mary, a hui hou, ``until we meet again.'' MARK PRYOR Mr. President, I wish to say a few words about my colleague, Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, who will be ending his tenure in the Senate at the end of this Congress.
The Pryor name is synonymous with public service in Arkansas. Mark's father, David, served Arkansas in the U.S. House, as Governor, and in the U.S. Senate. In fact, Mark succeeded his father in the U.S. Senate after serving in the State legislature and as attorney general.
Throughout his two terms in the Senate, Mark has been a workhorse and not a showhorse. As he noted in his farewell remarks, he is not one to attend many press conferences. But he certainly has done a lot of work on behalf of the people of Arkansas. In 12 years in the Senate he has worked to get 70 laws passed--many on a bipartisan basis.
His work improves the lives of Americans and our youth each day--from his work in consumer product safety, access to health care, veterans issues, and more. He has fought to protect Medicare, and to support Arkansas' farmers, small businesses, and middle class families.
That may be why in his 2008 reelection to the Senate he earned more votes than any statewide elected official in Arkansas history.
Senator Pryor told us in his farewell to look inside our desks and see the names written in the drawer, to see the predecessors who have come before us. These names can serve as a reminder of what we all are here for and what large shoes we must fill, as well as how we must collaborate to get things done.
Mark has spoken about the fact that politics is about people--both the people we serve and the people we serve with.
While there are many good people serving here, we will all miss the work ethic, warmth, and charm that Mark brought to the Senate during his service.
It has been an honor serving as his colleague.
Aloha, Mark, a hui hou, ``until we meet again.''