(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen spoke on the Senate floor today following retiring New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg's farewell address. Here are her prepared remarks:
"Thank you, Senator Gregg, for your remarks just then, and thank you for your long service to the people of New Hampshire and the United States.
"Senator Gregg and I have known each other a long time. In the New Hampshire political tradition, you learn to work together, with people on both sides of the aisle, for what's in the best interest of the state. Senator Gregg has been a fine example of that tradition. I've enjoyed working with him over the years, and his presence here in the chamber and the Senate halls will surely be missed both by me, and the rest of our colleagues.
"Throughout my political career, I've always appreciated the civility and generosity Senator Gregg has shown me. When I was elected to the State Senate in New Hampshire, it was Governor Gregg who swore me in. And when I was elected to the United States Senate, he was the first Republican to call me-not just to offer his congratulations, but to offer his advice and help in getting started as well.
"The Senator and I followed similar paths to the Senate, both serving as governors of New Hampshire first. I think that experience, leading our state, gave us a more similar mindset than people might expect. I think it contributes to our shared concern with controlling the debt and ensuring that government is functioning at its best to help our citizens.
"While we haven't always agreed on the best approach to solve those problems, Senator Gregg's civility has never wavered. And, since coming to the Senate, I've noticed him extend those same courtesies to colleagues on both sides of the aisle. In a town not always know for its good manners, Senator Gregg reminds us that we can disagree without being disagreeable.
"Senator Gregg, of course, is also known for his expertise on budgetary matters and his dedication to one of the gravest issues facing our nation, its rapidly ballooning deficit. His expertise will not be easily replaced, especially at a time when our nation so urgently needs a New Hampshire-style approach - strong, bipartisan, and no-nonsense. It's a concern I share with the Senator, and I hope to continue his search for solutions.
"What might be less known to some in Washington is Senator Gregg's passion for the preservation of open lands. He is a conservationist, in the fine Republican tradition of Teddy Roosevelt, and has helped preserve New Hampshire's wonderful legacy of forests and lakes.
"In 2001, when I was governor, Senator Gregg and I worked together to preserve the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters. At more than 171,000 acres, it was the largest contiguous block of land in New Hampshire in private ownership, and we worked together to ensure that future generations could enjoy the beauty of this working forest. It was no small task, and I thank him for his leadership.
"As another well-known Senator and New Hampshire native, Daniel Webster, once said, ‘We have been taught to regard a representative of the people as a sentinel on the watch-tower of liberty.'
In Congress and the governor's office, in Washington and in New Hampshire, the Senator has served as that sentinel. He will be missed. I join my colleagues and the people of New Hampshire in wishing him well in all his future endeavors."