October 02, 2008

Crapo Offers Tribute To Craig's Work In Senate

Floor speech notes leadership on agriculture, adoption, veterans issues

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo paid tribute to the legislative accomplishments and record of his colleague, retiring Senator Larry Craig during a speech on the Senate floor this morning. Crapo noted Craig's accomplishments involving citizen involvement in government and on issues such as property rights and lands issues, agriculture, adoption, veterans and the military. The text of his statement follows:

"Mr./Madam President, as the 110th Congress comes to a close this fall, a chapter in Idaho politics also comes to a close. After serving in public office, first in the Idaho State Legislature from 1975 to 1981, then in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 1990, and finally here in the Senate from 1991 to 2009, my colleague, Senator Larry Craig is retiring from elective office. Over the years, he has doggedly pursued initiatives important to Idahoans and staunchly defended western values.

"Our colleagues here in the Senate know Senator Craig's work over the years ensuring that the U.S. agriculture community has the support needed to thrive and continue ensuring our food security and playing a major role in the global economy. Our colleagues know about Senator Craig's consistent stand on public lands, unflinching in his defense of private property rights, and reliably supporting those who are caretakers of this invaluable national resource. Our colleagues know Senator Craig's stalwart defense of our 2nd Amendment rights and his tireless call for a balanced budget and lower taxes. Our colleagues in the Senate know that Senator Craig has, on a number of occasions, reached across the aisle to promote bipartisan legislation. Our colleagues in the Senate know and have depended on the leadership exhibited over the years by a man with humble beginnings, born in a small Idaho town, on a family farm where he returned after college until the people of Payette and Washington Counties elected him to represent them in the Idaho State Legislature.

"What may not be so well-known about the Senior Senator from Idaho is his commitment to adoption, youth, community service, veterans and seniors. Senator Craig's three children are adopted. Over the years, he became a Congressional leader in promoting adoption and working on policy initiatives that help adoptive parents and children needing to find loving homes, and helped found the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. Senator Craig did not only champion adoption here in Congress; he took a strong leadership role in the Congressional Awards Foundation. This is an outstanding program that encourages young people to set high goals, work toward them and then, when they've achieved these goals, it gives this body the opportunity to recognize their extraordinary accomplishments. The sense of community service that this program grows in young people imparts a lifelong sense of civic duty and responsibility-in short, it grows great Americans!

"Speaking of great Americans, Senator Craig has been a champion of veterans as well, prioritizing their changing needs over the years and helping remind all of us that when a man or woman defends the United States of America, that individual deserves to have this nation care for him or her in return in their time of need.

"A believer in bringing Washington, D.C., to Idaho, Senator Craig has hosted over 300 town hall meetings since his election to the Senate. He has also made national priorities that involve Idaho his priorities, namely, Department of Energy and Defense operations and research at the Idaho National Lab, Mountain Home Air Force Base and Gowen Field, the home of the Idaho National Guard.

"Senator Craig has not only supported children, young people, military and veterans; he has worked to champion the cause of the aging, serving on the Special Committee on Aging and keeping important senior issues at the forefront of legislative policy. Senator Craig's public service demonstrates a rich history of strong, conservative leadership characterized by an unapologetic defense of the democratic ideals of private property and personal liberty and woven together with an abiding and proactive concern for those without a voice here in Washington. Idahoans across the state have come to know that they can depend on Senator Craig to defend their economic well-being and their values. It has been a privilege for me to serve with Senator Craig during my time in Congress. My wife, Susan, and I wish him and his wife, Suzanne, well as they begin a new chapter in their lives."