|00:00:00||LONG-SERVING COLLEAGUES, THE TIRELESS, SOMETIMES RELENTLESS AND OFTEN SPIRITED SENIOR SENATOR FROM MARYLAND, SENATOR BARBARA MIKULSKI.|
|00:00:10||TO SAY THAT SHE IS A TRAILBLAZER FOR WOMEN IN POLITICS IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT AS WE'VE HEARD.|
|00:00:15||SHE HAS BLAZED A BOLD TRAIL NOT JUST FOR WOMEN IN POLITICS BUT FOR ALL WOMEN IN EVERY ENDEAVOR.|
|00:00:24||SHE'S A FIGHTER, AN ADVOCATE, SOMEONE WHO YOU HOPEFULLY ARE ON THE SAME SIDE ON, AND -- OF AN ISSUE BECAUSE SHE IS A FORMIDABLE OPPONENT WHEN YOU'RE ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE.|
|00:00:36||AND SHE'S A ROLE MODEL FOR LEADERSHIP IN GETTING THINGS DONE.|
|00:00:41||HER IMPRESSIVE LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS IS FAR TOO LONG TO RECITE IN A FEW MINUTES OR EVEN A FEW HOURS, AND IT WOULD NOT ADEQUATELY DO JUSTICE TO HER INCREDIBLE SERVICE TO THE STATE OF MARYLAND AND THE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION.|
|00:00:54||SENATOR MIKULSKI HAS DEDICATED HER CAREER TO SERVING MARYLANDERS AND DEDICATED HER LIFE TO PUBLIC SERVICE.|
|00:01:01||SHE BEGAN THAT AS A SOCIAL WORKER IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS OF BALTIMORE, WORKING EVERY DAY ON THE STREET HELPING AT-RISK CHILDREN FIND THEIR WAY AND GIVING SENIORS THE HELP THEY NEEDED.|
|00:01:12||SHE WAS NOT AND IS NOT A BLEEDING HEART, BUT THERE IS NO ONE WHO HAS A FULLER HEART, A MORE OPEN HEART TO THE DEEPEST NEEDS OF THE LEAST POWERFUL AMONG US THAN SENATOR MIKULSKI.|
|00:01:26||SHE'S SOMEONE YOU WANT ON YOUR SIDE, SOMEONE EVERYONE WANTS ON THEIR SIDE, AND SHE CAME TO PUBLIC SERVICE WITH WHAT I LIKE TO CALL THE LONG VIEW.|
|00:01:36||SHE CAN SEE BEYOND HERSELF TO THE NEEDS OF SOCIETY AS A WHOLE, AND SHE HAS FOUGHT FOR THOSE NEEDS AND WON ON FAR MORE OCCASIONS THAN SHE'S LOST.|
|00:01:47||WHEN SHE FIRST RAN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE IN 1971, I KNOW SHE HAD IN HER HEART THE DEEP AND ABIDING MEMORIES OF THOSE KIDS AND SENIORS SHE MET IN BALTIMORE WHEN SHE BEGAN IN HER CAREER.|
|00:01:58||AND I KNOW SHE CARRIES THOSE MEMORIES WITH HER TO THIS DAY.|
|00:02:02||TO THIS DAY, SHE HAS NEVER FORGOTTEN THE PEOPLE OF MARYLAND WHO NEED HER THE MOST AND HAVE HAD THE WISDOM TO ELECT HER TIME AND TIME AGAIN.|
|00:02:12||HER POLITICAL CAREER HAS TAKEN HER FROM THE BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL TO U.|
|00:02:16||S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THIS CHAMBER WHERE SHE HAS HONORABLY SERVED FOR THE PAST 26 YEARS.|
|00:02:21||FOR THE SEVEN YEARS THAT I'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH HER IN THIS CHAMBER, THERE HAS BEEN NO STRONGER, MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE, MORE COMMITTED COLLEAGUE ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE.|
|00:02:31||SHE'S AN EXAMPLE FOR ALL OF HER COLLEAGUES DETERMINED TO WORK ACROSS THE AISLE WHEN POSSIBLE, AND READY TO FIGHT FOR HER BELIEFS WHEN NECESSARY.|
|00:02:40||SHE WAS THE FIRST WOMAN ELECTED TO STATEWIDE OFFICE IN MARYLAND, THE FIRST DEMOCRATIC WOMAN ELECTED TO THE SENATE IN HER OWN RIGHT, THE FIRST WOMAN TO SERVE IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, THE LONGEST SERVING FEMALE MEMBER OF THE SENATE, AND AS WE ALL KNOW, THIS PAST SATURDAY SENATOR MIKULSKI BECAME THE LONGEST SERVING WOMAN IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS, SERVING MORE THAN 35 YEARS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE.|
|00:03:08||AND IT'S ONLY FITTING THAT SHE ACHIEVED THIS MILESTONE DURING WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH, BECAUSE SHE HAS NOT ONLY PAVED THE WAY FOR WOMEN IN POLITICS BUT FOR WOMEN EVERYWHERE.|
|00:03:18||I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH SENATOR MIKULSKI DURING THE LONG AND DIFFICULT DEBATE AND NEGOTIATIONS ON HEALTH CARE REFORM.|
|00:03:25||AND HER WORK WAS INSTRUMENTAL ENSURING THAT WOMEN HAVE ACCESS TO THE COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE THEY ARE NOW GUARANTEED UNDER THE LAW.|
|00:03:35||AND DURING THAT DEBATE, NO ONE'S VOICE WAS CLEARER, NO ONE'S VOICE WAS STRONGER, NO ONE WAS MORE CONVINCING THAN HER IN THE FIGHT FOR A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.|
|00:03:47||SHE FOUGHT FOR MANDATORY INSURANCE COVERAGE OF ESSENTIAL SFTIONZ LIKE MAMMOGRAMS AND MATERNITY CARE, SERVICES MANY INSURANCE COMPANIES REFUSED TO COVER.|
|00:03:57||SHE FOUGHT TO END GENDER DISCRIMINATION BY INSURANCE COMPANIES.|
|00:04:02||AND AS A RESULT OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND IN LARGE MEASURE BECAUSE OF SENATOR MIKULSKI'S TIRELESS EFFORTS ON BEHALF OF WOMEN, BEING A WOMAN IS NO LONGER A PREEXISTING CONDITION AS INSURANCE COMPANIES USED TO SAY THAT CAN BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST.|
|00:04:19||THOSE INSURANCE COMPANIES WHO ROUTINELY DENIED COVERAGE OF BASIC WOMEN'S HEALTH SERVICES, ESSENTIAL SERVICES, ARE NOW RIVERSIDE TO COVER THOSE SERVICES UNDER THE COMPREHENSIVE PROVISIONS OF THE LAW.|
|00:04:33||WHENEVER THERE IS A NEED IN CHAMBER FOR A STRONG VOICE FOR WOMEN, WHENEVER THERE IS A NEED FOR AN ADVOCATE TO STAND UP FOR THE POWERLESS AGAINST THE POWERFUL, WHENEVER THERE IS A CHILD WHO NEEDS A FRIEND, A SENIOR CITIZEN WHO NEEDS A HAND, BARBARA MIKULSKI IS THERE.|
|00:04:48||I BELIEVE THERE ARE MANY TIMES SHE COMES TO THIS FLOOR REMEMBERING AS SHE SAID, HER DAYS BACK IN BALTIMORE, AND SHE'S RIGHT THERE.|
|00:04:59||AN ADVOCATE'S ADVOCATE, FIGHTING FOR CHILDREN AND SENIOR CITIZENS SHE HAS MET LONG THE WAY.|
|00:05:06||THE BEST OF US ARE BETTER OFF BECAUSE SHE COMES WITH A FULL HEART, READY TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT, NOT SIMPLY WHAT'S POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT.|
|00:05:15||HER BILL, THE LILLY LEDBETTER ACT WAS SIGNED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA DAYS AFTER HIS INAUGURATION AND I WAS PROUD TO WORK WITH SENATOR MIKULSKI WITH THAT AND SO MANY OTHER EFFORTS AS WELL THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF AVERAGE AMERICANS.|
|00:05:29||FINALLY, SENATOR MIKULSKI HAS BEEN A TIRELESS ADVOCATE FOR SOMETHING THAT IS NEAR AND DEAR TO MY OWN HEART.|
|00:05:35||SHE'S BEEN AN ADVOCATE FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM ALZHEIMER'S AND THEIR FAMILIES.|
|00:05:41||AS THE SON OF A MOTHER WHO BATTLED ALZHEIMER'S FOR 18 YEARS, AND WHO LOST HER LIFE TO IT, I UNDERSTAND FIRSTHAND THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF PROVIDING LONG-TERM CARE FOR A LOVED ONE.|
|00:05:55||AND SENATOR MIKULSKI HAS COME TO THIS FLOOR ON COUNTLESS OCCASIONS ADVOCATING FOR INCREASED RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND PROGRAMS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH ALZHEIMER'S.|
|00:06:06||AND HAS FOUND THE SUPPORT FROM HER COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.|
|00:06:10||IT'S ESTIMATED THAT 5.|
|00:06:13||4 MILLION AMERICANS ARE CURRENTLY LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S, AND MILLIONS MORE HAVE BEEN TOUCHED IN SOME WAY BY THIS DEBILITATING DISEASE.|
|00:06:21||I WANT TO THANK THE SENATOR FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR HER PASSION FOR HELPING THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM THIS DISEASE.|
|00:06:28||AND I LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING TO WORK WITH HER ON THIS ISSUE UNTIL WE FIND A CURE FOR ALZHEIMER'S.|
|00:06:34||THE BOTTOM LINE, SENATOR MIKULSKI IS A DEEPLY COMMITTED PUBLIC SERVANT.|
|00:06:40||THE STATE OF MARYLAND HAS RIGHTLY RECOGNIZED HER INVALUABLE SERVICE FOR MANY YEARS.|
|00:06:44||BECAUSE OF HER EFFORTS, THOSE FAMILIES KNOW THEIR INTERESTS ARE PROTECTED AND THEIR VOICES ARE HEARD.|
|00:06:49||IT'S BEEN AN HONOR TO SERVE WITH HER.|
|00:06:51||ALL OF US IN THIS CHAMBER CAN HOPE TO SERVE OUR STATES WITH THE SAME CONVICTION, SELFLESSNESS AND PRIDE THAT SENATOR MIKULSKI HAS HAD THROUGHOUT HER 35 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE STATE OF MARYLAND.|
|00:07:04||I'M REMINDED OF WHAT MOTHER TERESA SAID WHEN SHE GOT THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL.|
|00:07:11||SHE SAID IT'S NOT ALL THE AWARDS AND ROIFTIONS THAT ONE RECEIVES -- RECOGNITIONS IN LIFE THAT ONE RECEIVES THAT MATTERS, IT IS HOW ONE HAS LIVED THEIR LIFE THAT MATTERS.|
|00:07:22||IN THAT RESPECT, SENATOR MIKULSKI HAS LIVED AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE, AND WE THANK HER FOR WHAT SHE HAS DONE, NOT JUST FOR THE PEOPLE OF MARYLAND BUT FOR ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.|
|00:07:33||WITH THAT, MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.|
|00:07:35||THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THANK YOU.|
|00:07:39||THE SENATOR FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE IS RECOGNIZED.|
Mr. MENENDEZ. Madam President, I rise to honor the service of one of our most distinguished and long-serving colleagues, the tireless, sometimes relentless, and often spirited senior Senator from Maryland, Ms. Barbara Mikulski.
To say she is a trailblazer for women in politics is an understatement. She has blazed a bold trial not just for women in politics but for all women in every endeavor. She is a fighter, an advocate, someone whom one is hopefully on the same side with because she is a formidable opponent when one is on the opposite side. She is a role model for leadership and getting things done.
Her impressive list of accomplishments is far too long to recite in a few minutes or even a few hours. It would not adequately do justice to her incredible service to Maryland and the people of this Nation. Senator Mikulski has dedicated her career to serving Marylanders and has dedicated her life to public service.
She began as a social worker in the neighborhoods of Baltimore, working every day on the street helping at-risk children find their way and giving seniors the help they needed.
She was not, and is not, a bleeding heart, but there is no one who has a fuller heart, a more open heart to the deepest needs of the least powerful among us than Senator Mikulski. She is someone one wants on their side.
Senator Mikulski came to public service with what I like to call the long view. She can see beyond herself to the needs of society as a whole, and she has fought for those needs and won on far more occasions than she has lost.
When she first ran for public office in 1971, I know she had in her heart the deep and abiding memories of those kids and seniors she met in Baltimore when she began her career. I know she carries those memories with her to this day. To this day, she has never forgotten the people of Maryland who need her the most and have had the wisdom to elect her time and time again.
Her political career has taken her from the Baltimore City Council to the House of Representatives and to this Chamber, where she has honorably served for the past 26 years. For 7 years, I have had the opportunity to work with her in this Chamber, and there has been no stronger, more knowledgeable, more committed colleague on this side of the aisle. She is an example for all her colleagues, determined to work across the aisle when possible and ready to fight for her beliefs when necessary.
She was the first woman elected to statewide office in Maryland, the first Democratic woman elected to the Senate in her own right, the first woman to serve in both Houses of Congress, and the longest serving female Member of the Senate.
As we all know, this past Saturday, Senator Mikulski became the longest serving woman in the history of the Congress, serving more than 35 years in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
It is only fitting that she achieve this milestone during Women's History Month because she has not only paved the way for women in politics but she has helped pave the way for women everywhere.
I had the opportunity to work with Senator Mikulski during the long and difficult debate and negotiations on health care reform. Her work was instrumental in ensuring that women have access to the comprehensive health care they are now guaranteed under the law. During that debate, no one's voice was clearer, no one's voice was stronger, no one was more convincing than she in the fight for a woman's right to comprehensive health care coverage.
She fought for mandatory insurance coverage of essential services, such as mammograms and maternity care, services that many insurance companies refused to cover. She fought to end gender discrimination by insurance companies.
As a result of the affordable care act and, in large measure because of Senator Mikulski's tireless efforts on behalf of women, being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition, as insurance companies used to say, that can be discriminated against.
Those insurance companies that routinely denied coverage of basic women's health services--essential services--are now required to cover those services under the comprehensive women's health services provision of the law.
Whenever there is a need in the Chamber for a strong voice for women, whenever there is a need for an advocate to stand for the powerless against the powerful, whenever there is a child who needs a friend or a senior citizen [Page: S1911] who needs a hand, Barbara Mikulski is there.
I believe there are many times she comes to this floor remembering, as she said, her days back in Baltimore, and she is right there--an advocate's advocate--fighting for those children and seniors she met along the way.
The rest of us are better off because she comes here with a full heart, ready to do what is right, not just what is politically expedient.
Her bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, was signed into law by President Obama just days after his inauguration. I was proud to work with her on that bill and on so many other efforts as well that make a difference in the lives of average Americans.
Finally, Senator Mikulski has been a tireless advocate for something that is near and dear to my own heart--for those who suffer from Alzheimer's and their families.
As the son of a mother who battled Alzheimer's for 18 years and lost her life to it, I understand firsthand the unique challenges of providing long-term care for a loved one. Senator Mikulski has come to this floor on countless occasions advocating for increased research, education, and programs for individuals with Alzheimer's. She has found support from her colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
It is estimated that 5.4 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's and millions more have been touched in some way by this debilitating disease.
I thank the Senator from the bottom of my heart for her passion for helping those who suffer from this disease. I look forward to continuing to work with her on this issue until we find a cure for Alzheimer's.
The bottom line: Barbara Mikulski is a deeply committed public servant. The State of Maryland has rightly recognized her invaluable service for many years. Because of her efforts, those Maryland families know their interests are protected and their voices are heard.
It has been an honor to serve with her. All of us in this Chamber can only hope to serve our States with the same conviction, selflessness, and pride as Senator Mikulski has throughout her 35 years of service to the State of Maryland.
I am reminded of what Mother Teresa said when she got the Congressional Gold Medal: It is not the awards and recognition that one receives in life that matters; it is how one has lived their life that matters.
In that respect, Barbara Mikulski has lived an extraordinary life. We thank her for what she has done and not just for the people of Maryland but for all the people of America.
I yield the floor.