Hoyer Pays Tribute to Commerce, Justice, & Science Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf

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Transcript: 

"Mr. Speaker, first let me briefly say I rise to speak on this bill, which directly impacts our economy, our competitiveness, and our ability to create jobs that pay well and open doors to opportunity. While there are many positives to this bill, not limited to strong support of NASA, the Goddard Space Flight Center, which is in my district, as well as robust funding for the National Science Foundation, this bill nonetheless makes two deep cuts to vital programs to protect against crime, promote innovation, and facilitate exports. 

"But the reason I wanted to come to the Floor is because I wanted to take a moment to congratulate my friend, Representative Frank Wolf of Virginia, the Chairman of the Subcommittee who is managing this bill on the Republican side.

"Frank was elected in 1980, I was elected a few months later in a special election in 1981. We served together for 23 years on the Appropriations Committee. We served all of the time until I left when I was elected Majority Leader. We served on the Helsinki Commission together, which fought for human rights while the Soviet Union existed and so many were enslaved behind the Iron Curtain. 

"Frank Wolf has chaired this Subcommittee for many, many years. He has done so with honor, with honesty, and with fairness. 

"He and I have served together in this House for 33 years and sat together on the Appropriations Committee, as I said, for 23 [years]. 

"When he retires at the end of this Congress it will be a significant loss to the people of his district. It will be a great loss to this House, which he has served so well. 

"We may sit, Frank, on opposite sides of the aisle, Mr. Speaker, but that has done nothing to diminish the friendship we have forged and the alliance we have forged over the course of our service together and the level of respect I have for him as a legislator and as a human being. 

"He has been indefatigable, Mr. Speaker, in his work on behalf of his constituents, on behalf of our federal employees, and on behalf of the interests of the Washington Metropolitan area. 

"This is his final Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, at least as it's being initiated on this House Floor. I know his passion and professionalism when it comes to these issues will be greatly missed. Not only by the many outside groups that provide input to him and the Subcommittee each year, but to his Democratic colleagues on the Subcommittee, including Ranking Member Chaka Fattah, with whom he has worked so well, and indeed, previous Ranking Members who have worked well with him. I applaud them for their work. 

"Frank Wolf is a principled, courageous, tenacious advocate for human rights in every corner of the earth. I have traveled with him frequently behind the Iron Curtain to argue for those who were discriminated against, whose human rights were undermined, whose civil rights did not exist. Frank Wolf always prepared to go anywhere, any time in the toughest of circumstances by himself and with others to advocate on behalf of those who had no advocate. 

"I've had the privilege of working with Congressman Wolf on many issues over the years. I've always found him to focus on the merits of issues and not on their politics. 

"Mr. Speaker, I join all my colleagues in thanking him for his service to this House, to the Subcommittee, to the nation he served in uniform of the United States Army, and to the people of his district. I look forward, of course, Frank, to working with you the balance of this year as you continue your focus and advocacy on behalf of the issues which you so ably support. 

"The 113th Congress will come to an end, and Frank Wolf will leave us. He still will have many things to accomplish. He will still make many significant and important contributions to his country and to his community. I know that all of the Members join me, Frank, in thanking you for your service, your dedication, and your friendship."